Ernest “Ernie” L. Johnson, 86, of Goshen, NH, born October 10, 1932, in Claremont, NH passed away March 1, 2019 at Sullivan County Health Care.
Ernie married Betty (Gladue) in 1949 and over the years they raised three daughters; Christine, Patricia, and Annette. He was a man to put family first and loved his daughters and grandchildren very much. In the early years Ernie often joked about how he had to “just get in the harness and pull” as he had a kid on each knee to provide for by age of 18.
Ernie started logging at an early age with horses and rolling logs on trucks by hand. He said man’s best inventions were the chainsaw and the log loader Over the years he cut acres and acres of timber throughout Sullivan county and the surrounding areas. He was happiest in the woods cutting his favorite, the big pines, he loved to cut those “biggins” and hear them land. But he wasn’t ashamed to leave a tree behind if it “looks like a leave-er-right” meaning leave it right there for him to come back and cut it another day.The one piece of wisdom he left us with about owning land with timber on it “don’t forget to cut ‘em when they’re ready for market” he felt it was a waste to let good trees go beyond their prime.
Ernie grew up in Newport but lived most of his life in Goshen and Lempster building a new home each time he moved. He also ran a gravel bank in Lempster, some called it “Ernie gravel” because at the time the quality of the material was better than most. He built and ran a sawmill where Pine Tree Lumber now stands. He ran logging crews, log trucks, skidders, dump trucks, and any other equipment that was around.
Ernie loved to go about “horse trading”. Buying, selling, and trading. He would make deals on trucks, equipment, land, really anything he felt like parting with that day. Ernest was a friend to many and a man of many nicknames that included Ernie, Flywheel, Flintstone, Johnson and Julio. Each person he met seemed to have a nickname for him. Whether you called him Dad, Grampy, Uncle, or by one of his many nicknames, you knew you could always call him a friend.
Working hard and living everyday as if it was in the depression, keeping things simple and in perspective to what really mattered to him. Quick witted with sarcasm he could always keep a room full of smiles, with his being the biggest.
He is survived by his children Christine and Roland Durgin, of Goshen, Patricia and Robert Johnson of Pembroke, Annette and Phillip Howard of Lempster and his grandchildren-Tony and Lisa Durgin and family, E.J. Durgin and Heidi McAllister and family, Tammy and Rick Soule and family, Vicky Beard and family, Shawn and Milissa Howard and family, Adam Howard and Janet Gilson and family as well as several nieces and nephews.
He is predeceased by his parents, Myrgurine (LaFrance) and Joseph Johnson, as well as twin brothers Harold and Harry who died shortly after birth, his first wife Betty (Gladue) and second wife Hazel (Gladue).
We would like to thank the staff at Sullivan County Health Care for their loving and compassionate care of our father and his family during his stay at their facility.
Per Ernie’s instructions there will be no service or calling hours. His request to the family is to spread his ashes “in the woods where I have worked all my life, at the job I loved”.
There will be a celebration of Ernie’s life April 7th, at the Moose Hall in Newport from 1:00 - 5:00 pm.
In lieu of flowers or donations please plant a tree in Ernie’s memory.