Carroll Richard Johnson passed away unexpectedly on January 27, 2023. Carroll, the oldest of three children, was born on August 17, 1953, to Shirley Irene Swall and Richard Leonard Johnson. Carroll grew up in Fortuna. At the age of nine, Carroll started working in the fishing industry, and spent summers and weekends fishing on his dad’s commercial boat.

In 1973, at the age of 20, he married his high school sweetheart, Lynne Dorris, and together they bought their first fishing vessel, the Helen Marie. Later, they were partners with a friend in owning and operating the Ocean Fresh Fish market in Fortuna and had three daughters together. Lynne and Carroll eventually divorced but continued to be a united front in raising their daughters.

Carroll fished commercially for salmon, tuna, and crab with the Helen Marie, Lettie M, and Belle J II, and also trawled with the Clara G, High Sea, and Stormbringer. His most recent fishing vessel was the Rian Faith, which he fished while living his “retired” life. Carroll could never stay on land too long before he longed to be back on the ocean. He once said “I love the freedom and beauty of this coast. I like to drift with the nets when the wind blows.”

Carroll had a big presence. He had an enthusiasm for life and was always up for an adventure. He made many friends along the way and everyone he met seemed to have a favorite “Carroll story”. Anyone who truly knew Carroll knew that he was so much more than his struggles, he had a big heart and gave generously to others his entire life, even if it was to his detriment. Carroll enjoyed many hobbies such as golf, bowling, sport fishing, listening to music, traveling, and playing cards with friends and family. He enjoyed jokes and had many original sayings for which he will be remembered. He attended church throughout his life and was a true believer in Christ.

Carroll’s daughters and grandkids were his world. He took his children on grand adventures with friends often in tow. Carroll loved to spend time with his grandkids. He enjoyed watching them play sports, watching movies, going to the zoo, and teaching them how to fish.

Carroll is survived by his former wife, Lynne McLaughlin, and their children, Robin (husband Truman) Renner, Kristen Prince, & Kelli (husband Michael) Flanagan. His memory lives on with his grandchildren Jaron, Rilynn, Hudson, Henry, Briggs, and Camden; his father Richard Johnson; his sister Cindy (Calvin) Fisher, and his brother Bruce (Joyce) Johnson; as well as cousins, nieces, and nephews; many close friends, including Brad and Ian, to whom he loved passing down his fishing knowledge and getting the latest “As The Dock Turns” scoop on their daily calls. Carroll was preceded in death by his beloved mother Shirley Maxon and stepdad Lee Maxon.

A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, April 8, 2023, between 1:00-3:00 p.m. at the Samoa Women’s Club, 115 Rideout Ave., Samoa. Friends and family are invited to come and share their favorite stories and memories. Beverages and hors d’oeuvres will be served.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that a donation be made in Carroll’s name to the scholarship fund of the Humboldt Fisherman Wives’ Association. The scholarships are available to children and grandchildren of commercial fisherman for post-secondary education.


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