Obituary: ERICKSON, RALPH CALVIN

Published: Thursday, July 24 2014 10:24 a.m. MDT

Ralph Calvin Erickson1924 ~ 2011Ralph Calvin Erickson "Cal", our beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend passed away peacefully on December 12, 2011 at the age of 87. He was born February 16, 1924 in Salt Lake City, Utah to Florence Josephine Gustaveson and Ralph Fredrick Erickson; the third of five children.Cal grew up in the Salt Lake City area, attending Garfield Elementary, Irving Jr. High and East High School. He was drafted in the Army in 1942 and he served for over three years during World War II. He served in both theaters (the European and Pacific). Dad was proud of his military service and later in life would often pull out his Army uniform to wear to work every Veteran's Day. Cal graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in Political Science. He also spent time at the University of Mississippi and the University of Georgia while in the Army. After the Army, Cal lived and worked in New York City and enjoyed the vibrant life of the city in the 1950s. He saw Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Tommy Dorsey, and others perform in NYC. Cal loved music, especially the Big Band era music. He knew an endless amount of songs. After some time in New York, Cal decided he needed to serve the Lord as a missionary. Cal served in the California Mission from 1955 to 1957.After many years of waiting for the right lady, he met and married Myrna Green on May 23, 1964 in the St. George Utah LDS Temple. They were blessed with three children, James, Caroline, and Ann. Cal worked for many years in the sales/retail industry. He worked for Auerbach's, ZCMI, and Anderson Lumber among others. He was working up until he was 83 years old for Ace Hardware keeping the nuts and bolts aisle organized, a job no one wanted to do but Dad. He loved to work and enjoyed meeting many, many people over the years. It was hard to go anywhere with Dad and not have him run into someone he knew. He was a true people person. Dad's trademark whistle was a symbol of his positive outlook on life. He loved life. He was optimistic and cheerful. He loved to help people and took joy in seeing people happy. Dad was a ravenous reader and could spend hours devouring the newspaper, the scriptures and any book around. Dad was a lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He served in many positions including High Priest Group Leader, Stake Clerk, Stake MIA leader, and he was a faithful hometeacher. He loved the Lord and could bring any subject in conversation back to the gospel of Jesus Christ. He is survived by his wife, Myrna; son, James (Holly) - West Jordan, UT; daughters Caroline (Doug) Green - Salt Lake City, UT, and Ann - Westminster, CO; five grandchildren (Annie, Justin, Jacob, Abigail, and Jack), one brother Ken and one sister Linda. He was preceded in death by his parents and two sisters, Carole and Phyllis.The family wishes to thank the nurses and staff at Garden Terrace for the tender, loving and dignified manner in which they cared for Dad during his final weeks. Funeral services will be held on Friday, December 16, 2011 at noon at the Forestview LDS Ward building 1111 E Charlton (2818 S). Viewing to be held Thursday evening, December 15, 2011 6 to 8 p.m. at Wasatch Lawn Mortuary (3401 S Highland Drive) and one hour prior to funeral services at the Forestview building. Interment at Wasatch Lawn.