Norman Erickson Obituary (2022) – Grand Rapids, MN

February 15, 1927 – May 17, 2022

Norm was born in Chicago in 1927 to Swedish immigrants Gottfried and Signe Erickson and was raised in Mundelein and Libertyville, Illinois. He graduated from Libertyville High School where he excelled in basketball, and football, earning all-conference and all-county honors in both sports He was a passing tailback for the LHS football team which won 24 consecutive games over 3 seasons. Norm was also a standout baseball and softball player, catching for the Libertyville Comets, Waukegan Pilots and Chicago Hottentots. Norm was inducted into the Lake County, IL Sports Hall of Fame in 2012 for both his athletic abilities and his 36 years as an Illinois High School Association football and basketball official. Norm served in the US Navy during WWII before graduating from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1950 where he was a member of the Tau Kappa Epilson fraternity. While a student at IWU, Norm met Martha Ann Doney whom he married on August 18, 1950. They then relocated to the Mundelein/Libertyville area where they raised their three sons. Norm later earned a Masters in Education from Roosevelt University in Chicago. He taught Physical Education and coached basketball for 36 years at Deerpath Junior High in Lake Forest Illinois, leaving a legacy that is commemorated in the Norm Erickson Invitational tournament named in his honor.

Norm also served for 19 years as a Libertyville Township Trustee and as waterfront director, camp director, and owner of Camp Mishawaka in Grand Rapids, MN over a span of 25 years. Norm was a kind and gentle soul who had an immeasurable impact on the lives of thousands of students and campers at both Deerpath and Mishawaka.

He was a life-long supporter of the Green Bay Packers and a Chicago Cubs fanatic whose t-shirt “Just Once Before I Die” he wore with enormous pride until the Cubs finally won the World Series in 2016. Norm greatly valued his connections with family and friends and was known for writing dozens of handwritten Christmas letters well into his 90s.

Norm was preceded in death by his parents, Gottfried and Signe, brother Roland, and wife of 68 years, Martha Doney Erickson. He is survived by sons Stephen (Mary Ann), Jon (Beth), and Robert (Diane Lundquist), grandchildren Kevin, Charley, Tara & Tamsin, great grandchildren Zane, Coda, KC, Kristopher and their grandmother, Melanie Howick-Erickson.

A special thank you to the staff at Majestic Pines, Essentia Hospice and Grand Itasca Hospital for the fine care and support that Norm was provided over the past few years. A private ceremony will be held with family this summer in Grand Rapids, MN.

To honor Norm’s memory, please consider contributing to the Mishawaka Foundation to help underprivileged youngsters attend summer camp.

Arrangements are with Rowe Funeral Home and Crematory, Grand Rapids, MN.

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Published by News Sun on May 21, 2022.

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