On the day before New Year’s Eve 2021, Linda Friend passed away at home in Rio Dell, after a long battle with liver disease, with her partner Jimmy and her friend and caregiver Jan by her side.

Linda was born in Arkdelphia, Arkansas on December 6, 1957 to Rachel Taylor and Frank Hale. Her early years were spent in Arkansas. The family, which now included three younger siblings, moved west in the 1970s, first to Oregon, then on to Humboldt in the early ‘80s.

After high school, Linda returned to Arkansas, where her daughter Mindy was born. She traveled west again to Oregon and Northern California, and remained here thereafter, residing in Rio Dell for the last 30 years.

Linda spent many years as a waitress at local restaurants and cafes. This was the perfect job for her, with her friendly nature and cheerful demeanor.

Linda was a dedicated shopper of yard sales, thrift stores and the dollar stores, always with an eye for a good deal. She had a fashion sense that was on a level of its own. Her sister-in-law Trina remembers with a laugh when Linda dressed her young nieces and nephews in “matching outfits.” She loved camping with family and friends, especially at Hell’s Gate on Highway 36. Linda loved watching NCIS — Leroy Jethro Gibbs was her “secret TV husband.” She never missed and episode.

Linda was full of life and energy, had the greatest dimples and frequently a twinkle in her eye. She had a wicked sense of humor and was also known for telling you “how it is.” She would frequently poke fun at herself. When hanging out with family and friends there was lots of laughter when Linda was around, and a good cup of coffee.

In the last number of years, Linda faced multiple serious and debilitating medical conditions. She met these challenges with an incredible positive attitude. She remained upbeat no matter what the doctors were telling her. Even as her illness advanced, she would call her family and friends regularly to catch up. Linda, we will all miss you so.

Linda was preceded in death by her parents Rachel and Ray Friend, brother Gillman Friend, infant daughter Shannon and beloved Uncle Boots.

She is survived by her life partner Jimmy Hicks of Rio Dell, brother Tim (Trina) Friend of Red Bluff, sister Micki (Dee) Gensel of Alturas, her daughter Mindy (Raymond) Griffith of Lampe, Missouri, granddaughter Candice (Roger) Thomas of Kirbyville, Missouri, great-grandbabies Diesal, Nova and Elijah, numerous nieces and nephews, great-nieces and -nephews, and many friends. Also, her cat Stella, who misses her every day.

A celebration of life for Linda will be held in Ferndale on Saturday March 5, at noon. Please bring a story and an appetizer to share. Masks will be optional outside, required inside. Call Donna at 707-786-9100 or Tim 530-585-2341 for details.


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Linda Friend’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.