Richard “Dick” Cahill peacefully passed away at the age of 86 with his family at his side on March 3. Dick was the second of seven children born to Leonard and Bridget Cahill and grew up in Loyalton.

Developing his strong work ethic no doubt came from his family dynamics. During the Depression years, Dick’s job around home was his morning and evening chores of milking the family cows by hand: Lucy 1, Lucy 2 and Lucy 3. Being in a large family, it was his personality to be peacemaker among his siblings.

Having been active in high school government and sports, especially football, Dick graduated from Loyalton High School in 1955. His family moved to Arcata and Dick enrolled in Humboldt State College, where he became part of the Lumberjack Football teams from 1955 to 1958. In his senior year he received recognition as an All-American Tackle. Later, in 1963-1964, he played for the local Humboldt Foresters and was inducted into the Humboldt State Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995. So many wonderful friendships were created over those years.

Dick spent a brief stint in the military at Fort Hood in Texas, Killeen Base, High Security Operations, where he served as secretary to the Commander.

He returned to Humboldt County to finish his education and graduated from HSC in 1965 with a teaching credential in Social Studies and Physical Education. While at Humboldt, Dick met the love of his life, Pat Regli, and the two were wed in Ferndale on August 5, 1961, later settling there for 55 years. As their children grew up, the Fortuna-Ferndale sports rivalry became an interesting and entertaining family issue.

Dick started his teaching career at Westwood High in Lassen County, but quickly returned to Humboldt, where he began his legacy at Fortuna High School. Dick, more commonly referred to as “Coach Cahill”, taught several subjects at Fortuna High. He believed some of the best teaching happened outside of the classroom, and as such, committed his extra time to supporting Fortuna’s student athletes. During his tenure at FUHS, Dick coached baseball, JV football, varsity football for 21 years and was Athletic Director. In 1978 he was named the NCS Division II Coach of the Year and inducted into the Fortuna High Hall of Fame in 2014. He was very grateful when former students and players greeted him, just to say hello or thank him for what he had taught them while reminiscing about fond memories.

Retiring from his 31-year teaching career in 1995, Dick spent quality time with his four children and their families in Humboldt County and Visalia. Some of his favorite activities were traveling, golfing, cheering on the 49ers, abalone diving in Fort Bragg, and spending time at the family cabin at Ruth Lake. He especially enjoyed attending and encouraging the sports and various activities of his seven grandchildren, and was always a great source of entertainment wherever he went.

Dick is deeply missed, but he leaves a legacy that will continue to live on in the hearts of many. What Dick accomplished in his lifetime, he did humbly, quietly and sincerely. When confronted with challenges, he was always optimistic and reminded others to see the bigger picture and not “sweat the small stuff” in life. Treating all with respect and dignity, his moral compass always pointed in the right direction, inspiring others to live their lives the same way.

Dick’s dedication and commitment to his family, job and students consumed most of his days. He was an active member of Ferndale’s Assumption Parish, serving on the finance committee for many years and also volunteered at the Ferndale Museum.

Dick is preceded in death by his parents Leonard and Bridget Keough Cahill; brothers John, Bill, and Gary Cahill; in-laws A.J. and Elizabeth Regli; brothers-in-law John Silva, Alan Rohrbach, Dale Gier, Joseph Regli, and Jimmy Regli; sister-in-law Eileen (Wes) Simpson.

He is survived by Patricia, his wife of 62 years and children: Denise, Visalia; Christopher (Lea), Fortuna; Jennifer (Rob) Budwig, Ferndale; and Greg (Sandi), Visalia; grandchildren: Zach (Kayla) Cahill and Great Granddaughter, Amelia, Katrina (Travis) Mendes, Nolan Cahill, Ava Cahill, Bridget Cahill, Grant Cahill and Grady Cahill; sisters: Shannon Rohrbach, Catherine (Don) Dellabalma, and Nancy Silva; in-laws: Elaine Cahill, Carole Cahill, and Camille Regli, Phil (Harlean) Regli and John (Sally) Regli: cousin Mike (Carol) Cahill as well as many Cahill and Regli nieces and nephews.

A 7 p.m. rosary will be held on Friday, March 31, at the Assumption Church, Ferndale. The funeral mass will be celebrated by Rev. Fr. Mario Laguros on Saturday, April 1st at 10 a.m., also at Assumption Church. Interment will immediately follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery. A Celebration of Life will be held at the Fortuna Veterans’ Hall, Main Street, Fortuna from 12:30-4 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be sent to: Fortuna High School Football Program, 379 12th St. Fortuna, 95540; Hospice of Humboldt, 3327 Timber Fall Ct., Eureka, CA 95503; Humboldt Senior Center, Alzheimer Services, 1910 California St., Eureka 95501; or your favorite charity.


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