Richard G. Erickson, 59

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    Thief River Falls – Richard George Erickson of Thief River Falls, passed peacefully at sunrise in his home with his wife and children at his side on Friday, August 11, 2017 at the age of 59.
    Funeral services were held on Tuesday, August 15, 2017 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Thief River Falls, with Rev. John Wollenzien officiating.  Interment followed at the Viking Cemetery in rural Viking.
    Richard George Erickson was born on September 6, 1957 in Milwaukee, WI, the son of George O. and Emma A. (Bennett) Erickson. He was baptized in Milwaukee and confirmed at Zion Lutheran Church in Viking.
    Rick graduated from Warren High School with the class of 1975. Following graduation, he attended school for drafting and tool design.
    On June 24, 1978, Rick was united in marriage to Sally Ann Nepper at Trinity Lutheran Church in Thief River Falls. They were blessed with two children: Benjamin George born in 1980 and Trudy Beret born in 1987.
    Rick and Sally lived for a brief time in Minneapolis where Rick worked as a draftsman for FMC Corporation. In 1979, they returned to Thief River Falls and Rick joined his father, George at Ericco Tool and Manufacturing.
    In the early years, the company focused on building specialized custom machines for companies all over the United States. Through the years, the business evolved with the needs of area businesses, especially Arctic Cat, into the current company Ericco Manufacturing.
    Rick learned both skills and passion from his father through their years in business together and has passed these skills and this passion to his children, who will continue to carry his legacy through the family business.
    Rick was a talented, intelligent man who enjoyed his work and was humble, but proud of his accomplishments. He enjoyed working with his customers and suppliers, turning many of these relationships into lasting friendships.
    Music was a great enjoyment throughout his life. In high school, Rick was on stage for all of the high school musicals and also sang with a small gospel group. In the 80s, Rick and Sally played together in the band “County Line.” In 1992, Rick, Mike Sorteberg and Jay Forney began playing music together and became the “Trinity Trio.” They provided gospel bluegrass music for many, many people and functions through the years.  
    Rick also enjoyed snowmobiling, traveling and spending time with his family at the lake. He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, serving as church council president and soundboard operator. As a member of B.P.O. Elks Lodge #1308, Rick served as Exalted Ruler, DDGER, and other state offices. He was also a member of the Pennington County Fair Board.
    Rick is survived by his wife of 39 years, Sally Ann; his son, Ben and wife, DeeAnn and their children, Lucas Dean and Britta Ann; his daughter, Trudy and husband Josh Veselka and their daughter, Nora Ruth; father, George; sister, Kathy (Wayne) Liden; brothers, Russell (Nancy) Erickson, Joel (Rhonda) Erickson, and Jeffrey (Becky) Erickson; brother-in-law, Tom (Roxi) Nepper; sisters-in-law, Gayle (Alan) Brus, Kathy Nepper, Lisa (Brad) Berg; aunt, Marilyn Bennett; several nieces, nephews, cousins; and his 2008 Harley Davidson Edition Ford F150.
    Rick is preceded in death by his mother, Emma; grandparents; aunts and uncles; mother-in-law and father-in-law, Ruth and James Nepper; sister-in-law, Barb Nepper; brother-in-law, John McLaughlin; and nephew, Chad Kelly.