Obituary: Howard Carnell

Howard Carnell
Howard Carnell
Provided Photo

– November 14, 2021

Howard Carnell, retired ski industry executive and former president of Alpine Meadows Ski Area who was employed there from 1962 to 1997, died on Nov. 14 in Auburn, Washington. The cause of death was complications from peripheral artery disease. He was 90.

Howard Carnell, a true Tahoe local, was born in a tent in Meeks Bay in August 1931. He was the second son of Floyd and Beulah Carnell and the younger brother of Richard. As a young man, Howard Carnell participated in the ski jumping contests that were popular at this time in the Western United States. At age 18, Carnell volunteered to serve in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War, participating in the historic Battle of the Chosin Reservoir. He was honorably discharged in 1952.

Following Howard’s return from military service, Carnell found employment around Tahoe City in a variety of jobs, including building piers, driving heavy equipment, plowing roads and as a Placer County Sheriff. Carnell started his ski industry career as director of maintenance for Alpine Meadows Ski Area in 1962, the resort’s second year of operations. In one of those, “only in America” stories, Howard Carnell worked his way through the ranks and was named President of Alpine Meadows in 1973. Carnell continued as President of Alpine Meadows through 1997, living the American dream. He was joined in that dream by his wife of 65 years, Myrt (Myrtle Coates) Carnell, long-time teacher at the North Tahoe Elementary School. Myrt predeceased Howard in Whidbey Island, WA in December 2018.

Howard and Myrt enjoyed their summers on sail or motorboats on Lake Tahoe, as well as in the San Francisco Bay Area. Passionate boaters, they moved to the gateway of the San Juan Islands, Whidbey Island, Washington in 2006. They enjoyed their retirement years with regular visits from long-time Tahoe City friends, sharing boating, fishing and crabbing adventures in the San Juans. They especially enjoyed visits from their children and grandchildren. Howard and Myrt Carnell are survived by oldest daughter, Michelle Petrick, husband, Tim, and their sons, Joseph and Casey. They are also survived by their son, Howard Jr. and his children, daughter Alysha and sons Ian and Devon, along with their youngest daughter, Janna Weldum, her husband, David and her daughters, Kelsey and Erin Sawyer, and her 3 stepchildren, Wyatt, Nora and Addie Weldum.

A celebration of the life of Howard Carnell will be planned in Tahoe City for late Spring 2022. Details forthcoming.

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