Roger Allan Erickson, age 82, of New London and formerly of the Lake Florida area, died Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2011, at Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar, after an extended illness.
A celebration of life service will take place Monday, Oct. 10 at 11 a.m. at Willmar Evangelical Free Church, followed by a graveside service at First Baptist Church Cemetery of Grove City at approximately 2 p.m.
Visitation was Sunday, Oct. 9 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Harvey Anderson Funeral Home in Willmar, and will continue one hour prior to the funeral at the Evangelical Free Church. Memorials may be given to the Roger Erickson Memorial Fund at United Prairie Bank in Spicer.
Arrangements are being handled by Harvey Anderson and Johnson Funeral Homes in New London.
Roger was born May 15, 1929, on a farm north of Grove City in Swede Grove Township, the son of Emil and Frances “Fern” (Williams) Erickson. He grew up on the farm and graduated from Grove City High School with the class of 1947.
He was employed at Goebel Cabinet Works in Hutchinson.
Roger was united in marriage to Marian Jeanette Peterson June 27, 1953, at the Finnish Apostolic Church of Cokato. The couple lived in Grove City, where Roger took a position at Carlson Meat Market.
In 1962, they moved to Atwater, and Roger began working as a town police officer.
In 1965, he was hired by the Kandiyohi County Sheriff’s Department, and the family moved to Lake Florida. Roger started on road patrol, spent time as an investigator, and retired in 1995 after 12 years as chief deputy.
Roger’s love of the outdoors was threaded through his activities. He was instrumental in forming the Snow Patrol for the sheriff’s department, with his long-time friend, George Couleur. He enjoyed both bow-hunting and firearm hunting, and especially looked forward to fishing excursions. Just one week before his death, his family treated him to one last boat ride on Green Lake.
Roger’s firm faith in Christ was evident in so many ways. He served as a youth group and Awana leader at Willmar Evangelical Free Church, and as a cook at summer Bible camps. He was also a 4-H leader, served on the church board. and the Youth for Christ board.
He and Marian opened their home to young people for memorable New Year’s Eve parties and also for short-term foster children. In retirement, the couple spent winters in Texas volunteering with Servants on Wheels (SOWERS). They also were involved in the Super Seniors group.
Even in his last years of life, Roger took every opportunity to share his faith and his joy in the Lord, wherever he was.
Roger is survived by his wife of 58 years, Marian Erickson; their children, Todd (and Pam) Erickson, Tami (and Tim) Schmitz, all of Spicer, and Tab (and Kari) Erickson of Cushing; and seven grandchildren, Tiere Erickson, Riley Erickson, Tianna Schmitz, Tiffany Schmitz, Tanner Schmitz, Josie Erickson and Alex Erickson.
He is further survived by his siblings, Betty Olson of Grove City, Shirley (and Doug) Hegg of Grove City, Donald (and Anna) Erickson of New Brighton, Gordon (and Janet) Erickson of Rochester, NY, and Carol (and Bill) Ledbetter of Tupelo, MS; as well as nieces and nephews.
Roger was preceded in death by an infant daughter, Melanie Rae Erickson in 1956; a sister, Janet Erickson at age 2; and his parents.