Paul passed away on Tuesday, July 29th after a 2 ½ year courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. He was born in Minneapolis, MN, the son of Swedish immigrants John and Selma Erickson and was very proud of his Swedish heritage. He grew up in south Minneapolis on 36th St and 46th Ave. with his only sister Ruth Boelter and cousin Elsie Gustafson, who came from Canada to help the family when Paul’s mother passed away of cancer.
He graduated from Roosevelt High School and attended the University of Minnesota taking many assorted business courses. Between High School and the University of MN, Paul was in the 24th Infantry Division of the United States Army, Korea. During his school years he worked for Walters Drug Store during which time the Walters Drug Store COWBOYS were born. He married in 1948 and had three daughters, Debbie (Pat) Huppert, Sandra McTie and Catherine Most. During this period of time he started Erickson Industries, Inc. in Roberts, WI. As the business expanded it was moved to River Falls, WI in 1956 where he employed up to 227 people. The business still exists in that location today where Paul still was presiding as President of the company. Erickson Industries, Inc. manufactured commercial refrigeration equipment. He was mostly self taught in refrigeration engineering and fostered several innovative products such as Koolrite package refrigeration systems and Chill-Air products (Chill-Air room refrigerators). In the latter years his products evolved into the scientific field where he engineered and manufactured environmental climate controlled rooms. In 1973, he married Helen Walsh Rooney. Helen became a very active part in Paul’s business and brought into their marriage five step-children, Patrick Rooney, Mary-Margaret Fitzgerald, Timothy Rooney, Kathleen (Kevin) Herrmann and Joseph (Robin) Rooney. Together they had 14 grandchildren, and 5 great grandchildren. Paul was preceded in death by his parents John and Selma Erickson, his grandson, Brandon Paul Brenna, stepson, Patrick Rooney and stepdaughter, Kathleen Herrmann. Paul felt that life was a complete celebration and enjoyed all of the challenges it brought forth and lived his life with integrity and honor. His extra curricular activities were fishing and boating, reading, gardening, watching sports, a Viking/Packer fan, and flying his plane in prior years. Thru the years he was active as President of the River Falls Chamber of Commerce and chaplain of the St. Croix Valley Shrine Club. His memberships included the Scottish Rite Masons, ASHRAE Society, The American Swedish Institute, River Falls American Legion and Ezekiel Lutheran Church. A celebration of Paul's life was held on Saturday, August 2, 2008 at 10:00 am at Ezekiel Lutheran Church. Memorial visitation was held Friday, August 1, 2008 from 5-8 pm with Masonic Service at 7 pm at Bakken-Young Funeral Home and also one hour before the service at the church on Saturday. Interment was in Greenwood Cemetery. Memorials are preferred to the River Falls Library Foundation or to the Shrine Children's Hospital in Minneapolis. Arrangements were with Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services of River Falls.