Audrea Filbey (Hafner) was born on March 12, 1977, in Arcata, to Timothy Hafner and Sandra Andrews and passed away on February 2, 2024, in Eureka, two years and four months after being diagnosed with treatment-resistant Ewing cancer.

Growing up, Audrea loved painting rainbows, music (she played the clarinet and taught herself how to play the piano), playing with her Rainbow Brite and Strawberry Shortcake dolls, honing her skills on the monkey bars, riding her bike, and most of all, playing with her little sister, Allie. The day Allie was born, Audrea told her mother that she was actually her baby and that she would be the one to take care of Allie! The sisters developed a bond like no other and would often be found rolling around in fits of laughter, unable to breathe at times. They were inseparable from day one and had a lifelong, unbreakable bond.

During her first year at college, Audrea was introduced to her husband and the man of her dreams, Aaron Filbey. From the first day she met him, she knew, deep down in her bones, that Aaron was the only one for her. Theirs was a cherished and enduring love. A little more than a year later, they welcomed their first child, Miranda, and then three years after that, came their son Noah. Audrea adored being a mother and put all of herself into being the best mom she could be to her children. She was their number one cheerleader as well as their fiercest advocate. She never missed an opportunity to tell them how very proud she was of them for being true to themselves and for their continued growth and self-expression. She and Miranda would often spend weekends going out for coffee, trying new foods, and visiting different nurseries in the hopes of finding some new plant babies to take home with them! She found great joy in watching and listening to Aaron and Noah playing their guitars together at home. As a family, they enjoyed playing games around the kitchen table, going to the beach with their dog, Stella, and snuggling with their three cats Ninja, Honey, and Badger. They also hosted an annual Summer Solstice Party at their Old Harris property in Garberville, where Aaron was born. Family and friends would come from all over to attend this epic week-long event. It was truly one of their favorite traditions and something they spent the whole year looking forward to.

Audrea knew, since childhood, that she wanted to become an elementary school teacher. She never imagined she would be anything else. After graduating with her teaching credential from Humboldt State University in 2003, she was offered a position at Ridgewood Elementary School. She taught for a total of 21 years! When it came to teaching, Audrea was one of the best. She dedicated 100% of herself to her students and treasured each and every class she ever taught. She would be found tirelessly working well into the evenings and on weekends to make sure her students received the highest level of education possible, while at the same time giving them the love and care they needed to grow and flourish. At the end of every day, and in the special, individualized notes she would give her students at the end of the school year, she would always say “And don’t forget, Mrs. Filbey loves you!” Her former students would return to her classroom well into their teen years and early adulthood to let her know what an impact she had made on their lives, how much they appreciated her, and that she was their favorite teacher ever. She was an exemplary educator and received the utmost respect and admiration from her colleagues. Her school family’s love for her is immeasurable. Because of this, her presence on campus will never truly be gone. They will all carry a little bit of her in their hearts, which will create a ripple effect that will be felt by future generations of students.

Over her lifetime, Audrea amassed a countless number of friendships, all significant in their own way. Her three lifelong best friends, Meara Hattan, Heather Vasquez and Laura (Lou) Tinari, each played an important role in her life. All three brought meaning, comfort, humor, companionship and deep love to Audrea. She treasured each of them and the unique gifts their friendships brought into her world. When she wasn’t spending time with her family or working, Audrea had many hobbies and passions that kept her busy! She loved gardening, cooking (always with a kitchen towel draped over her left shoulder (just like her dad), music and dancing (she could turn any event into a dance party), traveling, and anything to do with making and appreciating art, a talent passed on to her from her mother, no doubt. Audrea also loved spending time with her 8-year-old nephew, Cylas. She cherished her role as Cy’s “TT”. She would often say how he would brighten her spirit on even the darkest of days. He meant the world to her.

Audrea was a friend to everyone and an emotional rock to many. She loved to laugh; it was one of her primary love languages! Anyone who ever met her was changed for the better. Her kindness, compassion, empathy, generosity, and unconditional love were felt by the entire community. Her light shined so brightly, that wherever she went, those lucky enough to be around her felt and cherished the warm glow of her presence. She will be deeply and forever missed. Her spirit will be carried on in the hearts of every life she touched. Honor and remember her by embodying the qualities that made her the inspirational and unforgettable human being that she was. And never forget: Mrs. Filbey loves you!

A special thank you to the following people:

Aaron, for being by her side, loving, and supporting her for over 27 years. Your love, dedication, and devotion to her was a sight to behold. You were with her through every one of life’s ups and downs and did so while always being able to make her laugh. Thank you for being a true partner to her in every way imaginable.

Lou Tinari and Dani Hinrichs for creating Audrea’s GoFundMe account which provided Audrea and her family with the financial support they needed over the last two years during her cancer treatment at UCSF. And, also to Lou, for walking by Audrea’s side throughout her entire experience with cancer and being there with her in San Fransisco during every single one of her 14 chemotherapy treatments as well as the many radiation treatments to follow. Your support and dedication will be forever appreciated. Mike Richards, Cylas’ teacher, as well as one of Audrea’s closest friends and a colleague at Ridgewood, for providing Cylas with such love and care during this extremely difficult time.

Both Danielle, Miranda’s partner, and Chi, Noah’s partner. Knowing her children were in loving and supportive relationships brought her a great deal of peace and comfort.

Shannon and Iris Filbey for being the little lights that they are.

Audrea is survived by her father, Timothy Hafner; mother Sandra Andrews; husband, Aaron Filbey; daughter, Miranda Filbey; son, Noah Filbey; sister, Allie Brown; nephew, Cylas Engel; grandmother, Jeanene Smith; aunt Cynthia Andrews; father-in-law Bob Filbey; sister-in-law, Iris Filbey; brother-in-law, Shannon Filbey and many other family and friends.

She is preceded in death by grandfather, Frank Hafner; grandfather, Earl Andrews; grandmother Mary Hafner; Aunt Judy Hafner, and Uncle Bill Hafner.A community celebration of life will be held on Saturday, March 9, at the Elks Club in Eureka, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Bring the love in your heart, a story to share, and your dancing shoes…


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