Howard "Howie" Knudson

Posted: Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Hoonah resident Howard "Howie" Harold Knudson died Jan. 5, 2010, in Hoonah. He was 52.

Born April 13, 1957, in Juneau, he grew up and lived in Hoonah, where he attended Hoonah Public School.

He was a Wooshke'taan, from the Shark house and a Chookaneidi yadi. His Tlingit name was "Doos ke'sut te" after his uncle Andrew McKinley; his second name was Shaw ke'ut te.

He did many things in his life, including working as a seiner, longliner and troller and fishing on a processor at sea near Dutch Harbor.

"He had no fear of working on a fishing boat," his family said. "He loved to challenge his friends to not be afraid of hard work and did so with a grin."

He also was a bartender. In Hoonah, he worked as a hatch foreman for Southeast Stevedoring for several years, when logging was a local way of life. He spent the past few summers as a crew supervisor for Hoonah's Icy Straits Point.

Of all of the things he did in his life, most of all he loved to fish his boat, the Cheryl Sea, and rod fish off his skiff, his family said.

"Howie was a provider and a friend to all who knew him. Fishing was his life and certainly a great source for his pride. Just talking about trolling would get him to say, 'Woohoo,' rubbing his hands together vigorously and smiling ear to ear."

Beside being a fisherman, he was a hunter, subsistence user and provider. He also took great pride in being an uncle to all his nephews and nieces, teaching his nephews work ethic and values to ensure they knew how to take care of themselves and their families.

He looked up to his elders and had the most respect for them, and he held service men in the highest regard. People who knew him agree he had a free spirit and loved his independence and living on his boat.

"Howie touched so many peoples lives, he will be missed," his family said.

He was preceded in death by his uncle, Gerald Gray; cousins, Lenny and Larry Gray; aunts, Irene J. Austin and husband, Jim, and Lila Fawcett; grandparents, Howard Gray Sr., and Jessie Gray, and Harry and Amy Marvin; and uncle, Sam Knudson and daughter, Elaine.

He is survived by his parents, Ralph and Harriet Knudson Sr.; sister, Mary Erickson and husband, Jim; brothers, Ralph Jr., and Kelvin Knudson, and Torvald Knudson and wife, Janice; sisters, Irene Knudson and husband, Leo, and Harriet LeBlanc, Ralphenia Knudson; and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers will be Larry Sanders, John Hillman, Jeff Mills, Ernie Hillman Jr., Don Wilson and Thomas Jack Jr. Honorary Pallbearers are Ronald Williams, Ray Wilson, Frank Wright Jr., Lillian Hillman, Ed Kunz Jr., Paul Rudolph, Jake White Sr., Sam Hanlon Jr., Steve Hanlon, Frank O. Williams, George Bennett.

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