We mourn the death of our friend Cedric Collett, 66, active environmentalist and retired Pacifica firefighter. The Celebration of Life honoring Cedric on May 25 at Pedro Point Firehouse saw a huge turnout of family, friends, and colleagues. Crowds of well-wishers with drinks in hand spilled out onto the sidewalk and deck. Police cars with flashing lights double-parked in the street.
Cedric's friend Deirdre Finnegan writes: "It is with heavy heart that I share the sad news of the passing of a dear, dear friend of both yours and mine. Our good friend Cedric Collett passed from this life while abalone diving in Sonoma County.
Cedric was a loyal friend and member of the Pacifica Beach Coalition and the Pedro Point Headlands group. He was a firefighter in Pacifica and was devoted to the community in more ways than we can count. Our friend Cedric was dedicated to the preservation of our coastal habitat through his immeasurable daily actions in Pacifica.
Cedric was a constant fixture at my monthly beach cleanups at Sharp Park at 9 a.m. He came sometimes with a bag already filled from his walk from Mori Point and always with a smile on his face and a story to share about things that he found or areas for concern.
Cedric was full of so many great ideas about ways in which we could help keep Pacifica beautiful. Cedric and I became friends through the Pacifica Beach Coalition. He knew everything about California and the environment and the ocean. He was such a wealth of knowledge and a friendly spirit always willing to share his wisdom with those around him.
I was also lucky enough to have a friendship with Cedric outside of the PBC. Such a fascinating man, he and my dad also became close friends. Cedric introduced us to bay swimming at the Dolphin Club in SF at Aquatic Park! More often my dad and Cedric would swim together at Aquatic Park or Jean Brink Pool or hike or just have lunch.
Cedric showed us the Dipsea Trail in Marin, which was his backyard and cross-country course growing up. One time he took me and my dad to hike a “Double Dipsea” – out and back – it took us 5 hours. He showed us the secret spring and the best view to sit and eat our lunch on the hike. We were so blessed to have shared these experiences with Cedric. My dad called him Saturday night to see if he wanted to hike a section of the Dipsea, which is when his wife shared the sad news of his passing. We were devastated.
I am comforted by memories of his hearty deep laugh, his sheepish smile, his sparkling eyes, and his ever present spirit in Pacifica. Cedric made a wonderful mark on our mother earth, and his spirit will live on forever in Pacifica through his years of daily dedication to our community and environment. The world has lost a precious soul, but I am gladdened knowing that he passed doing something he loved, in nature, making his mark. Peace, love, and laughter to all."
Please send donations in Cedric's memory to his wife Maggie Collett, 275 Angelita Avenue, Pacifica, CA 94044.