Matthew Gardner Winney, Born October 13, 1953. Aged 68 years. Died September 16, 2022. Survived by family and friends also native to the Humboldt area.

My Dad had the most beautiful green eyes. They were teal, almost turquoise. They reflected his love of the six rivers, the sloughs that feed the bay, the redwoods, mountains and secluded spots that make Humboldt one of the most majestic places on earth. Where the redwoods meet the sea, he wanted to stay behind the redwood curtain. He died at his beach house in Samoa, proving he would never leave that beautiful place.

I will remember him in the wind, the kind of wind that makes you want to be out on the sail boat. I will remember him along the mountainside in the breeze that blows the wild flowers, in the wind that caries the dragon flies.

I will remember him in his flannel, hat and jeans, paddling the canoe out on the slough, with a rollie cig in his mouth and a young sea lion begging for pieces of his sandwich.

His memories will forever be with me, in every natural beauty that makes Humboldt so spectacular- my Dad is now those rivers, those trees, that breeze. Those winding roads down Highway 36, Fickle Hill, Big Rock, Sandy Bar, Kneeland, Pigeon Point, Happy Camp, Weitchpec, College Cove, Strawberry Rock, Big Lagoon, the rocks off Patrick’s Point, all the epic swimming spots that you never want tourists to find out about. Sack lunches and day trips out exploring. The young bears on the river fishing. The blue jays that mock you. The crows that caw at dawn. That’s my Dad, he has returned to the oneness. Humboldt was his favorite place on earth. He never wanted to leave.

My Dad was a fantastic photographer. He captured all the ways I will remember him, in the old school film he loved to use, and the thousands of photos that he amassed thru his lifetime. He was a mechanic, he loved working on cars, restoration work and making demolition derby cars. He was a local historian, in his own right, and has ties to the Humboldt area that go back generations, before the great 1906 earthquake. Before California was a state.

Although his body aged, he was still young in his mind and he hated that his body couldn’t keep up with him.

A private reception will be held at the location of the family plot along with a gravestone placing ceremony. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to help support the Samoa Peninsula Fire District.


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Matthew Winney’s loved onesThe Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here. Email