Helen Peck died peacefully on October 14, 2019. Raised in Ferndale and a lifelong resident of Humboldt County, Helen was born in Alton, California on March 17, 1924 to Italian immigrants Francisco and Maria Dusina.
Helen graduated from Humboldt State College and started her teaching career at Cuddeback School in Carlotta in 1946, and soon moved to South Fortuna Elementary School and then Toddy Thomas where she continued teaching for a total of 35 years. It is hard to estimate the number of students who passed through her classroom and still to this day we get questions asking if we are related to Mrs. Peck.
In 1946 she met her husband of 72 years, George. They loved to walk and logged countless miles around Fortuna, usually with their beloved Schnauzers or adopted dogs. Helen was an avid supporter of the Humboldt Historical Society. After her retirement, she was instrumental with the Retired Teachers Association and the Little Red Schoolhouse and assisted in documenting local schools and their history. Helen was active in many different clubs and organizations including the Fuchsia Society, the Fortuna Garden Club, and back in the day, the Bridgeville Dance Club. Helen tended a grand garden, with many flowers, especially fuchsia, roses, and begonias. An excellent cook, Helen knew where find wild blackberries every summer and baked the best blackberry pies. In the fall, she knew where to find the chestnut trees and collected and roasted chestnuts for her family.
Helen is preceded in death by her parents, Francisco and Maria Dusina; her sisters and their husbands Norma and Frank Berti, and Alyce and Hector Senestraro.
She is survived by her husband, George, her son, Dennis and his wife Susan; her grandchildren and their spouses, Erin and Steve Barr and Jordan and Casey Peck, and her great granddaughter Juniper Peck.
She is also survived by her nieces and nephews Susie and Gary Huber, Kathy and Dan Brattain, Lyn Berti, Lori Berti Koches, Lane and Barbara Berti, and Jim Senestraro, Terry and Teresa Iversen, Lyn Iversen and Chris Lamoreaux, and David and Joselyn Iversen. She also survived by many great- and great-great nieces and nephews.
We would like to thank Hospice of Humboldt and Sequoia Springs Memory Care Center for their kindness and caring during Helen’s final days. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hospice of Humboldt or the Humboldt Historical Society.
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