Bernard Clarence Erickson, age 81, of Escanaba, passed away Sunday, April 30, 2023 at his home. He was born on May 20, 1941 in Clearwater, SD, the son of Eric and Inez (Middlested) Erickson. At the age of 14, he worked with his father driving wrecker at his auto salvage yard. After graduating from high school, Bernie enlisted in the US Navy on December 30, 1959 and served his country until he was honorably discharged on December 9, 1963.
Bernie later worked in Michigan and Wisconsin for TV cable companies putting up cable poles. He also was a truck driver for the US Postal Service and later was employed by Mead Paper Company in Escanaba until his retirement. Bernie married Norma Rautio on January 6, 2010 in Escanaba and together just celebrated their 13th wedding anniversary. Bernie was talented with woodworking and made many various pieces of furniture throughout the years. He also had a passion for performing car repairs and restored over 30 classic cars. He enjoyed flying airplanes, riding his motorcycle, dancing to country western music, fishing and traveling, inventing things and solving problems, and was a great help to many people – always going out of his way to lend a helping hand. In his earlier years, Bernie was involved with stock car racing. Bernie was a member of Memorial United Methodist Church in Gladstone and was a founding member of the Krusin’ Klassics Car Club.
Bernie is survived by his wife, Norma Rautio of Escanaba; children, Robbie and Amanda; sister, Jean (Lyle) Hoidel of Montevideo, MN; his loving dog, Hoochie; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.
In addition to his parents, Bernie was preceded in death by his in-laws, Leonard and Gladys Kositzke.
Visitation will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 3:45 p.m., Thursday, May 4, 2023 at the Anderson Funeral Home in Escanaba. Military Honors will be conducted at 3:45 p.m., Thursday, by the Delta County Veterans Council in the Anderson Funeral Home Chapel. Funeral services celebrating the life of Bernie will follow with Pastor Terri Branstrom officiating. A luncheon will be served at the conclusion of the services at Memorial United Methodist Church in Gladstone. Burial will take place in the Gardens of Rest Cemetery.
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