Earle W. Johnson Dies; Was a Fisherman, Vet

Category: Obituaries
Created on Thursday, 18 March 2021 15:56
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Earle Warren Johnson

Earle Warren Johnson, a fisherman and a founder of the Northern Southeast Alaska Regional Aquaculture Association,  passed away at his home here March 10, 2021. He was 88.

Earle was born Sept. 9, 1932, in Excelsior, Minnesota, the son of Joseph E. and Mildred E. Johnson. He was raised on a farm where he tended an orchard with the rest of his five siblings. Not much more is known about his childhood years. 

At the age of 17, Earle enlisted in the United States Army and was deployed in the Korean War. During his enlistment, he met Jeanette Dixon whom he married and had a daughter with, Eileen Carver. Five years later they divorced, and Earle made his way to Alaska.

After moving to Sitka he became a logger on a floating logging camp that traveled throughout Southeast Alaska. While he was a logger he met the love of his life, Joan Jewell, along with her two children Glenda and Doug Hardcastle. They married in 1960 at the Sitka Courthouse, and for more than  50 years they were inseparable until Joanie’s death, in 2012. They had many adventures together, including opening a smoked fish business in Tenakee Springs and eventually settling on the family business of commercial fishing, trolling, shrimping and longlining throughout Southeast Alaska. Fishing is still alive and well in the family, thanks to Earle and his love for the sea. 

Because of Earle’s love of Sitka and fishing, he became one of the founding members of NSRAA and served on the board of the Seafood Producers Coop. He was an advocate for the NRA, and a lifelong member of the Elks Lodge and the American Legion. 

Earle definitely loved his secrets and all of his favorite fishing spots remain a secret to this day. He was also feared on the ocean by all sport fishermen but was completely loved in his town of Sitka.

He was a very loving and caring man, with a nonstop sense of humor. He was a consummate jokester and lived to make people laugh whether he had just met them or had known them forever. He was cracking jokes with family right until the end. Earle passed away peacefully in his home with a stomach full of his favorite foods and desserts. He was surrounded by family until his final breath.

Earle was preceded in death by his wife Joan Johnson and son Doug Hardcastle. He is survived by his children Glenda Boddy, Eileen Carver, and daughter-in-law Gracia Hardcastle. He created a long lineage with nine grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren. He will be dearly missed.

A celebration of his life will be held later this spring.