Thorne Bay District Ranger Kent Nicholson, 48, died unexpectedly last weekend at his home on Prince of Wales Island.
Although Nicholson had held his current position in Thorne Bay for less than a year, he enjoyed a long career in Southeast Alaska.
Nicholson joined the Forest Service in Hoonah in 2004, when he was hired as a civil engineering technician. Soon after, Nicholson accepted a promotion to forester at the Petersburg Ranger District, where he held that position for more than three years.
In 2007, he was promoted to oversee timber sale preparations throughout the Tongass National Forest while working out of the Petersburg Supervisor’s Office. Nicholson held that position until he took over as Thorne Bay District Ranger early this year.
Before his career with the Forest Service, Nicholson worked for several timber companies, including Louisiana Pacific, Gateway Forest Products and Silver Bay Logging. He lived in Wrangell and Ketchikan during his years with the timber industry.
In a statement released Wednesday, Tongass National Forest Supervisor Forrest Cole said that Nicholson was valued for his exceptional knowledge of forestry, his positive outlook, and his enthusiasm.
The Forest Service has a gathering planned Friday in Ketchikan to express support for Nicholson’s family and bid their colleague farewell. Nicholson is survived by his wife, Sheri, also a Forest Service employee, and two daughters.