Sylvester Roy Erickson
November 30, 1919 – May 6, 2018
Bud Erickson loved God, country, the Marines, his family, golf, a good game of bridge, and hosting a great party. His last party will be held on Friday, May 18, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Visalia Country Club, and he hopes you can attend. Prior to his Celebration of Life Party, a memorial service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, 215 N. Locust St. in Visalia at 11:45 a.m. Bud lived to be 98 years, and passed away peacefully in his home on May 6, 2018, with family at his side. He was born in San Francisco on November, 30, 1919, to Bernice and Sylvester Erickson. Bud’s father passed away when Bud was two, and he and his brother, Harold, were raised by their paternal grandparents. At the age of 12, Bud and his brother were reunited in Casper, Wyoming, with their mother, stepfather James Shikany, and two new siblings. The Shikany’s relocated to Aberdeen, South Dakota, where Bud had a job tending horses at the fairgrounds and developed a life long love of them. The family also lived in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where Bud played third base for American Legion Junior Baseball. Bud’s stepfather was transferred to Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1936. Bud graduated from Washburn High School in 1937, where he lettered in wrestling. During his years in the mid-west Bud was an avid swimmer, hunter, fisherman, and bridge player. Taught by their parents when Bud and his siblings were teenagers, bridge became a life long hobby. Following high school he worked in his Uncle Joe Shikany’s restaurant on the campus of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. He returned to Minneapolis in 1938, accepting a sales position with a food brokerage company. Bud enlisted in the Marine Corps in December, 1941, and received boot camp training at Camp Pendleton in Oceanside. He was assigned to the Signal Corp Communications Office and sailed from San Diego to Wellington, New Zealand to receive further training and set up a forward echelon for the Second Marine Division. Throughout WWII, Bud worked with the Navajo Code Talkers doing code and cipher work, and was the communications officer for beach landings. He saw combat throughout the Pacific and following the surrender of Japan, went with an advanced echelon to set up a communications office in Nagasaki. Following his discharge from the Marines in February, 1946, Bud he attended the Minnesota School of Business and resumed his former sales job. He met a beautiful war widow, Beatrice Sill, on the shores of Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis, and they were married on August 6, 1947. They had two daughters, Christine and Nancy, before moving to Visalia in 1954, where Bud accepted a sales position with Nash De-Camp, a produce shipping company. He rose to vice-president of the company, and assisted in offices in Lodi, Bakersfield, El Centro, Phoenix, and Grand Junction. Bud had customers throughout the United States with whom he remained life long friends. He served on various state and national committees in the produce business, and helped organize what became the annual Tri-County Produce Golf Tournament. Bud and Bea loved Visalia where their third daughter, Jane, was born. They had thirty-five years together raising their three daughters, hosting parties, playing bridge, and traveling throughout the United States including Hawaii, Canada and Mexico before her death in 1979. Upon his retirement in 1985, he became involved in community service. Utilizing his keen sales ability and love for golf, he first organized the Goodnews Center Golf Tournament. Bud was instrumental in organizing the annual Kaweah Delta Hospital Foundation Golf Tournament which has generated thousands of dollars for the hospital. He served as Foundation Board president and continued as a board member until his death. Bud was a member of St. Paul’s Anglican Church where he served as an usher for many years. He was also a member of the California Chapter of the Second Marine Division whose reunions he never missed, and the Visalia Country Club, which became his second home. He organized the men’s bridge group that played at the club three times a week up until a month before he died. In 2003 he married Joan Connors Weisman. They enjoyed many years of hosting parties, golf trips to Mexico and Hawaii, and a trip to Ireland, the birthplace of his paternal grandmother. In spite of being a Dodger fan, Bud grew to love the Red Sox, a result of trips to Joan’s hometown of Boston. A highlight for Bud was returning to Wellington, New Zealand with Joan to attend a Second Marine Division reunion, where the Marine veterans were hosted by the US Ambassador and other dignitaries. Bud will be deeply missed by family and friends for his kind spirit, sense of humor, generosity, boundless energy, and breakfast culinary skills. His door was always open for a conversation, a drink, or a swim in the pool. He looked forward to overnight visits from his kids and grandchildren, and loved taking them to the country club for dinner where he knew every employee on a first name basis. He was a voracious reader, and he and his daughters often read the same books, enjoying lively book review sessions. He was predeceased by his brother, Harold, and wives Beatrice and Joan. He is survived by his daughters Christine Erickson (Henry Provost) of Sanger, Nancy Larimer (Dick) of Santa Cruz, and Jane Mikkelsen (Jon Sassin) of Sebastopol, Charles Connors, Dan Connors, Tim Connors (Tiffany), fourteen grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Bud may be made to Kaweah Delta Hospital Foundation, 400 W. Mineral King, Willow St., Visalia, 93291 or St. Paul’s Anglican Church, 215 N. Locust St., Visalia, 93291. Semper Fi, Bud.
- Memorial Service Friday, May 18, 2018
Sylvester Roy Erickson
May 16, 2018
Bud was a treasure.
When I first joined VCC, he got me involved in the Seniors group. During my 20+ years as the Seniors club president, I had many fun days golfing, eating meals, & having verbal discussions on numerous events.
I loved his stories on military actions.
Although Bud got to the point he no longer could golf, I would see him playing cards or sipping a beverage. He always had a smile on his face.
I can't make his service, due to my being in Kaweah Rehab, but my prayers go out to his family.
Hit them long up there Bud!!!