James R. Erickson, age 74, of Winona, died surrounded by his family on Monday, August 5, 2013, at Lake Winona Manor, Winona, Minn., where he resided since August 3.
Jim was born February 9, 1939, in Winona, to L. Russel and Irene (Kuklinski) Erickson. He graduated from Winona Senior High School and from Winona State University with Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in biology. On August 22, 1970, he married Ruth A. Olson at Cedar Valley Lutheran Church, Winona, Minn.
Jim taught biology at Mounds View High School, Mounds View, Minn., and started the biology department at Normandale Community College, Bloomington, Minn. He retired in 1996 after 22 years at Winona State University, where he served as the Director of the Continuing Education and Extension Department and started both the WSU Elderhostel program (1979) and The Learning Club (1993).
In retirement, Jim continued to follow his passion for learning and enjoyed volunteering with numerous organizations close to his heart, including Winona County Historical Society, The Learning Club, Cedar Valley Lutheran Church, Commonweal Theatre Company, Minnesota Marine Art Museum, Sauer Health Care, Pickwick Mill, Upper Mississippi Jazz Society, and Great River Shakespeare Festival. Jim and Ruth were also honored recipients of the 2009 Spirit of Winona Award and the 2012 Winona County Historical Society Heritage Service Award.
Jim was an avid traveler, visiting 73 countries, enjoyed boating and all things Mississippi River, hunting, and cooking for and with family and friends. He will be missed by many.
Jim is survived by his wife, Ruth, Winona; his daughter, Pamela (Terry) Koch, Minneapolis; and his grandson, Maxwell James.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Services to remember Jim will be at 1:00 p.m. Friday, August 9, 2013, at Cedar Valley Lutheran Church, Winona, Minn., with Rev. Beth Krolak officiating. Interment will follow at Cedar Valley Cemetery.
Visitation will be from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. Thursday, August 8, at Fawcett-Junker Funeral Home, Winona.
Casket bearers will be Roger Erickson, Paul Erickson, Peter Erickson, John Stevens, Dean Kuklinski, George Kuklinski, Bill Nowlan, and Terry Koch.
Memorials may be directed to Cedar Valley Lutheran Church, 27076 Cedar Church Road, Winona, Minn., 55987; Winona County Historical Society, 160 Johnson Street, Winona, Minn., The Learning Club at WSU, P.O. Box 5838, Winona, Minn., or the donorís choice.
Words of sympathy or remembrance may be left at www.fawcett-junkerfuneralhome.com. Services entrusted to Fawcett-Junker Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Winona, Minn.