Gordon Charles Erickson along with his two brothers, Richard and Wallace, were born on a dairy farm in Nessel Township, near Rush City, Minnesota. When Gordon was a young teen his mother, Hilda Hawkinson Erickson, died tragically which was devastating to Gordon as well as his brothers.
Their father married again in order to have help in keeping the house and caring for the boys. Soon after his mother died, Gordon began helping his grandparents Charles and Signe Hawkinson on their farm near Pine City.
This eventually turned into a permanent situation. He began owning his own livestock and took on more of the farm work over the years. The three of them became a family. Gordon learned to speak Swedish to be able to converse with his grandmother, and as his grandparents aged he took care of them.
When Grandma Hawkinson fell and broke her hip she refused to go to the hospital. So with the help of her three daughters, one of whom was with her continuously, she lay in her bed for two years in traction before she died. Gordon would come to her bedside every day, sit in a chair next to her and tell her in Swedish the “news” of their neighbors (some of which he heard on the party line) and events in town. He and his grandma were very close.
Following the deaths of his grandparents, Gordon inherited and continued to live on this farm. He enjoyed visiting with his neighbors and talking to a circle of friends and relatives on the telephone weekly.
He raised a small garden and took pride in canning tomatoes and pickles. Gordon was very self-sufficient…..mowing his lawn, cooking, and baking for himself until he entered the nursing home. He made the adjustment very well.
He enjoyed the company of the staff and the other residents. He liked the food and social activities. He said with delight “everyone likes me here.”
Gordon was a man who was always friendly, smiling and never complaining. He learned to take “whatever comes” as he told us at the hospital during his last days. He was a very kind, considerate, and friendly person who appreciated his life and lived it with his own particular grace. His family will miss him and are grateful that they had him in their lives.
Gordon died early last Wednesday morning, May 30, 2012 at Fairview-Southdale Hospital in Edina, Minnesota. He was 91 years old. He was preceded in death by his parents Elmer and Hilda Erickson and his brothers Richard and Wallace Erickson.
He is survived by his sisters-in-law Millie and her husband Edward Rohlf of Rush City and Ardys Erickson of Little Falls, Minnesota. He is also survived by a niece Debbie (Myron) Czech, nephews Mark (Annette) Erickson, Daryl Erickson, Douglas (Carol) Erickson and many great nieces, great nephews, and cousins, as well as other relatives and friends.
Funeral services were held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, June 2, 2012 at the Swanson Funeral Chapel in Pine City with the Reverend Vicki Vander Vegt officiating.
Interment will be held at a later date at the First Lutheran Cemetery in Rush City.
Arrangements were with the Funeral and Cremation Service, Swanson Funeral Chapel, Pine City, Minnesota.