Lifelong Aberdeen resident John Carossino passed away on July 9, 2013, at his home.
John was born to Giacomo (Jack) and Harriet Carossino in Aberdeen on November 2, 1946. He attended St. Mary’s School and graduated from J.M. Weatherwax High School in 1964. While in school he worked for his father’s auto repair shop and Comery TV. After graduation he attended Grays Harbor College and began working at the Weyerhaeuser Pulp Mill in Cosmopolis. He joined the United States Army in 1967, stationed with the 3rd Infantry Division Artillery in West Germany, where he rose to the rank of sergeant. While in Europe he also met his extended family in Genoa and Sant’Olcese, Italy for the first time.
On May 20, 1972, John married Becky Airhart and together they raised two children, Lori and Will.
After his Army service, John returned to the Weyerhaeuser Pulp Mill where he worked for over 40 years, most of those as a pipefitter-welder and later as a maintenance education coordinator. While working for Weyerhaeuser, John was a proud and active member of the Association of Western Pulp & Paper Workers, Local 211. He served as a union officer and held positions as both a local and regional union safety representative for many years.
Along with his full-time job at Weyerhaeuser, John and his wife Becky also owned and operated two small businesses in Grays Harbor. During the 1980s they owned J & B Enterprises, which controlled the dealership for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and USA Today newspapers in Aberdeen, Hoquiam, North Beach, and Quinault. In 1992, they opened Big Mouth John’s Tackle Traders, a fishing tackle store located in Aberdeen at the previous site of his father’s auto shop on East First Street.
Throughout his life, John was an active member of his community, serving at various times as a member of the Robert Gray Elementary PTO, Saint Mary’s Church, the Aberdeen Elks Club, Ducks Unlimited, Trout Unlimited, Pogie Club, and a local scuba diving group, as well as a Scoutmaster and Pee Wee baseball coach. He was a member of the Grays Harbor Banjo Band for over ten years and helped organize the Banjo Bash By The Sea, a series of banjo festivals in Ocean Shores. An avid outdoorsman, he also hunted and fished with friends and family all over the United States, including memorable hunting trips to Canada and Montana.
When the pulp mill closed in early 2006, John went back to Grays Harbor College and earned an Associate of Applied Science Degree in information technology in 2009. During that time, he also served as a member of the Grays Harbor College student council. Later, after his retirement, John spent much of his time traveling with his wife, including three winters in Arizona surrounded by family, friends, and fishing.
Aside from his family, the other great passion of John’s life was fishing. From his earliest years as a boy growing up along the Wishkah River, fishing was his favorite pastime. His greatest joy was in sharing his love of fishing with others, first with his brothers, children, nieces, and nephews, and later with the community at large through local fishing classes and seminars. His passion for bass fishing in particular, and his love of a good story, was the inspiration for the name of his tackle store, Big Mouth John’s.
John was a tournament bass fisherman and over the years he competed as a member of Western Bass, Grays Harbor Bassers, Coastal Bass Club, Long Lake Bass Club, and Capital City Bass Club. He was also a member of the Washington State Bass Federation. An active member on and off the water, he also held many offices in these clubs, was a district director for the Bass Federation, helped organize tournaments, volunteered at Casting Kids competitions, and worked on several conservation projects. John won many trophies and awards during his 30-plus years of tournament competition, but was most proud of winning Fisherman of the Year during the Western Bass 50th year celebration in 1988.
After closing the tackle store, John joined the pro staff for the Tom Posey Company, representing Okuma Fishing Rods & Reels, Lure Jenson, Yakima Bait and Tuff Line. He continued to be an active member of the pro staff, a community instructor, and an avid fisherman until the time of his death.
John is survived by Becky, his wife of 41 years; daughter, Lori Carossino; son, William (Anna) Carossino; grandchildren, Grace and Charlie Carossino; brothers, Jim (Lisa) Carossino and Joe (Joy) Carossino all of Aberdeen; sisters, Beth (Jerry) Dombroski of Bellingham and Cathy (Dave) Gammon-Humbert of Ferndale; and many nieces , nephews, and cousins. He is also survived by his uncle, Paul Banchero; a cousin who was raised by John’s grandparents, Giovanni (Pasqualina) Carossino. John was preceded in death by his parents; and his niece, Jessica Carossino.
There will be a Celebration of Life open house for John from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at the Aberdeen Rotary Log Pavilion. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to the Disabled American Veterans, www.dav.org.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Harrison Family Mortuary of Aberdeen. Online condolences may be made at www.harrisonfamilymortuary.com