Roger Erickson

Roger Erickson

Roger Theodore Erickson was born on December 10, 1912 in Chicago, Illinois.

He passed away in Williams Lake on November 5, 2004 at the age of 91.

He attended high school in North Carolina and sold two professional cartoons to the Ashville Citizen newspaper.

He received his bachelor’s degree in education from Berea College in Kentucky.

Roger married his first wife, Ida Smeltekp, in 1942 in Chicago, and moved to Los Angeles, California. There were no children from this marriage, which unfortunately, ended in divorce in 1957.

Roger was drafted into the U.S. Navy service attached to the construction battalion known as the Fight Seabees.

He spent the majority of his service time in France and on the island of Okinawa as a cook.

After the war Roger taught school for awhile, decided it was not the career for him so he earned a degree in social work.

It was while he was working for the County of Los Angeles that he met Harriette and they were married in January 1963.

Harriette had three children, Leland and Sue, who were grown and had moved away, and a son, Larry, at home. Roger was raising his nephew, Danny, so the boys became a family for their final teen years.

Roger and his late wife Harriette moved to Horsefly in 1969 to retire from the big city life of Los Angeles.

After many years of searching for a suitable piece of Canadian wilderness they bought their log home high above the Horsefly river on the Mitchell Bay Road, five miles from Horsefly and started in on renovations and winterizing it.

They were delighted with the mountains, the trees and the abundant wildlife.

Roger and Harriette loved to canoe Horsefly and Quesnel Lakes and cross country ski in the winter.

They studied bird books and learned the wildlife in the area.

Roger especially loved spending time with his dogs and cats. Roger was an avid cartoonist and designed the caricature of the Horsefly Buzzy which is the logo for the Horsefly School and Fire Department, as well as the Horsefly monthly newsletter “The Buzz.”

Harriette was the editor and Roger drew Buzzy, sometimes in a comic strip and many times on the cover for the Buzz.

While they lived in Horsefly they travelled throughout the U.S to visit family and friends and several times to Europe.

Roger and Harriette quickly became involved in the activities of Horsefly.

They were founding members of the Horsefly Historical Society.

They joined the Horsefly Glee Club which evolved into Harper’s Camp Follies and in 1986 performed at Expo in Vancouver for a week.

They loved acting and especially comedy and Roger was well known for his cloak and dagger performances and dead pan humour.

They lived in Horsefly for 28 years until poor health necessitated a move to an apartment in the Cariboo Lodge.

Roger was predeceased by his wife Harriette in 1997, as well as his sisters Muriel Terwilliger and Gwendolyn Olsen.

He is survived by his nephew Danny (Gayle), step children Leland (Lorraine) MacDonald, Susan (Bill) Burkhart and Larry (Jill) MacDonald , half brothers and sisters John Erickson, Ted Erickson, Johanna Rhew, and Jenny McGaha.

Roger was a proud grandfather to eleven grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren.

Luc LaPrairie was in charge of the remains.

Roger and Harriette’s ashes were mingled together and buried in the Horsefly cemetery before a service at the Horsefly Community Hall for a celebration of Rogers life. Pastor Marvin Miller officiated.

One of Roger’s favourite poems was:

To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people, and the respect of children,

To earn the appreciation of honest critics, and endure the betrayal of false friends,

To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better,

Whether by a healthy child, a garden patch…..

To know that if even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.

This is to have succeeded.

Emerson


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