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Obituary: Eric Anderson Johnson

Published in The Concord Monitor on Mar. 18, 2017

ANDOVER – Eric passed from this life Tuesday, March 14, 2017, at the age of 47 from the effects of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), peacefully and surrounded by his family in Concord’s Hospice House. As a person who loved big snowstorms, it seems fitting that his passing would be during a big nor’easter.

He is survived by his loving wife of 20 years, Heide (Novado) and daughters, Annika and Britta of Andover; parents, Dr. Leonard and Patricia (Paige) Johnson of North Falmouth, Mass.; sister Paige (William Roth) of Fairhaven Mass.; brother, Keith (Patti O’Leary) of Brewster, Mass.; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews, and many devoted friends and colleagues.

Like Lou Gehrig, and despite ALS, Eric also considered himself lucky, and fit a remarkable variety of experiences into his too-short lifetime. Eric was born on Feb. 21, 1970, in Cambridge, Mass. First living in Stow, Mass., then moving to Cape Cod, he had plenty of opportunities to spend time on the ocean, sailing and windsurfing. He graduated from Proctor Academy in 1988, and went on to graduate from St. Lawrence University (1992) concentrating on Government and African Studies, after spending six months with SLU’s program in Kenya. Eric returned to teach at Proctor Academy in the social science department, and mountain classroom program from 1992 – 1999. His love for the outdoors led him to lead summer wilderness trips with Longacre Expeditions, and the National Outdoor Leadership School before apprenticing and then working as a timber framer with Northeast Joiners from 1999 – 2002.

Always interested in being active within his community, Eric was a member and past chair of the Andover Planning Board 1999 – 2013. Eric then ‘branched out’ into what became his most satisfying work – with the New Hampshire forestry industry. He founded Tucker Mountain Timber, doing diversified forestry in New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. This led to what he considered ‘his perfect job’ – being Program Director with the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association (2009 – 2015), which blended his love of teaching, New Hampshire’s forests, and the remarkable men and women who work in our state’s great forests.

Eric had many passions in his life – in addition to his love of the ocean, he equally loved the mountains, hiking, climbing and telemark skiing. Road trips were always welcomed – one of which led Eric and his family to spend a year in Rossland, British Columbia. He was fascinated with machines large and small (and fixing them), maple sugaring, and devoted to his family. He was generous with his time and his talents, and the ripples of his life have spread wide.

A celebration of Eric’s life will happen in early June, when we can all be more comfortably outdoors, as Eric has wished.

The Johnson family is incredibly grateful for the love and support of so many, for the friends and colleagues that regularly came by to visit with Eric, for his caregivers that helped him this past half year, and for the guidance of Concord VNA Hospice during Eric’s final weeks.

Eric’s family requests that donations be made in his honor to the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association, nhtoa.org; or Compassionate Care ALS, P.O. Box 1052, West Falmouth, MA 02574, ccals.org. – See more.

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