Fred Alvin Erickson, a lifelong resident of Baudette, passed away on Friday, January 15, 2021, at his home. Funeral services will be held Saturday, January 23, 2021 at 10 AM at First Congregational Church in Baudette with Pastor Geer officiating. Burial will be in Elm Park Cemetery at a later date; with Helgeson Funeral Chapels making arrangements.
Fred was born the fourth of six children to Alfred Martin and Clara Mathilda (Larson) Erickson in Baudette on October 20, 1936. The family lived on a farm in Spooner Township, and following Alfred’s tragic death when Fred was just 11, they all helped their mother by sharing the farm duties. Sharing also meant a foot-race when getting off the school bus to be the first one to ride the family’s only bicycle. In later years Fred was still only a phone call away when his mother needed help until she passed away.
Fred attended grade school at the Hagen School and completed through the 11th grade at Baudette High School. After leaving school, he continued working on the family farm and also worked for Peter Klimek as a Culligan Man and at Klimek’s Chevrolet garage. He remained a loyal Chevy man till his death. He then worked for about two years for Culligan in Virginia, MN. In 1962 Fred began working for Bodahl Plumbing and Heating and later at Brad’s Plumbing in Baudette. Fred did not like being in the spotlight, but preferred to be in the background. He never acquired a plumber’s license but handled each job professionally and with no wasted time. That’s just the way he wanted it. His 36-year employment at the Bodahl and Brad’s plumbing shop showed his loyalty and dependability. In that time he took very few sick days and vacations from work. He retired from the shop in 1998. Over 60+ years he winterized and sometimes summarized many seasonal residences in the Lake of the Woods area. Many times he never met the owners of the homes he drained and reopened. They were just voices on the phone who trusted him enough of leave him keys to their homes or left them on nails under deck steps, under grill or propane gas tank covers or elsewhere for him to use. He never betrayed their trust.
On June 13, 1964, Fred married Donna Mae Sindelir at First Congregational Church with Rev. Goodfellow hearing their vows. Sons Allen Michael and Wayne Jeffrey were born to the couple on March 30, 1965, and November 20, 1967, respectively. They lived in Baudette until the summer of 1975 when they moved to the Erickson family farm in Spooner Township. This remained Fred’s home ever since, the place where he had lived all but 11 years of his life.
Fred was a member of Baudette’s Moose Lodge #742 since 1964 becoming a lifetime member in 2014, was a member of Plumbers and Pipefitters Union and had been a member of Lake of the Woods Drifters snowmobile club. He volunteered his time at various places, some of which were putting in the community’s first artificial ice system in the arena, setting up the handwarmer pipe at many VFW fishing derby’s, helping at Oktoberfest’s where he especially enjoyed flipping potato pancakes and offering a helping hand at the ploughing competition held here.Fred is survived by his wife Donna, son Allen of Escondido, CA, son Wayne of Brainerd, MN, 5 granddaughters, Courtney (Ryan Turner) of Bloomer, WI, Erin of Thief River Falls, Taylor of Duluth, Morgan and Lacey of Brainerd, 3 great grandsons Cayden, Kooper and Riggs of Bloomer, brother-in-law Clarence Sindelir of Warroad, MN, sisters-in-law Mary Erickson of Staples, MN, Sandra Sindelir of Baudette and Wilma Fargo of Plymouth, MN and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Ernest, Melvin and Roger, sisters Lorraine Clementson and Beverly Johnson, great nephew Alan Clementson and step grandson Steven Puttbrese.