Claire L. Erickson, 83Claire L. Erickson, 83, of Hudson, died with his wife of 60 years, Betty, at their home on Tuesday, March 24. He was born the son of Herman and Hazel (Sundstrom) Erickson on Feb. 23, 1926, in Barron, Wis.
Claire L. Erickson, 83, of Hudson, died with his wife of 60 years, Betty, at their home on Tuesday, March 24.
He was born the son of Herman and Hazel (Sundstrom) Erickson on Feb. 23, 1926, in Barron, Wis.
He attended grade school in Clayton prior to graduating from Hudson High School. He was a proud alumnus of Virginia Military Institute and was honorably discharged from the United States Army. He furthered his education at Ohio State University.
On March 18, 1949, he was united in marriage to his soul mate, Betty Lou Lohman, at Bethel Lutheran Church in Hudson. They were further blessed with children, Marilyn “Mimi,” Nancy, David and Kristi.
For those who knew Claire, they appreciated his dedication to family and business. Although he created successful businesses over the years which continue to grow, he was a humble and simple man.
The Herman Erickson Family moved to Hudson in 1939 and was involved in retail business. In 1950, the company diversified into the gasoline business with the first store in Red Wing, Minn. Herman, Claire and brothers Dean and Eugene continued in the retail grocery and gasoline business until 1981.
In 1981, the company divided and Claire and his family became solely involved in the retail gasoline business, Erickson Oil Products – DBA Freedom Valu Centers.
His work ethic was intense. One of his greatest work accomplishments was working side by side with his son, David. Together, they grew personally and professionally and were best friends besides partners.
Claire was proud of their business venture in the banking business at Lake Area Bank (Lindstrom, Minn.) and Round Bank (Waseca, Minn.), which he enjoyed with all three children.
When not in the office overseeing the daily operations, he enjoyed spending time with Betty and his family: outdoor activities such as golfing at Hudson Golf Course (charter member), boating on the St. Croix, pheasant hunting in the plains, fishing, or skiing in the mountains.
He was meticulous about keeping his cars spotless and making sure his yard work was always spic and span. He was a former First National Bank board member and a member of the old Elks Club. Some would say his greatest hobby was flying. He received his pilot’s license and took the greatest pleasure in soaring the skies.
He will remain in the hearts of his daughter Mimi and husband Jim Kron of Hudson and their children Andy, Jenny and David; son David and wife Debi Erickson and their children Ashley, Bradley and Grady; daughter Kristi and her husband Michael Kampmeyer and their children Matthew, Christopher and Drew Kampmeyer.
Claire was preceded in death by his daughter Nancy Lee (1951-1974). Nancy’s death created a painful void in his and Betty’s life. They are now all together for eternity.
He was also preceded in death by his parents, Herman and Hazel (Sundstrom) Erickson, and brothers Eugene and Dean.
A funeral service for Claire and his wife, Betty, was at 11 a.m. on Monday, March 30, at Bethel Lutheran Highlands Church, 504 Frontage Road in Hudson, with Pastor Dennis Nelson officiating. Special music was provided by Layton James, John Rudeen and Colleen Raye.
Burial was in the family plot at Willow River Cemetery in Hudson. Their active casketbearers were their grandchildren, who meant the world to them! Honorary casketbearers were Gary Vander Vorst, Darren Forbes, Marc Campbell and Larry Thompson.
Visitation was Sunday, March 29, from 2 until 7 p.m. at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home, 520 S. 11th St., in Hudson.
To continue the legacy of Claire and Betty, memorials will be used to set up the Claire and Betty Lou Erickson Family Scholarship Fund, 1231 Industrial St., Hudson WI 54016.
Funeral services were entrusted to O’Connell Family Funeral Home.