Homer Alaska - Obituaries

Story last updated at 3:04 PM on Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Charles L. Johnson


Charles L. Johnson

Jan. 6, 1929-June 19, 2012

Charles L Johnson 83, died peacefully on June 19, 2012, among family at South Peninsula Hospital.

Chuck was born Jan. 6, 1929, to Cora Kirkendall and William Johnson in Independence, Iowa.

In 1947 Chuck headed to Alaska, a young man looking for adventure. His heart was soon lost to the beauty and wonder of the Alaska wilderness. The meat cutting skills he had learned, while working full time and attending high school, landed him a job as Warehouse Manager at the Ship Creek Market. He was only 18 years old. At Ship Creek, he worked with Eddie Schollenberger and they decided to go homesteading on the Kenai Peninsula. Chuck homesteaded in Anchor Point. Uncle Sam called him and he served as a supply sergeant in the army at Eielson Air Force Base, 502nd AA Unit Battery D. In 1951 he partnered with Ken Lancaster and built Our Point of View Lodge, Kenai Lake. Soon he found himself owning setnet sites on Kalgan Island. The mountains, ocean and beauty of the sea urged him into buying the F/V Sarah Maria, a halibut schooner, in 1965. A life of commercial fishing and boat building began. In 1967, with the help of his brother Earl, he built his own seine boat the F/V Little Mike. Chuck commercial salmon seined in Kodiak for many years and eventually seined in Prince William Sound. In the late 70s he began building a 40-foot aluminum seine boat, the F/V Bigger Mike. Chuck enjoyed deck loading the F/V Bigger Mike. The boat and design he had developed, with the help of his brother and friends, pleased his eye and rode the water well. Chuck could never walk past a boat without checking out its lines. He admired a boat that had been designed and built well. Between building boats and commercial fishing Chuck also bought and renovated a meat packing plant in Colville, Wash., mined for gold at Beauty Bay, and built two commercial shops.

Chuck married Rosemary Walber in 1982. They shared a special connection and commitment for almost 30 years. As life tried to slow Chuck down he took up painting, wine making, golfing, horseshoes and sport fishing. At the age of 81, he helped his son rebuild a 30-foot drift boat, the F/V Jaws.

Chuck was a special man who shared his love, skills, and abilities with so many. His legacy to us is to respect ourselves and others, offer our talents to those who need them, and encourage everyone to take chances, enjoy life, and grab the humorous moments life offers each day, his family said.

Chuck was preceded in death by his mother, Cora Kirkendal; father William Johnson, and sisters Marilyn Belenski and Carole Reed. He is survived by brothers Earl and Walter Johnson, wife Rosemary Johnson, sons Michael and Chelsa Johnson, daughter Corie Johnson, and numerous nieces and nephews. A celebration of life for Chuck will be held Aug. 12, 2012, at his home. More information will be released in the future.

Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel and Crematory.