“My name is Arthur W. Erickson. I was born in Hoboken, N.J. on March 24, 1917.”
So begins the autobiography of Arthur “Eric” Erickson, who passed away Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011 at his home in Margaretville, NY, where he had lived for 53 years. Arthur lived to be 94 years old. A soldier, patriot, husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, Arthur began his autobiography some time after his retirement from the Dependable Steel Rule Die Manufacturers Company he had founded in 1950. In his eighties, he learned to use the computer to begin the story of his rich life. Clearly, he remained active intellectually and physically for the rest of his life, taking pleasure in gardening in the summer, minding his wood stove in the winter, reading, following his passion for politics and watching baseball.
He retired after working for about 72 years. He had started at age nine when he inherited part of his brother Rudolph’s paper route and sold papers for three cents each. He grew up in Staten Island. He quit high school three months short of graduation in order to save his parents money and joined the Civilian Conservation Corporation camps, serving all across the country for almost three years.
He joined the army in 1940, serving in WWII in the Pacific in Hawaii during the Pearl Harbor attack, then later in Central Europe and Rhineland in combat operations. He achieved the rank of Supply Sergeant, and he was decorated with the American Defense Service Medal with the Bronze Star, Asiatic Pacific Service Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Service Medal and the Good Conduct Medal. Honorably discharged in 1945, he went back to work.
He married Barbara Michaud on June 28, 1957 and remained married for 54 years. They and his business moved from Staten Island to Margaretville in 1958. He and Barbara raised five children.
He was predeceased by his parents, Alfred Erickson and Lydia Hendrickson; his brother, Rudolph Erickson and his daughter, Linda Wade.
He is survived by his wife, Barbara Erickson, as well as Carol Erickson, Bob Erickson, Amy McCann, Chris Erickson, JoAnn Erickson, Ben Erickson, John Erickson, Jim Wade, Erik Wade, Laura Todzia-Wade, Kelly Wade, Frank Todzia and Taegan Todzia-Wade.
Family and friends attended a graveside service at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22 at the Margaretville Cemetery Annex, Margaretville.
Donations in memory of Arthur W. Erickson may be made to the Ambulance Fund at the Margaretville Hospital. Funeral arrangements are by the Hynes Funeral Home, Margaretville.