Ralph Victor Erickson, Jr.

Erickson, Ralph Victor Jr. age 90, of Cornucopia, WI (formerly of New Brighton, MN) passed away on May 4, 2022 in Superior, WI, after several months in memory care. He was born in Minneapolis, MN, on February 24, 1932 as the only child of Ralph V. and Vera C. (Kolbe) Erickson. The family lived in North Minneapolis and often visited parental families in the Lester Prairie and Olivia areas, both in MN. Ralph graduated from Patrick Henry High School in 1949 and earned BS (1953) and MEd (1981) degrees in Music Education from the University of Minnesota. He began his career teaching instrumental music in St. Paul Park and Mt. Iron, MN and then taught for 30 years in North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale Schools from which he retired in 1992. Music was not only a career choice for Ralph but was an integral part of who he was. His appreciation for the broad range of genres prompted him to attend widely varied musical events at home and while traveling. He played clarinet and alto saxophone in bands and ensembles, and into his 80s he played occasional solos at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Cornucopia. Practicing piano for his own pleasure gave him many satisfying hours over the years. Ralph's other primary interests, travel and the outdoors, were nurtured by vacations with his parents and hiking and skiing adventures with friends. While a bachelor he bought a Volkswagen camper and traveled in Europe for a summer scouting out small villages and hiking trails. Once he and his Volkswagen returned to Minnesota, he took summer jaunts to Alaska, Central America, the Canadian maritime provinces and the western US. After marriage and family arrived, a new Volkswagen took them on many camping and skiing trips throughout the US and Canada, creating a multitude of memories. In 1976 Ralph married Eve Arneson and they moved to New Brighton. Sons Charles (1977) and Joel (1981) brought continuing pleasure and pride to his life. Chuck's marriage to Katie Beeman (2004) followed by the births of daughters Sydney (2008) and Adrienne (2010) added wonderful new dimensions to the family. Without siblings or nearby cousins, Ralph was welcomed and fully participated in Arneson family gatherings and events and enjoyed this extension of family life. The purchase of a cabin in Cornucopia in 1989 provided the family with many summers of relaxation and exploration along the South Shore of Lake Superior and led to the purchase of a retirement home on the lake in 2007. Ralph and Eve experienced much beauty, closeness and contentment from living in the woods at Birchcliff and watching the water and wildlife. Ralph is survived by his wife of 45 years, Eve (Cornucopia, WI); Chuck, Katie, Sydney and Adrienne (Duluth, MN); Joel (New Brighton, MN); and extended family. He was preceded in death by his parents and parents-in-law, many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. He will be remembered for his stories and sense of humor. A memorial service and celebration will be held on Friday, May 20, 2022 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Cornucopia. Visitation will begin at 10 a.m. with the service at 11. A luncheon will follow at Bell Town Hall. Guestbook: bratleyfamilyfuneralhome.com