John Irvin Erickson

April 7, 1937 - June 12, 2020

John Irvin Erickson, formerly of rural Elwood, Nebraska, passed away peacefully on June 12, 2020, in Frisco, Texas. John was born on April 7, 1937, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. After high school, John completed two years of college at the University of Wisconsin and joined the U.S. Navy reserve. In 1960, John began working for the City of Kenosha as a rodman and in 1965 was appointed City Planner. On June 29, 1968, John married Elizabeth (Betty) Berke of rural Elwood and moved to Nebraska to work on the Berke farm. John and Betty had two children, Heath Theodore and Kirsten Elizabeth. In 1978, John opened Erickson Sales & Service, a lawn mower sales and repair shop. He later worked as a purchasing agent at Eiler’s Machine and Repair before his retirement in 2007. From 1989 to 2012, John served as the chairman of the Gosper County joint zoning commission and in 2013 was awarded a Certificate of Merit by the county commissioners for his service. In 2015, John sold the family home and moved to an assisted living facility in Frisco, Texas, where John was well loved by the staff and residents. John was a member of the Grace Lutheran Church in Lexington for more than 50 years, a Mason and a Shriner, and sang in the church choir and the local barbershop chorus. He was a founding member of the Johnson Lake EMS in 1980 and served on the EMS for 35 years. He passed on his love of Boxer dogs and history to his daughter, Kirsten; his interest in cars and medicine to his son Heath; and his dislike of green, squishy vegetables to both children.

John is survived by his former wife Betty of Phoenix, AZ; son Heath Erickson (Stacy) of Frisco, TX; daughter Kirsten Johnson (Christopher) of Phoenix, AZ; grandsons, Jack and Caleb Erickson of Frisco, TX; and step-granddaughter, Samantha Johnson of Tucson, AZ. He was preceded in death by his parents, Verle and Alpha “Pat” Alvina (Hasenjager) Erickson, and his sister, Marie Larsen.

A private service for John will be held in Wisconsin at a later date.

Memorials can be sent to the Johnson Lake EMS

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When Kathy and I would visit John, we always enjoyed talking to him and comparing notes on current events. He stayed engaged in the news no matter what his condition was. John impressed me with his encyclopedic knowledge of how electrical devices worked since it always mystified me. And he was always a good resource for Heath as well. Godspeed John. Steve Kopel, June 24, 2020 John was great man, father and grandfather. His passion for tools and cars is evident everyday in my times with Heath. Our prayers and sympathies. Mitchell Akright, June 24, 2020 John was my godfather and a dear friend of our family. My parents were so pleased they were able to visit with him in Texas recently. I have fond memories of trips out to the farm in Nebraska, having fun with their Boxers, and playing Atari with Heath and Kirsten. My sincere condolences to Heath, Kirsten, and the entire family. Scott Pfeiffer, June 21, 2020 John was my Mother's brother, my Uncle John. He was also the fun Uncle. There was a period of time when Mom, I and my brother Jim and sister Mary lived with our grandparents and Uncle John, We kids were quite young, this was back in 1958-1959. Jim and I got to play with Uncle John's toys from the 1940's except for a "don't touch" train set. There was a really cool old faded red wagon that we pulled around the block countless times. He put a pool table in the basement that we could fool around with. He introduced me to the "High Fidelity" sound system. It was a listen but another "don't touch" thing. If he could hear the system I have now , he'd be pleased. I learned it from him. He occasionally had an odd taste in cars. For a while he owned a hearse and Jim and I thought it was great fun to ride in the back. When I got a few years older I'd borrow books from his bookshelf. From there I read the biography of Knute Rockne and the story of the Kon-Tiki. Jim and I also found his stash of the very early Playboy magazines in the basement. I'm also pretty darn sure Grandpa didn't nail up the classic Marilyn Monroe calendar in the garage. Thanks for the early physiology lesson, Uncle John! I'm still one of those guys stuck on Marilyn. Finally, he was kind, he was patient, he was smart and, if the occasion called for it, he could swear like a sailor. Tom Gorsuch, June 19, 2020