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Francis Albert Dutra
February 27, 1929 ~ October 2, 2023 (age 94) 94 Years Old
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It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Frank Dutra on October 2, 2023. Frank, a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, and friend, left us with a lifetime of cherished memories. He was 94 years old.
Frank was born to Antone and Rose Dutra in Alton, California, on February 27, 1929. He was raised on Humboldt Hill, where as a teenager he met his neighbor and future wife, Dorothy Mello. Their love story was nothing short of extraordinary. They married just two weeks after Dorothy graduated from high school and recently celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary together.
Throughout his life, Frank wore many hats with unwavering dedication and commitment. He worked as a mill worker, a dairyman, a school bus driver, and a truck driver. Together with Dorothy, he lived in Rio Dell, Arcata, Blue Lake, McKinleyville, and Willow Creek. While living in Blue Lake they purchased a ranch and raised beef cattle during the 1960s.
It was during his time driving trucks for Arthur B. Siri that Frank's entrepreneurial spirit shone through when he was given the opportunity to buy ten trucks. Over time, he and Dorothy grew the small trucking operation into the Dutra Trucking Company, expanding the fleet to over 200 of the iconic blue and white trucks that became an unforgettable part of the Humboldt County landscape. He was the first one at the shop each morning, ensuring every driver had what they needed to start their day. Frank knew every one of his employees by name and was known for his kindness and generosity to all. Frank also took great pride in being one of the founding fathers and directors of Humboldt Bank, which later became Umpqua Bank.
In 1964, Frank and Dorothy constructed their A-frame cabin in Trinity Village, where countless memories were made with family and friends. He and Dorothy embarked on numerous adventures together, traveling throughout the United States, including Alaska and Canada, in their motorhome, forming lifelong friendships along the way. In 1983 Frank and Dorothy joined the Outdoor Resort in Cathedral City, where they enjoyed spending the winters with friends and hosting family gatherings.
Frank will forever be remembered for his quick wit, fun sense of humor, and boundless generosity that endeared him to all who had the privilege of knowing him.
Frank was preceded in death by his mother, Rose Dutra; his father, Antone Dutra; his brother, Tony Dutra; his sisters, Albertina Cordiero and Mary Bianchi; and his son-in-law, Clint Hunter Sr.
Frank leaves behind a legacy of love and family. He is survived by his adoring wife of 75 years, Dorothy Dutra; his daughters, Susan Hunter, Diane Parker (Rich), and Vicki Long (Mike); his grandchildren, Clint Hunter (Misty), Dennis Hunter, Michelle Hunter, Jessica Parker, Kacey Bridgeman (Dan), Tara Laux (David), Kial Baker (Luke), and Ryan Long (Jenna); and 15 great-grandchildren, all of whom he loved dearly.
A service to honor and celebrate Frank's life will be held at St. Mary's Church in Arcata on October 15, 2023, at 12:30 PM, with a reception to follow at Baywood Golf & Country Club. In lieu of gifts, the family kindly requests that you consider donating to St. Mary's Catholic Church in Frank's memory.
Frank Dutra touched our lives in profound ways, leaving behind a legacy of love, laughter, and enduring memories. He will be deeply missed but forever remembered in our hearts.