Allen Churchill Thibeau was born on May 23, 1950 in Frankfurt, Germany. The son of a U.S. Army Captain, Allen moved numerous times across the United States during his childhood. Although he didn’t call a single one of these places home, his fondest childhood memories were helping on his mother’s family farm in Farmington, Arkansas, spending time with his beloved cousins.

Eventually, his family settled down in Antioch, California, where Allen attended Antioch High School. He met the love of his life and eventual wife, Marilyn, in French Club. They started dating when she got up the nerve to ask him to the Sadie Hawkins Dance. Allen was Salutatorian of his 1968 graduating class. He was an incredibly well-read and intelligent man, and his love for learning continued throughout his life.

Allen went on to college at UC Berkeley. He majored in Forestry, where he cultivated his love for the outdoors. Allen’s first job out of college was at Simpson (Green Diamond) in Humboldt County. He liked it so much he ended up staying for 39 years. He always said it was the best job in the world because he got to do what he loved—be outdoors.

Allen was an avid hunter, backpacker, and fisherman, and loved sharing in these activities with his family. He loved baseball, especially when he could watch a game with his brother, John, or coach his son, Matt. In retirement, he enjoyed taking care of his dog, Skip, who was by his side for every adventure.

Allen enjoyed fixing and building things. He was meticulous and the type of person who read the instruction manual twice before he assembled something. He took pride in his work—and he worked hard.

When you really got to know Allen, and you peeled back the layer of rugged outdoorsman who could build anything with his two hands, you found that he was a multi-faceted person with the kindest soul.

Allen was soft-spoken, but an amazing listener. He didn’t talk just to talk; he thought carefully about his words and spoke with conviction.

Allen loved to listen to good music. And he was musically talented; he taught himself how to play both the guitar and piano. He had a beautiful singing voice. His kids loved when he would get his guitar out in the living room and play them songs, such as “The Fox Went Out On a Chilly Night,” before their bedtime.

Allen was an incredibly talented dancer. If there was a dance floor at any event, especially if there was live music, he was almost guaranteed to be on it, dancing. One of his favorite local events was the Jazz Festival—a little for the music, but mostly for the dancing. Of course, his favorite dancing partner was his wife, Marilyn.

Allen loved kids and babies. When he saw any baby out in public, he would light up and interact with them; he loved seeing the world through their eyes. He was the happiest when he was with his granddaughter, Annie. He absolutely loved being a grandpa. One of Allen’s favorite shirts read, “No one tells me what to do except my granddaughter!” He wore it proudly.

A piece of advice written and left by Allen reads, “Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s (almost) all small stuff.” Allen could always see the bigger picture, and he moved through life in a practical but thoughtful way.

Allen was a loving husband, gentle father, doting grandpa, and loyal friend. And although we wish we had more time on this Earth with him, we will honor him by choosing to see the bigger picture: the world is a better place for having had him in it.

Allen passed away peacefully on the morning of February 20, 2024.

Allen was preceded in death by his parents, Roy and Carolyn Thibeau.

Allen is survived by his devoted wife of 50 years, Marilyn Thibeau; son, Matthew Thibeau (Emma); daughter, Theresa Trenholm (Kyle); granddaughter, Annalise Trenholm; brother, John Thibeau (Marcie); and many other beloved family members.

There will be a celebration of life for Allen in Summer 2024 at Camp Bauer in Korbel, California. Please reach out to Allen’s immediate family for details. All who knew Allen are welcome.


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