Carsten E. Johnsen, our family patriarch, passed away on his 99th birthday, on October 27, 2018. It was Husky game day, his favorite time of the year.
Growing up in South Bend, Washington, Carsten was the oldest son of Norwegian immigrants. He worked hard all his life, but he had no regrets.
He was a star athlete in high school, but there was no money for college, so he married his high school sweetheart, Louise, and worked on a river dredge before joining the U.S. Air Force and W.W. II, in his early twenties. He trained as a navigator in Texas, then luckily the war ended. With his growing family, he relocated to Portland, Oregon, taking a job with the Army Corp of Engineers, buying lumber for the government. Being a salesman suited him, so he moved his family to Seattle where he and a partner created Kennedy-Johnsen Lumber Inc., a wholesale lumber company whose success reached around the world for more than 50 years. He finally retired at age 80.
When he wasn’t working, he was playing. He and Louise spent many winters in Hawaii, walking on the beach, toasting sunsets, watching for whales and hosting their children and grandchildren. He loved golfing, boating, fishing, dancing, rooting for the Huskies (for 70 years) and on occasion, smoking a good cigar. His beloved wife of 78 years, Louise, passed away earlier this year. We know they are together.
He is survived by his 3 children, Pat, Susan and Steve, their spouses, 8 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.
We’ll miss you, Dad.