It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Demos Barcelos on February 20, 2024. He was born on March 9, 1957, in Hanford, Calif. and moved to Humboldt County as a young child where he lived the rest of his life.

Demos spent his early years working on his family’s ranch helping raise most of their food. He and his brother Tony were expected to toe the line, pull their weight and work hard every day but would “raise a little Hell” with friend Gene when their dad was not home. They would shoot BB guns and ride motorcycles inside the house and as teenagers, borrow dad’s car without permission. Above all, Demos was taught to be hard-working, honest, self-reliant and to always excel at everything he did. All these traits earned him respect from anyone who worked with him on the job or on projects.

Demos started his work career at Louisiana Pacific in Carlotta working nights and going to high school during the day. He was then hired by The Pacific Lumber Company (Palco) in 1977 and worked 38 years in the lumber industry. He held many roles including Tableman, Grader, Sales Coordinator, and advancing to Quality Control Manager. He had mentors he greatly admired and said they were the best in the industry including John Campbell, Jack Coleman, Buzz Sarvinski, Gary Macy and Ron Bush to name a few. After Palco and HRC, Demos decided he needed a change, so he started at Fortuna Ace Hardware in 2016 working in the lumber yard and assisting customers. He had much respect for owners Jack Rieke and Jerry King and loved his coworkers often telling them that he did. He said he had his Palco “family” and his Ace “family” and the outpouring of love and prayers from both during his illness was inspiring. To those who reached out, please know Demos felt the love.

In his younger years, Demos owned countless muscle cars buying and selling so many he was warned he needed a used car dealer’s license. He loved cruising town with loud music playing on the best stereo money could buy, riding 3-wheelers at the dunes, camping and fishing trips, hunting, beach parties, crabbing, and riding motorcycles and 4-wheelers. One day when he was cruising town, he asked a girl named Debbie to cruise with him. They drove around for hours blaring an 8-track tape of the Beatles then stopping at Bob’s Footlongs to eat (Demos always ordered 2 taco burgers, a corn dog, large garlic fry, vanilla shake, hot fudge sundae). That was the beginning of 48 years together.

In recent years, he enjoyed playing music with his kids and grandkids blaring Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles, Dire Staits and Tom Petty. House of the Rising Sun was his signature song which he expertly played on the guitar. He also showed his grandkids how to plant and harvest enough potatoes to last the family a year and gave them rides on his riding mower, fishing boat and 4-wheeler. Demos was an enthusiastic outdoorsman and loved sharing that passion with his family and friends. When he became ill, he watched many episodes of Gunsmoke and Hawaii 5-O with his furry friend Winnie snuggled beside him in his recliner. Above all else, he was a committed family man who would do anything for those he cared about.

Demos said he was not ready to leave this earth as there were still so many fish to catch, deer to hunt, gardens to sow, home projects to complete, music to play, drones to fly and people to tell “glad you got to see me”. Unfortunately, a rare and aggressive form of cancer took him quickly and too soon. When his health failed, Debbie and their children stayed by his side at home until his passing as he wished. Demos left a huge void and will be deeply missed.

Demos was preceded in death by his biological mother, Maria (at age 3), his dad Antonio, bonus mom Filomena who raised him from 1961 on as her own, and son Jesse. He is survived by his wife Debbie, daughter Tracie (Jeremy), son Trevor (Jessie); grandchildren Damien, Mahayla, Auvanie, Noah, Finn and Izzy; brother Tony (Lori), “brother from another mother” Gene Demello; in-laws Bob and Sena, Dena (Dale), Delvin (Tami), Dawnette (Eric), Denton (Carlene); many nieces and nephews, his beloved dog Winnie and many friends too numerous to name.

A special thank you to Dr. Ben Hunter, Dr. Tony Alexander Anagnostou and Hospice for their excellent and compassionate care and guidance. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Hospice or your favorite charity. To those who visited, brought food, coffee, or flowers, know how much your kindness is appreciated.

A celebration of life will be held at a future date yet to be determined.


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