On Saturday, September 5, 2020, Ernest Loren Gladsjo, loving husband and father of two, passed away at age 67 due to health complications following an intensive hospital stay in February 2019. Ernie was born on May 25, 1953, in Everett, WA, to Karl and Margaret (Wahl) Gladsjo. He was raised on the North Fork Stillaguamish River in Swede Heaven and spent most of his life in Darrington, WA, graduating from Darrington High School in 1971. Before he had even graduated, Ernie began his lifelong career as a logger and timber faller by working for the local mill, Summit Timber. Throughout the 1970s, Ernie lived a logger's life, working in Washington and Alaska for Pugh Ridge Logging, Jack Faucett, G&D, and several other companies. When the opportunity presented itself, Ernie and friends Dennis Anderson, Craig Green, and Rich Spaulding formed Three Rivers Cutting, which he would later split from in the early 1990s to create Northwest Cutting, a hand falling-focused small business he would successfully run until his retirement in 2012. One of the highlights of Ernie's career was bucking alongside his father until Karl hung his corks up, an experience that helped him become a revered timber faller in the industry and a mentor that would later break in and break some of the many young timber fallers and loggers who worked strips alongside Ernie over the years. On May 24, 1980, he married Carol Lee Thompson while wearing a rented baby blue tuxedo. Ernie always claimed he lured Carol out of the Red Top Tavern and into his pickup with a bag of popcorn, though Carol has never recalled such an event. They would go on to build the family home and a small Christmas tree farm in Swede Heaven, just a mile from Ernie's childhood home. In 1986 and 1990, Ernie and Carol added two sons to the family, Garret and Gavin. They were his pride and joy, and together created many fond memories while exploring the forests around Darrington through camping, hiking, hunting, fishing, and packing saw gas. With his own sons, their friends, or his many nieces, nephews, or cousins, Ernie was always a strong-willed father figure when he needed to be, and a best friend as often as he could be. Ernie had a passion for the outdoors and everything it had to offer. He would spend his work week in the woods, and still find his way back out there most weekends. After falling big timber in Southeast Alaska during the early 1970s and again in the late 1980s, Ernie fell in love with the wild places and bountiful game the area had to offer. Those experiences eventually led to him buying waterfront property in Naukati Bay, AK, on Prince of Wales Island, a special spot he and Carol turned into their second home and primary place of retirement in recent years. Their "cabin" would go on to host many family and friends over the last 15 years; fishing, hunting, cribbage, good food, lots of laughs, and too much whiskey was always on the agenda. He was known for his infectious smile, rosy cheeks, quick wit, and strong spirit. If you knew Ernie, then it is likely your shared story involves some level of humor, danger, and ends with the comment, "You could never get away with that in this day and age..." Ernie was preceded in death by his father, Karl, his mother, Margaret, and his brother Corky. He is survived by his wife Carol, his two children, Garret (Brittany) and Gavin (Kati), his grandchildren Fiona and Icem, his brother Larry and sister Karen, and many cousins, nieces, and nephews. A special thanks to all the family and friends who have been there for the Gladsjo family through these difficult times, and to all those who visited Ernie; we know he greatly appreciated hearing from and connecting with folks he hadn't seen in many years. 2020 has been a difficult year for most of us, but the future remains bright. The family is happy to announce the pending arrival of Ernie's third grandchild, Gavin and Kati's second child and first son, in December 2020. We cannot wait to welcome you to the family, Gunnar Gladsjo. A funeral service will not be held. Ernie's church was always his family, friends, and the great outdoors.
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