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Obituary: Thomas F. Erickson

Thomas “Tom” Fredrick Erickson of Carlton passed away July 19, 2022. Tom was born in Wausau, Wisconsin on Jan. 26, 1940, to Fredrick and Gladys Erickson. An only child, Tom was raised in Wausau, where he graduated high school in 1958, married his first wife, Karen, and started his family. In 1965, Tom and his young family relocated to Duluth, where he was employed in the lumberyard business, first with Fullerton’s, then after the fire in 1970 with Duluth Lumber and Plywood. Tom and his family settled in the Morgan Park neighborhood, where they lived in three houses on both sides of the park. In 1977, Tom remarried, and in 1984 he and his wife Eileen moved full-time to the beautiful lake home they built themselves on Lac La Belle in Carlton County.

After Tom retired from Duluth Lumber in the mid-1980s, he and Eileen embarked on a second career in the world of flea marketing. For the next 18 years, they frequented venues in Hayward, Pine City, and other towns where they sold their wares out of a repurposed blue school bus with their two dogs, Jigs and Duke. This was a very enjoyable time in their lives; they lived life on their own terms and met many interesting people along the way.

In 1998, Tom and Eileen became snowbirds and began spending the winters in Apache Junction, Arizona, where they were able to continue flea marketing and also enjoy hiking, sightseeing and travel. In 2019 they sold the home in Arizona and returned to Minnesota full-time, where they could once again experience Minnesota winters, and enjoy closeness with family — especially around the holidays.

Tom enjoyed woodworking and home construction projects, genealogy research, old tractors and car shows. He was the bedrock of our family — his wisdom, wit, and kindness will be greatly missed (as will his sarcastic humor, political commentary, and general bullheadedness).

Tom was preceded in death by his parents Fred and Gladys; son Paul; son-in-law Vern; and stepson Philip. He is survived by his wife of nearly 45 years, Eileen (Jokinen, Langevin); his former wife, Karen (Schoenborn, Robnik) and mother of his children; children Keith (Jeri) Erickson, Linda Rominger and Mark (Kelly) Erickson; stepsons Mickey (Cindy) Langevin and Gene (Mary) Langevin; grandchildren Amber, Andrew, Jeremy (Dayin Liston) Erickson, Cari (Jack) Elliot, Katrina (Andrew) Maida, Zackery (Mike Jamison), Jakob Erickson, Mathew (Kelsey), Thomas (Cody Cox) Erickson, Cristin (Grant) Johnson and Michael Langevin; great-granddaughter Keerynn Erickson; and special four-legged pal Lucchi.

There will be a celebration of life for family and friends in the near future.