31 January 1929 ~ 15 April 2015 “The BobObit” On April 15, 2015, Robert William Erickson, age 86, died in the loving care of his family at Regions Hospital, St. Paul. Bob was born January 31, 1929 to Elmer Ferdinand Erickson and Ingaborg (Belle) Johanna Peterson and grew up on a farm in northern Minnesota, near St. Hilaire. He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings: Donald, Wallace, Joanne, Wayne, and Bruce. Survived by his former wife Enid Broderick and their children: Michael (Mary Kay), Maria (Daniel), Frank, Theresa, Claire (John), Elizabeth, Joanne, and Joseph; their grandchildren: Christopher (Kathleen), Agnes (Jonas), Annie, Ethan, Kristine (Eric), Brianna, and Abigail; and his beloved orange tabby, Samson.
Bob raised his family in St. Anthony Park, and was an esteemed Professor Emeritus at the Department of Forest Resources, University of Minnesota. He earned his undergraduate degree and Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota in Forest Products and Research. Near the end of his career, he developed and patented the construction of a hollow wood pole (as an alternative to the commercial industry’s solid wood utility pole). The hollow pole was lightweight, decay resistant, and engineered for strength. Bob’s creativity followed in the steps of his Great-Uncle Johan Petter Johansson (1853-1943), a Swedish industrialist and inventor of the pipe wrench, the adjustable wrench, and more than 100 other patents. As a member of the J.P. Johansson-sällskapet, Bob was involved in commemorating his relative’s contributions. As a college professor, he traveled the world, visited every continent with the exception of Antarctica (no trees), was an apt student of language, and maintained strong ties to New Mexico. During the Korean War, Bob served in a United States Air Force search and rescue unit stationed on Okinawa. He was an avid fan of all types of sports, though he loved baseball the best, and in the 1950s played for the St. Louis Cardinals’ minor league. For over 40 years, he bowled in a University of Minnesota league now called “The Woodpickers.” Bob was a man of faith, hard work, integrity, good cheer, irrepressible sense of humor, and a lover of animals. He will be forever missed.
Saturday, Jun. 6, 2015
3:00 PM – 6:00 PM
University of Minnesota, St. Paul Student Center
2017 Buford Ave.,Cherrywood Room