Frank Allan Erickson passed away in the loving arms of his family March 28, 2015 at home in The Dalles, Ore., after a yearlong battle with a rare cancer. Frank was born Feb. 19, 1943 in Kellogg, Idaho to parents Jean D. (Hughes) and Elmer Erickson. He grew up in Pinehurst and then Kellogg, where he developed lifelong friendships. He loved exploring the forests, mountains and streams of the region.
He received his B.S. in Geography, from University of Idaho in 1965, M.A in Geography 1967 and Ph.D. in Geography in 1969 from University of Illinois. His specialty was Economic Geography and Agricultural Economics. Frank was appointed Assistant Professor at Kent State University Geography Dept. in the fall of 1969. Teaching Latin American Geography led him to take student and faculty groups to Latin America for field study trips in the mid 1970’s with his friend and colleague, Dr. John Allensworth. Their annual Latin American trips continued for decades. Frank helped found the Kent, Ohio Chapter of Amigos de las Americas. He served three terms as president of the Kent Chapter and served on the National Board of Directors. In the late 1970’s Frank briefly lived and did research in the Dominican Republic, and in Jamaica under contract to U.S. Agency for International Development as part of the Agricultural Assessment Team.
On June 28, 1981, he married Lynne J. McPeak in Kent, Ohio. The couple had two children, Keith and Rachael.
Frank was a past board member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Kent, Ohio. He retired from Kent State University in 1995 and the rank of Professor Emeritus was conferred upon him. He then taught part time, teaching courses he loved until his retirement in Jan 2009, including Geography of Wines, and Field Study Teaching on wines, wine and food, museums and environmental workshops. His wine classes and workshops were the most popular courses on campus. He loved teaching and making a difference in students lives.
He and Lynne moved to The Dalles from Ohio in 2012 to return to the Northwest, which Frank considered home. He loved exploring the great wine regions of Washington and Oregon, traveling, playing pinochle, hiking and lifelong learning. He also volunteered at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center and Museum. Ever the optimist, his favorite saying in retirement was “Life is good.” His love, gentle spirit, wit and wisdom will be forever missed by his family and friends.
Frank will be dearly missed by his wife Lynne Erickson of The Dalles; son Keith A. Erickson of Canal Fulton, Ohio; daughter Rachael L. Erickson of Louisville, Ky.; sister Norma Donaldson of Lake Havasu City, Ariz.; and mother Jean D. Erickson of The Dalles. He was preceded in death by his father, Elmer.
A celebration of his life will be held in May with his family and close friends in North Idaho, at Butler Mill, on Latour Creek, where he loved to fish with his father. Condolences may be sent to his family at 1011 E. Scenic Dr., The Dalles, OR 97058 or emailed to Lynne at firstname.lastname@example.org
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