Ronald “Red” Erickson, 85, died on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, at the HonorHealth Scottsdale Osborn Medical Center.
Funeral services are at 2 p.m. Monday at Trinity Lutheran Church with Rev. Constanze Hagmaier officiating. Visitation will be 5:30-7 p.m. on Sunday at Weiland Funeral Chapel in Madison with a prayer service at 7 p.m. Visitation will continue on Monday at the church one hour prior to the service. Burial will be in West Sinai Cemetery, rural Sinai. Online condolences can be sent at www.weilandfuneralchapel.com.
Red was the youngest of six children born to Oscar and Mabel (Dahl) Erickson in Brookings. He attended Brookings High School, where he earned 10 letters for being a star athlete in track, basketball, and football, and was inducted into the BHS athletic hall of fame in August 2017. Red received a full athletic scholarship to South Dakota State College (now University) where he participated in football, track, basketball and baseball. He graduated SDSU with a teaching degree in 1956. He later returned to school and earned a Master’s Degree in Guidance and Counseling.
In 1953, Red met Donna Larson at the Sugar Shack in Flandreau. The two were married on Jan. 15, 1955.
Red worked as an educator in Minnesota, and many towns in South Dakota, predominately Madison, where he taught high school science, and also coached many sports. He retired as Superintendent of the Hurley School System.
He spent his retirement years traveling, building furniture for family and friends, and being a very proud grandfather; coaching little league, attending dance recitals, and telling lots of stories.
Red was a role model not only for his children and grandchildren, but for the many athletes and students he had the privilege of working with over the years, some of whom chose to adopt him as “dad.” He considered himself blessed to have touched so many lives and to know that maybe he had made a difference, remembering all of his athletes by name and stats, even in his old age.
Outside of his athletic achievements, and devotion to family and friends, he is best remembered for his detailed storytelling, beautiful carpentry, and Norwegian jokes.
Ronald was preceded in death by his son Jon Erickson, parents, Oscar and Mabel (Dahl) Erickson; his brothers Elvie and Lester; sisters Lola Brown, Dorothy Bowne, and Violet Engelstad; and his son-in-law Brad Christensen.
He is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Donna (Larson); four adoring daughters, Ronda, of Madison, Kari Christensen (Todd Harris) of Poulsbo, Washington, Cyndi Erickson, of Gilbert, Arizona, and Shari Brown of Gilbert Arizona; four proud grandchildren, Bittina Chapman (Shawn) of Scottsdale, Arizona, Eric Erickson, of Madison, John Erickson, of Poulsbo, Washington, and LaNay Brown of Gilbert, Arizona. His “adopted” son Scott Weber and one “best buddy” great-grandson, his namesake, Sawyer Arlin Chapman, of Scottsdale, Arizona. Red was anxiously awaiting becoming a great-grandpa for the second time in April 2018.
Red passed away surrounded by a family so grateful and proud to have had the privilege to share his life. To God be the Glory!