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Forest ranger, North Kitsap native, dies in Alaska

THORNE BAY, Alaska — The Thorne Bay Ranger District is mourning the loss of District Ranger Kent Nicholson, who died unexpectedly last weekend at his home on Prince of Wales Island.

Cause of death was not disclosed.

Nicholson, 48, graduated from North Kitsap High School in 1983, according to an announcement by the U.S. Forest Service.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Nicholson earned an undergraduate degree in business administration and an MBA from University of Alaska Southeast, where he was Phi Theta Kappa.

Nicholson joined the U.S. Forest Service in Hoonah, Alaska in 2004, when he was hired as a civil engineering technician. Soon after, he was promoted to forester at the Petersburg Ranger District; he held that position for more than three years.

“His expertise and strong work ethic garnered him a promotion in late 2007 to timber sale prep program manager, a position in which he oversaw timber sale preparations throughout the Tongass while working out of the Petersburg Supervisor’s Office,” according to the Forest Service announcement.

“Nicholson held that position until he took over as Thorne Bay District Ranger early this year.”

Prior to his career with the Forest Service, Nicholson was employed by several timber companies, including Louisiana Pacific, Gateway Forest Products, and Silver Bay Logging. He lived in the communities of Wrangell and Ketchikan during his years with the timber industry.

According to the Forest Service, Nicholson was “valued for his exceptional knowledge of forestry, his positive outlook, and his enthusiastic approach to working on the forest. His loss leaves a significant void on the Tongass.

The Forest Service is planning a gathering today 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; daughters, Jori and Britney; his parents, Harry and Patricia of Allyn; and brothers, Harry (Vineta) of Pickerington, Ohio, and Eric (Lisa) of Corona, Calif.

 

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