Cathy Jean Richards
Jan. 16, 1953 – Oct. 5, 2023

Cathy Jean Richards passed away peacefully on October 5, 2023 surrounded by her family. She was born in Ft. Lewis, Washington to Gerald Ray Christenson and Corrine Cecelia Petrusha on January 16, 1953. Most of Cathy’s younger years, you could find her in McKinleyville with her mom and dad, brother Jerry and Heidi, her sister. Cathy’s favorite activities were riding her horse, BigEnough, and sewing. They usually were attending weekend activities with the Arcata Fire Department, Bill and JoAnn McKenzie family, or going to Trinity Lake to stay on the houseboat. And if they were traveling, they would be heading back to Libby, Montana where their parents were or to Seattle, Washington to visit cousins.

Cathy attended St. Mary’s Elementary School in Arcata for several years until they moved to McKinleyville, where she attended McKinleyville Elementary Schools. In high school Cathy was an excellent student, along with being a cheerleader and song queen. She graduated from McKinleyville High School in 1971 and then attended College of the Redwoods.

At Christ the King Parish, Cathy met her soul mate, Kenny Richards, in catechism. They went together in elementary school, high school and junior college. They were married at St. Mary’s Church in Arcata on February 17, 1973 in a Nuptial Mass Ceremony. They were together in marriage for 50 and one half years. They had three boys: Her first son, Bill and his wife Amy, with four children Kalyn, Travis, Chloe, and Gunner with one grandchild, Hudson; her second son, John, and his wife Madeline and two children Talin and Wyatt; Thomas, her third son, and his wife Kellie and son Jaxon.

While in high school she worked at Ron’s Villa Pharmacy in McKinleyville, and moved on to Hooven and Turner Excavation in the 1970s. Later she was hired at the Northern Humboldt Union High School District for 27 years as an account technician and back up payroll technician, and then she retired.

Over the last 50 years, Cathy spent time in Willow Creek or at Trinity Lake on the houseboat, snow skiing, or riding her horse, Dani, with Nancy Bettendorf and JoAnn Ricci. Cathy absolutely loved riding and being with her horse. Cathy was known by her many friends. Her friend Rachel Barnett has been a cornerstone for her through the years. Cathy was a great role model as a parent and her love that she had for her grandchildren, great-grandchild, sons, husband, brother, sister, cousins, and friends was second to none.

Cathy would be known most as being a great mother. She treated everyone with love. Cathy was always there for her kids and grandkids as well as transporting other neighborhood children to baseball, football and golf matches. She loved spending time with her family and never passed up an opportunity to do so. Cathy and Kenny were Grand Marshall’s of the Pony Express Days Parade and received the McKinleyville Community Service Award in 2018.

Lastly, Cathy wanted to thank her nephew, Doctor Sean Grammy, for saving her life and advising her every step of the way through difficult medical times.

Services for Cathy Richards will be held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Arcata on Saturday, Oct. 14. Rosary will be at 10:30 a.m., Mass at 11 a.m., and Reception at 12 p.m.


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