Petersburg Pilot -


Dale Ross Johnston


Dale Ross Johnston passed away unexpectedly on January 1, 2012 in Anchorage. He was born July 15, 1957 in Eugene, Ore. to Norman and Laura Johnston. The little family moved to Petersburg in 1960, where it was soon joined by Dale’s brothers Glen and Russ. They lived there until Norman’s job with Alaska Fish & Game transferred them to Juneau in 1974.

Growing up in Petersburg instilled a great love in Dale for being outdoors, which continued his whole life. He helped fund his college degree by working summers as a stream surveyor for the State of Alaska. He also joined the NMFS Observer Program for a stint on a Korean trawler. He also worked as a cable TV installer in both Petersburg, and later in Juneau. Once he had his degree, he took his father’s advice, and bought a S.E. Drift Gillnet permit and the F/V Artemis, fishing SE waters with his brother Russ. “Cap’n Dale’s” grounds ranged from Petersburg, through Juneau, all the way up through Lynn Canal.

It was during a fishing trip in Juneau in 1988 that he re-met Sandy Clark. They had taken one typing class together in Petersburg in 1972 before the Johnstons moved to Juneau. Dale spotted her at a local hangout where she was with her family and friends. He asked her for a date, and the rest was pretty much history. Although he was based in Petersburg, Dale moved to Juneau with his dog Cleo. Dale and Sandy married in May 1989, and welcomed son Tony in 1994. He may have started out a little unsure of how to go about fatherhood, but Dale was a great and much beloved Dad. He worked hard to support his family, adding halibut fishing as well as gillnetting.

He was preceded in death by his father Norman.

Dale is survived by wife Sandy and son Tony; mother Laura (Paul) Johnston of Portland, Ore; brother Glen (Timi) of Meridian, Idaho; brother Russ of Ore, and 2 nephews and 1 niece, as well as various aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Per his wishes, Dale’s ashes will be scattered at sea. In honor of his love of the outdoors, a picnic will be held in May, with no other services planned. Notice of the date will be sent later.

The family can be contacted at P.O. Box 33982, Juneau, AK 99803


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