PORT TOWNSEND — Area businessman Carl H. Johnson will be remembered during a celebration of life gathering expected to draw some 400 people Saturday.
The gathering will be at 1 p.m. at the Fort Worden Commons.
A clam and salmon bake reception is planned immediately following at the Irondale Evangelical Free Church, 681 Irondale Road, in Port Hadlock.
Johnson died Dec. 4 after a short illness.
Born to Harrold and Lola Johnson in Port Townsend on May 17, 1921, he moved to Marrowstone Island shortly thereafter and lived there all his life.
Johnson was a successful entrepreneur in Jefferson County, establishing several area businesses. He built on the successes of his grandfather and father in the area.
In turn, his businesses still carry the Johnson family name.
Son Jake Johnson owns his trucking business, now known as Carl H. Johnson & Son Trucking and Excavation.
A clam and oyster business, now known as Marrowstone Island Shellfish Co., also is owned by Jake. Carl’s Building Supply is owned by son Lawrence, who bought the business in 1992.
In addition to eulogies by sons Leonard and Lawrence, music, poems, prayers and song, a tribal dedication by the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe Canoe Family is planned.
“My dad had a business relationship with the S’Klallam tribe,” Lawrence Johnson said. “ He bought clams from them and brought them supplies and helped them out when they needed it. He maintained a friendship with them for many years.”
A presentation of the colors ceremony will take place as Johnson was also a World War II Navy veteran.
“My dad made an impact on this community,” his son said.
“He helped people in many ways. From delivering supplies by boat, to starting the trucking company, to delivering lumber so they could build houses a few decades ago, he was always trying to solve a problem for someone.
“He would extend credit to strangers back in the day,” he said. “They would come in and say they were building a house, and my dad would help them out. We think they paid their bills, but aren’t completely sure.
“My dad lived to work and had a strong ethic. He would often put business first, but we all understood who he was.”
Lawrence Johnson said customers of the lumber company have dropped off dozens of cards and letters.
About 100 family members from the area as well as from California, Alaska, Montana and Oregon are expected to attend the gathering. Johnson said another 300 employees, community members and friends also are expected to celebrate Carl Johnson’s life.
Jeannie McMacken is a freelance writer and photographer living in Port Townsend.