Sigurd Dean Johnsen

May 15, 2020

CHARLOTTE - Sigurd Dean Johnsen, “Sig”, passed away peacefully at home early Friday morning, May 15, 2020, leaving behind many beloved friends and family. In spite of the rapid decline that Sig took in his health, Sig will be remembered for his jovial laughter, dry wit, devotion to the United States Marine Corps and immense love of his wife, two daughters, and four grandchildren. “Papa” as he was affectionately called by his grandchildren, will always be remembered in our hearts. Sig never knew a stranger. He loved sitting on the front porch of his home with a giant smile on his face and cocktail in hand, greeting everyone that went by. He genuinely cared about his neighbors and their children. He could be seen as a relatable father figure, grandfather, and extremely loyal friend. Sig was happiest among friends and family. His love of the Marine Corps ran deep, where he displayed remarkable bravery and loyalty. His gruff exterior was a good mask for who was truly a giant teddy bear with an even bigger heart. His love of children and animals was seen by all. We lost a true American hero.
Sig was born in Salina, Kansas on August 14, 1947 to Ralph and Maxine Johnsen. Sig is survived by wife, Jane, two daughters Laura Nix of Charleston, SC; Katie Priester (husband Jay) of Charlotte, NC, and four loves of his life, grandchildren Jack, Anna, Charlie and Luke Priester. Sig attended St. Andrews College in Laurinburg, NC, then enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He served in the Vietnam War, where he received three Purple Hearts. After receiving his business degree from St. Andrews, he entered into the investment & brokerage business. He received national “Rookie of the year” recognition with EF Hutton. Sig was an avid sports fan, and enjoyed playing golf and competitive tennis. Some of Sig’s fondest memories are with the “Men’s Club” of Ridgefield, CT. It was this group of friends where he found the joy of tennis in the spring and paddle tennis in the winter, followed by a meal, cocktails and laughter. Sig could have been found in Mario’s in Westport, CT holding court with his dear friends. He always looked forward to their annual trip to Rhode Island for over twenty years to be among yet another group of special friends. There will never be another Sig Johnsen to all of us who knew and loved him.
A private family service will be held for Sig at Myers Park United Methodist Church.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be sent to USMC Toys for Tots Foundation, Gift Processing Administrator, 18251, Quantico Gateway Drive, Triangle, VA 22172 or Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region, 7845 Little Ave. Charlotte, NC 28226.
Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth Poe Services, Charlotte, NC. Online condolences can be shared at

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  • Ann Scala

    I’m not sure how I missed this.
    I loved Sig, despite our differences, and will always remember our times together...Acapulco, Boca Raton and Charlotte.
    I have precious memories ?

  • Joe Gordon

    Sig as a great American patriot who always started or ended a meeting with Semper Fi. He was a great story teller with an awesome sense of humor. I truly enjoyed our friendship and while the relationship started as business in nature, I considered him a good friend. He will be missed but not forgotten.

  • Kevin Campbell

    I knew Sig in his later years through our work together at James Alpha Management. When we spoke and interacted, I always felt caught between "generations" - that generation of true loyalty and deep respect - which Sig and my 90 year-old father share - and the entitled millennial's of today. In reading these entries, I can see that the grandchildren saw it, and hopefully Sig's "lessons" have rubbed off on others who will emulate his character! Cheers Sig! I will miss you!!

  • Kevin & Hilary Greene

    In an age of cynicism, Sig was a true Patriot who risked his life for his country and loved (almost) every minute of it.
    In an age when chivalry is too rarely practiced, Sig was always a true gentleman.
    In an age of too much seriousness, Sig always had a smile, a joke, and a good word.
    In an age of division, Sig never met anyone he couldn't figure out how to get along with.
    In an age of selfishness, Sig always let you know how deeply he cared about you.
    In an age when people are too often measured by their wealth, Sig was measured, as we are all ultimately measured, by the size of his heart and he surpassed us all.
    You could not spend time with Sig without enjoying life a little more.
    Sig leaves behind family and friends to carry on his mission by living as he did.
    Sig was, and is,a dear friend.
    We will miss him deeply - and he will always be with us.
    Kevin & Hilary

  • Christie Lopez

    I knew Sig for almost 5 years. I tend bar at Zio and Sig would come in to have dinner and we would talk about our shared struggles with diabetes. We would high-five each other when he would come in and report that his a1c was lower than the last time.
    He would always ask about my daughter, and would love to show me pictures of his daughters and his grand children, and tell me how much he loved them all.
    He will be dearly missed by all at Zio, and I send my deepest condolences, and prayers to his family.

