It is with heavy hearts that we mark the passing of our friend and family member, Tad. Tad was a well-known and easily recognizable resident of Eureka and Arcata, who in years past could be seen flying down Broadway Street on a longboard, being pulled by his dog who wore a harness ringing with sleigh bells. In more recent years, he was well known and loved in his role as keeper of the plantings he created to beautify the area around the Arcata Creamery.

Tad was born in Lubbock, Texas, on October 8, 1957. He graduated in 1975 from Moon Valley High School in Phoenix, Arizona. He later joined the Army and was stationed in Germany. He worked several jobs in his early adulthood, but his favorite job was raising his daughter, Courtnie. He spoke often and with great fondness of the time he spent parenting.

In later years, Tad traveled the country. He had tales of learning to hike farther and farther into the desert alone, and of the connection he felt there with Spirit. After many roads, Tad arrived in Humboldt County to get involved in local activism. He is remembered for the love that he brought when he advocated for the forests, Vets for Peace, Food Not Bombs, and for the rights and dignity of all people. He brought a spirit of joy to the struggle against oppression. Tad was especially vocal in his defense of those without money or means, leading with compassion and working both inside and outside the legal system for justice.

Tad was a prolific reader and an insightful writer, sharing his thoughts in a local zine, The Plazoid, and online on the Plazoid blog. In conversation, Tad could display his vast array of knowledge across a wide variety of subjects, always seen through the lens of unconditional love and compassion.

Tad was known for attending Humboldt County Board of Supervisors meetings, and giving public comment on agenda items. Once, when speaking against the county’s involvement with a juvenile work camp, he was dragged from the meeting by police, receiving injuries. When charged with resisting arrest, he fought the charges by taking the case to trial and representing himself. He received a guilty verdict, and during a month in jail, Tad maintained a hunger strike that had a groundswell of popular support. Never one to back down when in the right, after being released from jail he appealed his case and won.

Tad spent well over a decade as groundskeeper of the Arcata Creamery property. While there, he created and maintained colorful plantings using plants, soil, and containers that had been discarded by others. He was a person who could look at cast-off items and see their beauty and usefulness. Always ready to lend a hand with any sort of project, he exemplified the ability to see a need and to work to fill it.

Tad was a deeply kind man, yet did not suffer fools gladly. He was vocal about what he perceived as the shortcomings of government, organized religion, capitalism, and the status quo. He didn’t set out to offend, but wasn’t afraid to do so. His great intelligence was balanced by a great capacity for love. We will miss his kindness, his wit, and his advice. He was a moral compass for those around him. He will be remembered as someone with a deep connection to Spirit, and with a strong belief that people need to work together, in love, for the benefit of the planet, humankind, and all beings.

Tad is predeceased by his beloved dogs, Grizz and Giles. He is survived by his daughter, Courtnie, and his grandchildren Erol, Laurelia, and Sher, of Texas; by his dog, Dude; and by a large number of friends.

A celebration of Tad’s life will be held on Saturday, September 2, 2023, beginning at 2 p.m., at the Creamery in Arcata. Donations will be accepted to defray final expenses. We invite all who loved him to come and bring items for the memorial table, snacks to share, and memories of Tad.


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