Emily Ann Erikson

August 28, 1940October 8, 2018

Emily Ann (Bates) Erikson,78, of Phoenix, AZ, passed away October 8, 2018. She was born in Polk County, Iowa on August 28, 1940.

Education, advocacy, and a welcoming spirit were the core values that defined Emily. Through her work as a librarian and English teacher, she was able to spread her love of learning and reading. Emily was an early supporter of charter schools, as well as a passionate advocate for disability rights. Despite living with a neuromuscular disease, she did not become overwhelmed by barriers or obstacles. Instead, she found unique opportunities and new ways around problems. Emily had a special way of making everyone feel welcome and valued in her life. She was so proud that her daughters incorporated this part of her personality into their lives Emily is survived and celebrated by her husband of 52 years, David and daughters, Devin Erikson and Darcy Ljunggren, and son-in-law, Jason Ljunggren. She also leaves behind her beloved grandchildren, Gage and Hayden Ljunggren, brother and sister-in-love, Lee and Kathy Bates, and sister-by-choice, Janna Riggs. Emily’s spirit joyously joins her daughter, Erin Erikson, and parents, Elnathan and Olive Bates.

A Celebration of Life service will be held at First Congregational Church UCC in Phoenix, AZ on November 10, 2018 at 11:00am with a reception to follow.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association to support continuing research.


  • Celebration of Life

    Saturday, November 10, 2018


Emily Ann Erikson

have a memory or condolence to add?

Sara Buchmann Koch

November 10, 2018

I will never forget how caring Emily was every time I visited her Erickson twins at home. So many great memories of a woman who regarded everyone as god’s children and demonstrated how to be a great mother.

Angela Groff

November 8, 2018

As my best friend’s mother, Emily was so kind and real with me. I always felt welcome in the Erikson home. She printed my wedding invitations and made a book of ABC’s for my first daughter. She loved to share her talent of creating with her computer. I am blessed to having known her.

Janna Riggs

November 7, 2018

Whenever I needed some comfort, a hand to hold and a place to stay, Emily, my sister by another mother, was always there. Emily was my personal concierge for Phoenix. She located the best restaurants, bargains, book sales and also introduced me to EBay. Oh, yes, she knew how to navigate the city long before GPS, made only right turns and never was in the first vehicle entering the intersection.

She made such a difference in my family's life as we shared adventures. Thank you, Emily, dear, for being so very special.

Amanda Willis

November 4, 2018

One summer, I was home from college alone. My parents were spending the summer in Ohio. I was subsisting on standard college student fare: mac & cheese, ramen, and (my favorite) fried bologna sandwiches. When Emily found out I was eating fried bologna sandwiches for dinner, she absolutely insisted I come to their house for a proper meal. Home away from home. Thank you, Emily, for treating me like one of your own.

Sue Hodge-Parker

November 4, 2018

I will always remember that she hosted the best surprise baby shower for soon to be Sam at a Deacon’s meeting at her house. Most of the male Deacons were of an age where this was the first baby shower that they had ever been invited to. We had a blast.