Download Full Text (47 KB)


John died May 25, 2023, at Samaritan Evergreen Hospice in Albany, Oregon. He was born in Republic, Washington, on September 15, 1943. John spent his boyhood on Curlew Lake fishing, swimming, and water skiing. He learned to alpine ski in the mountains of Washington and British Columbia, and this was one of his lifelong passions. Later in life, he served on the Ski Patrol at 49° North for many years. John worked for the forest service after high school as a wildland firefighter, becoming a Missoula/West Yellowstone smokejumper in 1965. He retired from smokejumping in 1975 to move back to Republic with his wife, Sarah, to build their home in the country and start a family. John graduated from Eastern Washington University receiving degrees in mathematics and computer science. He was the computer programmer for Ferry County and an Army veteran. John was a complicated and brilliant man who was happiest when solving problems and building almost anything, including kayaks and an experimental airplane. John jumped at Missoula 1965-66, 68, Grangeville 1969, and West Yellowstone 1970-75.



Publication Date

June 2023


Smokejumping; Smokejumpers -- United States; National Smokejumper Association; Wildfire fighters; Obituaries


Forest Management

Smokejumper Obituary: Walden, John W. (Missoula 1965)