David Gene Lewiston
August 16, 1950 - February 14, 2023

Dave grew up on an Iowa farm, with his big sister Sandy, and his little sister Sue, his mom, June, and his dad, Vaughn. He graduated from Waverly High school in 1968 and moved to Orange County, California where he studied refrigeration at Orange County Junior College. He joined the army soon after and was stationed in Colorado. He lived in Colorado after the Army and later joined a hippie commune in Iowa referred to as “the Ponderosa,” where he practiced guitar and enjoyed a life of leisure for a time.

In the late 1970s he returned to Orange County, where he worked construction and various other jobs before moving to Humboldt County, where he worked on a dairy farm. He worked for a while with his brother-in-law Gary, owner of Northcoast Construction. One memorable summer was spent growing weed and building a cabin in Redwood Valley around 1983.

Dave earned his general contractor license and started his company Lewiston Construction, which earned a solid reputation for high-end craftsmanship. He brought his sons Casey and Troy into the trade and taught them about the family business, building numerous relationships throughout the community in the process. Dave was very proud of his company, and he was a first rate carpenter and builder. He retired from construction around 2009.

Dave met Sheila Daggs in 1982 and they were together until his passing. He was a proud father to his sons Casey & Troy and his daughter Tammy. He enjoyed camping with his kids and teaching them the family construction business.

Dave had many friends around the county, and people were drawn to his irreverent wit and good nature. Dave loved animals and had several cats and dogs throughout his life. He enjoyed fishing in the bay and ocean locally and would take his boat out often. He liked to ride his Harley on the local highways amongst the redwoods and had more than a couple bikes throughout the years.

Dave was a talented and accomplished guitar player, singer and songwriter, having taught himself when he was very young. His voice was reminiscent of Stevie Ray Vaughan, and he played the strings like Eric Clapton. He was a part of many local bands, including Puffin, Fire and Ice, the Checkered Demons, and the Greg Allen Band. His band won the battle of the bands in the mid-‘80s and he received an award for “outstanding guitar player.” Dave recently gave a guitar to his granddaughter Ellie, who is already carrying on his legacy, and practicing with the help of her parents. Dave was the best guitar player many have ever heard, including myself. A truly talented soul.

Dave had a special place in his heart for his friend Lori who helped him out in recent years, and his younger sister Sue who was there for him at all times, and who did her best to include Dave in family gatherings. Dave had two cats who drove him crazy but kept him company throughout these final years. He was very fond of Rocket and Mescalito, his furry friends.

He is preceded by his parents, Vaughn and June Lewiston. He is survived by his partner Sheila, his sisters Sue and Sandy, his children Casey (Marylynn), Troy and Tammy (Daggs-Rees), granddaughter Elena Lewiston, grandson Hayden Rees, and numerous nieces, nephews, friends and loved ones.

“No wasted time, we’re alive today
Churning up the past, there’s no easier way
Time’s been between us, a means to an end
God it’s good to be here walking together my friend” — SRV

Rest in peace Dave, until we meet again. Your family.

Link to a website with some of Dave’s music with “The Checkered Demons.


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Dave Lewiston’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here. Email news@lostcoastoutpost.com.