David Joseph Lindstrom
February 9, 1932 – April 6, 2023

Dave Lindstrom passed away on April 6, 2023 after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. He was 91 years old.

Dave was born in Eureka on February 9, 1932. He grew up in Fairhaven on the Samoa Peninsula, where most of the Lindstrom family had settled. His first six grades were in one room at the Rolph School, which is now used by the Fairhaven Fire Department. After that, he attended Eureka Jr. and Sr. High School, where he ran track and played the trombone in the band.

He became interested in flying as a young boy, when the US Navy flew in several planes for an airshow at the Blimp Base, located near the current Fairhaven airport and dragstrip. At 14 years old, and to the surprise of his parents, he started flying lessons with Al Camilli. After some four hours of dual flight, he soloed and received his student license.

After graduating from Eureka high School in 1949, he took jobs at the local mills while going to Humboldt State College. After a year and a half at HSC, the Korean War broke out and he joined the Navy in the Aviation Division. After attending several schools from Jacksonville, Florida to Barbers Point, Hawaii, he received his “combat air crew” wings and was sent to an anti-submarine squadron located at Los Alamitos Navy Base. After training with submarines off San Diego and qualifying on “jeep” carriers, they made their first six-month tour off Korea. He said the most exciting times were getting shot off the 590-ft. carrier by the catapult. The carrier was the USS Bataan, which was said to have the fastest catapult in the Navy at the time, launching the planes to 90 knots, or over 100 mph, in 70 feet. The trick was getting back onto the carrier after a four-hour flight in the dark, which always made for “exciting” times.

After four years in the Navy, he returned home to resume working as an electrician. He spent his spare time building drag racing cars in his parent’s garage, one of which was the first “slingshot” dragster in Humboldt County. He went on to win multiple championships at the Samoa Drag Strip. His racing was put on hold when he married Deanne Walsh and began raising a family.

He continued his love of hunting throughout his life, with his best memories being times spent with his family and friends at the family hunting camp near Bug Creek Butte, becoming known locally as “Lindstrom Rock,” where his grandfather and father had hunted since 1917. He also made many out-of-state hunting trips with his family and friends, including hunting trips for mule deer, elk, caribou, and antelope.

Dave was also an avid fisherman. He especially loved salmon fishing in the local ocean waters. He built a cabin cruiser in 1963 in his parents’ garage and named her the “Dawn Marie” after his daughter. He was able to enjoy many salmon fishing trips with family and friends over the years.

After working as an electrician for about 14 years upon returning home from the Navy, he started his own electric motor repair shop, Arcata Electric Motor Service, and ran it until his retirement in 2004.

In the mid 1970s, he was able to resume his love of flying. He first bought a 1947 Stinson taildragger, then progressed to a Cessna 206 and later a Cessna 210. He enjoyed flying whenever he had the chance, including vacations as far away as Florida, flying to Fort Bragg to go diving for abalone, and to Baja, Mexico for fishing trips. He eventually sold the planes and bought a commercial fishing boat, naming her the “Josie L” after his mother, which his son Dale still operates, mainly for crab fishing in the winter months. He later bought a second and larger boat, naming her after his granddaughter Molly, which was used for offshore albacore fishing for a few years.

Dave is survived by his children, Dale Lindstrom, Dennis Lindstrom and Dawn Lindstrom, Jami Sanchez, Lani Bomshtein, stepson Jason Rainwater, his 7 grandchildren, and 14 great grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Josephine Lindstrom, his grandson Walter Lindstrom, and many lifelong friends, including Doug Lewallen and Bud Peterson. The family would like to express our gratitude to the Veterans Administration and Hospice of Humboldt for the wonderful care they gave our dad throughout the last years of his life.

A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, May 13 at 2 p.m., at the Veteran’s Hall in Arcata. All friends and family are welcome to attend and share stories and memories of Dave. Refreshments will be served.


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