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Charles R. Erickson, 70

Charles Richard Erickson, age 70, of Cokato, died Saturday, June 20, 2009, at the St. Cloud Hospital, surrounded by his wife and family, after a courageous battle with cancer.

He was born in Grove City Jan. 29, 1939, to Otto and Ruby (Carlson) Erickson. When Charles was 6, the family moved to Stockholm Township, and Charles lived the rest of his life there, on the family farm.

He was confirmed at the Stockholm Lutheran Church, and graduated from Cokato High School in 1957.

After high school, Charles entered the US Army and served in Germany.

After his military service, he returned to the farm, where he continued farming, as well as working at 3M in Hutchinson. Charles retired from 3M in 1996. He never retired from farming.

Charles married Sally Clayton Jensen July 27, 1974. They were married in Iowa at “The Little Brown Church in the Vale.”

Charles enjoyed farming, raising steers, and visiting Anderson Seedhouse. Some of his hobbies were gardening, camping, reading his farming magazines, going to auctions, grilling for his family, and toy tractor collecting. He enjoyed working on the farm and was a “jack of all trades” and a professional tinkerer. His friends and family will also remember his passion for bargain grocery shopping.

He was a member of the Stockholm Lutheran Church and served on the church council.

Charles is survived by his wife, Sally, of Cokato; children Susan Erickson of Farmington, Nicole (Wade) Ashwill of Kenyon, Roger (Debra) Jensen of St. Louis, MO, Bob Jensen of Hutchinson, Ron Jensen of Cokato, and Sandy Wessman of Berlin, MD; grandchildren Aidan Charles Kowalski, Brendin and Brooke Wessman, and Taylor and Andy Jensen; sister Florence Anderson; and brother John (Barb) Erickson.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a grandson, Zach Jensen; a brother, Roger Erickson; and a sister, Dorothy Greeley.

Charles unselfishly dedicated himself to his family, and he will be greatly missed.

The funeral service took place Wednesday, June 24 at 11 a.m. at Stockholm Lutheran Church in Cokato, with the Rev. Mark Little officiating. Music was provided by Nancy Deiter, Jeanne Mages, and Shannon Anderson. Interment was in the church cemetery.

Visitation was Tuesday, June 23 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home in Cokato.

Casket bearers were John Erickson, Kenny Thurk, Byron Sangren, Gordy Anderson, Roger Jensen, Bob Jensen, Ron Jensen, and Brendin Wessman. Honorary casket bearers were Bob Clayton, Neil Jergens, Wade Ashwill, Ryan Kowalski, John Lind, Paul Lind, Tom Erickson, and Ronnie Erickson.

Arrangements were by the Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home in Cokato.