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A message from Erin Johnson’s family

  • Author: Erin Johnson's family
    | Opinion
  • Updated: June 23, 2017
  • Published June 22, 2017

Erin Johnson, husband Abe Schmidt and dog Scamp on the top of Mount Rumble. Johnson was killed by a bear at the Pogo Mine while on the job Monday, June 19, 2017. (Courtesy of Abe Schmidt)

Erin was a beautiful, compassionate, and passionate person — who lived her brief 27 years to the fullest. Being outside, exploring wild and remote places with her best friend and husband Abe, her parents Barb and Steve, and her extended family of friends and loved ones was one of her favorite joys.

A lifelong Alaskan, Erin grew up in the mountains, especially those behind her parents' home in Chugiak. A talented and tenacious athlete, she represented the United States as a member of the Junior Olympic Nordic Ski Team in 2006 and 2007.

She explored more corners of the state through personal and work trips than most people could ever dream up in a lifetime. A geologist and botanist by training, she studied at the University of Montana and University of Alaska Anchorage and had a deep scientific appreciation for the nature she loved to explore.  She skied, packrafted, mountain biked and backpacked her way around Alaska and the world.

Erin's wonderful energy, quirky sense of humor, dedication, sparkle, generosity and talent touched everyone she knew, and left them all the better. Her passions extended to gardening, playing her violin, making art in many forms, a love of board games, foraging and preserving the bounty she harvested.

Erin's family and friends request that, in lieu of flowers, contributions be sent to the Erin Johnson Memorial Fund, established to support two of Erin's most cherished values — connecting youth with the outdoors and conserving Alaska's wild places.

— Erin Johnson's family

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