  • Janis & John Garner

    With heavy hearts we send our prayers, love and deepest sympathy. Sig’s father Ralph became very special to us in his later years! He was so very proud of Sig, Jane,, we have fond memories of your visits to Winston!!! We are so sorry for your loss! Sig was a good guy!!!

  • Janis & John Garner

    With a heavy heart we send our prayers, love and deepest sympathy. Sig’s father ,Ralph became very special to us in his later years!! He was so proud of Sig. Jane, we have fond memories of the times we spent with you and Sig when you were in Winston!!! We are so sorry for your loss!!!

  • Steve Schoettmer

    Sig, HomeBoy, next time, give me some notice before you go to meet our Maker. I know, the gates will swing wide for your entrance and your bigger than life personality. Drum roll, please. Do you know what our Lord will be most impressed with — how dedicated you were to Jane, and your two daughters, Laura and Katie, and your grand children. That is enough to get you Home.

    Before we go there, How many laughs have we had with our families in the 1990s, we all were best friends, some of it was playing tennis, some of it was softball, swimming, or other stuff, and some of my favorite memories were at the Johnsen pool, laughing with you and Jane, talking about just stuff, mostly not a care in the world other than how much fun our kids were. I carried your sorry ass in doubles, and I’m sure you would say the same about me. You lied to me about how good a shortstop you were, and I accepted that, because you never bragged about how good a Marine you were, a fair trade off. On your marriage to Jane, you way out kicked your coverage, not even close close, and you knew that. Love you, Jane

    Sig so loved his two daughters. Sig would have fought a bear, an army of bears, for their safety and love. And Sig would have won. Sig really struggled when their was any discord with either of his daughters. Anybody that offended his two precious daughters caused Sig’s Marine background to go on full alert.

    Daughter Katie, a favorite Schoettmer babysitter, decided at age 14 that she was capable of getting in my Tahoe and driving my three sons through the neighborhood, but Katie had a little bit of problem with a small collusion. Katie returned the truck intact, my three younger sons say it was all “cool” and insisted Katie continue as the babysitter.

    My last text with Sig was eleven months ago. He asked about my three boys and I gave an answer probably not as much as I should’ve told Sig in terms of detail. I look back at it now, and I think I shortchanged Sig. My middle son Jeff, a Sig favorite, was a Carolina football stud and I know that was part Sig was asking about. I sure wish I had told Sig more before he decided to go to the Lord.

    Sig, belatedly, just want to tell you that you are one of the classic dudes of my life. And whenever anybody brings uo the name of Sig Johnson, it will be with a smile on their face. That’s pretty cool. Love you.

    Steve Schoettmer, sons Stephen, Jeffrey and Micheal, and in respect to their Step-Dad and to Sig Johnsen, sempter fi.

  • Denny Ogden

    Sig and I have been friends for over 50 years and have managed to keep in touch for all that time . There has been tons of fun and with that lots of ups and downs in our lives. But I knew I could always count on Sig to be there for me during the downs and to celebrate with me the Ups! He had a special way with people. You can be sure that he knows all the angles in heaven first name and already and has shared some stories and a cocktail with St Pete and talked his way past the pearly gates. Heaven is now a more fun place cause Sig is there. What is good for heaven is not necessarily good for us. We will all miss him, his laugh. his loving heart and his friendship. Sleep tight my friend

  • Bill Starbuck

    We met about 25 years ago. We shared many laughs, triple bogeys, double faults, and adult beverages together. Sig always had his “Dewars”.
    The “men’s club” 25 years ago was comprised of primarily tennis players. Sig was a king pin in establishing a golf junket called the “Master’s, Johnsen, Starbuck, and Henry” golf trip that took up to 25 Players to golf destinations in Arizona, Florida, and South Carolina. These annual trip ensued for 20 years.
    Sig, I salute you! Rest In Peace knowing that you were loved by not only your family but all of those that you touched.

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