Ethan Johnson, 34, of Canmore, Alberta, passed away peacefully in his home in the early morning of Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014, in the presence of his wife and family, after a two-year battle with brain cancer.
Ethan was born on March 17, 1980, in Los Alamos, New Mexico, to Jon and Diane Johnson. His family moved to Montana in January of 1996.
Ethan received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and a Master of Arts degree in military history from the University of Montana. At the time of his diagnosis, he was writing his thesis for a Ph.D. in military and strategic studies at the University of Calgary.
First and foremost, Ethan was a skier. In his youth he was a ski racer at Pajarito Mountain in Los Alamos and with the Big Mountain Race team in Whitefish. He was employed for one winter by the Department of Defense as a ski instructor in Garmisch, Germany. After migrating to Canada to continue his studies, he was employed as a coach for Rocky Mountain Freeriders at Lake Louise and as a ski guide at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. He was also an accomplished mountain biker and coached at Kicking Horse in the summer. In his work, he touched many lives, young and old, sharing his love for the mountains.
Shortly before his diagnosis, he met the love of his life, Sonja Hehli, at a coffee shop in Canmore and they were inseparable for the next two years. They were wed twice in two separate ceremonies, the first on the Bow River on Feb. 25, 2013, and the second in Whitefish on Sept. 7, 2013.
Ethan is survived by his loving wife, Sonja, of Canmore; his parents, Jon and Diane Johnson of Whitefish; his brother, Adam Johnson, of Big Sky; and the extended Hehli family of central Alberta.
A memorial service will be held at the base of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort at 4:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 18, following a day of skiing.
Memorial contributions may be made to firstname.lastname@example.org via Paypal for a fund which will be established to support adaptive skiing programs in Ethan’s memory.
Condolences for the family may be left at www.bowriverfuneral.com.
Bow River Funeral Service is assisting the family; (403) 678-4880.