Edwin E. Erickson, age 89, of Cokato, died Wednesday, April 18, 2012, at Brookridge Assisted Living in Cokato.
He was born Jan. 8, 1923, in French Lake, to John and Emma Erickson. Tragically, Edwin’s mother died a few days after his birth, leaving John with 10 children to now parent alone. Given the dire circumstances for the Erickson family, Edwin was lovingly placed in the home of an uncle and aunt, John and Hazel Larson of French Lake.
John and Hazel raised Edwin as an only child in their home, and loved him without any reservation. During his childhood, Edwin also spent many days interacting with his nine older siblings and his father.
Edwin attended the Lee School in French Lake, completing grade eight.
He married Della Kotila March 7, 1942. To this union, six children were born, Carolynn, Gary, Tim, Mary, Therese, and Mark. During their married life, Edwin and Della enjoyed living in the French Lake and Cokato communities.
Edwin enjoyed life! He especially enjoyed working with his hands.
His first career was farming. In the 1950s, Edwin also learned the trade of carpentry and went on to become a well-known contractor/homebuilder, an owner of a lumber business, and finally a building inspector in the community.
Edwin maintained active work until age 80. During retirement, Edwin enjoyed helping on the farm, cutting wood, reading, gardening, and visiting with old friends and family.
Edwin was passionate about his Christian faith. He was an area lay preacher and Bible teacher for several decades, and active as both a member and lay pastor at the Immanuel Lutheran Church in French Lake for many years. In this congregation, he experienced both the joy of serving and the joy of receiving Christian love and encouragement from his faith community. Edwin felt blessed whenever he could encourage others to grow in their Christian faith or come to know Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.
In addition to his mother, Edwin was preceded in death by his father, John Erickson; uncle and aunt, John and Hazel Larson; wife Della Kotila Erickson; an infant son, Gary; an infant great-grandson, Garrett Menke; brothers Clarence, Lawrence, Melvin, Bill, Vernon and Daniel Erickson; and sisters Dora Engstrom, Ellen Ortquist, and Ruth Ostlund.
He is survived by his children, Carolynn Thompson of Cokato, Tim Erickson of Sauk Centre, Mary Rinden (Dan) of Pine City, Therese Grumley (Jeff) of Rockford, IL, and Mark Erickson (Mary) of Cokato; 14 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services took place Saturday, April 21 at Good Shepherd Free Lutheran Church in Cokato, with Jerry Seehusen officiating. Music was provided by Therese Grumley and Lynda Korhonen. Interment was at the Grace Lutheran Cemetery in French Lake.
Casket bearers were Ben Moore, Tom Moore, Tim Rinden, Alex Erickson, Lars Erickson, Robert Kipf, and Calvin Kipf.
Arrangements were by Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home of Cokato.