Earl DeCarlton Kong - forester, artist, husband, father, and friend - died of natural causes on January 22, 2020 in Port Townsend, Washington.
Earl was born in Rose Town, Jamaica on January 9, 1945. He immigrated to the US in 1959, living in New Jersey with his mother and 3 brothers. This is where he was introduced to watercolor painting, a love that would be his constant companion. After high school, he moved to New York and attended trade school to become a draftsman. He then began working as a draftsman for a ship-building company. Soon after, he chose to join the US Air Force, which led him to Oregon. It was here that Earl met the love of his life, and future wife of 52 years, Carol Gatchell. During his military service, he was stationed in Asia, became part of the color guard, and ultimately relocated to Oregon, where he attended Oregon State University in Corvallis. He graduated from Oregon State University with a Bachelor of Forest Management in 1975, soon followed by the beginning of his life-long career in forestry. Following his graduation, Earl relocated to western Washington with his wife and two young sons. An unwavering lover of nature, he was most alive when surrounded by towering Douglas Firs. In 2003, Earl and Carol moved from Seabeck to Port Townsend, where he quickly became an active member of his new community. He could often be found socializing at the senior center, dancing with his Bible study group, or painting surrounded by nature and his contemporaries.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Violet Johnson, and step-father, Arthur Johnson. Survived by his wife, Carol Kong, 2 sons; Devin Kong (Laurie), and Arron Kong (Helen); five granddaughters; Jessica Kong, Tina Kong, Brittany Anderson, Danielle Burk, and Chloe Ablitt; five great-grandchildren; three brothers; Waine Kong, Robert Johnson, and Kevin Johnson; and a multitude of aunties, uncles, nephews, nieces, and cousins.
A celebration of life will be held on February 8, 2020 at 1:00 pm at First Presbyterian Church in Port Townsend, WA. In memoriam donations may be directed to Parkinson’s Disease Research.