On Sunday, January 22, 2023, Leroy Rakestraw, loving husband, father, and papa of many passed away at the age of 86.

Leroy was born May 18,1936 in Eureka to Harry and Dorothy Rakestraw. He graduated from Eureka High School in Eureka. He had many passions in life. After he joined the Air Force and served his time in Arizona he got married to Betty Scott and they had a child, Pamela.

While he worked as a logger for most of his life, he pursued a college education graduating from Humboldt State College. He taught school for a while, then went back to logging. In 1974 he married his second wife, Cynthia. He then became a stepdad to four children. He then pursued the mission of becoming a Presbyterian minister and he obtained that, ministering at the Presbyterian Church in Orick.

After the children were raised they took up foster parenting. They became foster parents to many children. The ones that held the closest part in their heart were Albert and Barbara Mills, who they cared for as their own children. He also played a big part in the raising of his granddaughter Lacey. He had many hobbies, running and cycling, he participated in various marathons. He was cycling up until his last year of life. His other skills were woodworking, a mechanic and music.

Leroy was preceded in death by his wife Cynthia, his brother Herbert Brooks, his parents Harry and Dorothy Rakestaw, his granddaughter Shannon Ordonez, and his grandson Nicholas Sellars.

Leroy is survived by his brother Bob Rakestraw (Barbara), his sister in law Joanne Lewis (Richard),his brother in law John Panter, and numerous nieces and nephews. Leroy is survived by his daughter Pamela Rakestraw, His stepchildren, Lura Dickey (Stanley), Debbie Williams, Bobbie Williams (Allen)and Patrick Williams.

Leroy had many grandchildren: Rolland and Audrey, Ryan and Michaela, Eric and Kelly Dickey, Roseanne and Jessie Ordonez, Christine and Angela Williams, John, Jeff and Chloe Williams, Shelby and Chris, Lacey Readen, Brannon Hennings, Annabelle Mills, Aiden and Allen Chilcott, and Claudio Mills.

Lots of great grandchildren: Juan, Jasmine, Deborah, and Robert Esconbido, Theresia, Lucas, Natalie, Alexis, Karter,America, Kennedy, Corinne Dickey, Rylynn and Colton Lane, Kai and Kobe Yang,Koen Wolf, Thalia,Cyndi, Alicia, Tino and Cattleya Ordonez, Zachery Crain and Ariana Martinez.

Great-Great-Grandchildren: Camelia, Cartier and Kylo. He was known as Papa by all of his grandchildren.

We will be having a Celebration of Life on May 20, 2023 at Moonstone Beach House, Westhaven,12-3 p.m.

The family would like to extend a very special thank you to Wier’s Mortuary.


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