James Lee Erickson
01/23/1940 - 03/20/2022
James Lee Erickson, 82, of Gilbert, passed away Sunday, March 20, 2022 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Duluth with Kristine and John by his side.
Jim was born January 23, 1940 in Biwabik to Anne and Earl Erickson. He grew up on the family farm in rural Gilbert and graduated from Gilbert High School in 1958. He attended Virginia Junior College for 1½ years and was president of the 4-H Club for one year. In 1960, he joined the Navy where he was a Fire Control Technician 3rd Class. He served aboard the USS Providence (CLG-G) and the USS Gridley (DLG-21). While on the USS Gridley, he earned a Navy unit commendation ribbon for successful counterattack operating against North Vietnamese torpedo boats.
When the USS Gridley crossed the equator, Fire Control Technician 3rd Class Erickson left his polliwog ways behind and forever became a trusty shellback. So says Davey Jones.
After his discharge in 1964, he moved to Hutter where he worked various jobs before retiring from Viking Explosives after 26 years of service. In 1966 he married Anita Haavisto and had daughter, Kristine, while building his forever home.
He loved to be outside making wood, working in the garage and going for drives. Jim was fiercely independent and quiet but was always ready with a helping hand. He was a treasure trove of information on numerous subjects including motors of any sort, electrical, carpentry, and plumbing. He truly was a jack-of-all trades.
Jim is survived by daughter, Kristine, and son-in-law, John Lilli; sister, Nancy Erickson; sister-in-law, Sande Erickson; 2 grandchildren, Holly and Dustin; 2 nephews; 1 great-niece and nephew; along with good friend, Ludwig Samson.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Earl and Anne; brother, Robert; sister, Janet and husband Al Schonthaler; and Kristine’s mother, Anita.
There will be a private family gathering later this spring.
Arrangements are with Range Funeral in Virginia.