Kathryn Jean (Kay) Erickson, 89

Published 9:43 am Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Kathryn Jean (Kay) Erickson, 89, passed away peacefully at Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin on Saturday, Feb. 21, 2015.



She was born on March 26, 1925, to Christian and Florence (Paulsen) Lunde. Kay graduated from St. Thomas (North Dakota) High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of North Dakota. While in college she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta social sorority, Sigma Alpha Iota music honor sorority, and Phi Beta Kappa. Following her graduation in 1946, she worked at the University of Chicago. She married Arnold O. (Arne) Erickson of Petersburg North Dakota in 1948. They lived in Petersburg for 45 years where Kay was a homemaker and Arne owned and operated the Petersburg Supply Company, a Chevrolet and fuel bulk delivery dealership which Arne’s father established in 1928. Upon retirement, they spent their winters in Mesa, Arizona. Kay and Arne moved to Oakdale, Minnesota, in 1993 and then to Austin in 2004. Arne passed away in 2005.

Kay was always musically involved as a singer and pianist in the schools and churches she attended, and frequently accompanied her sons. She enjoyed singing in the Nelson County (North Dakota) Chorus and in ensembles in Grand Forks, especially when “Messiah” was the featured work. Kay was also active in the Petersburg Civic Club and played a variety of roles in their community theater productions. Family was always on her mind. She was so very proud of every family member’s choices and accomplishments.

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Kay never denied that she had a sweet tooth. During her Austin years, a favorite treat was pie from Kenny’s Oak Grill. The perfect ending to a day of appointments was stopping by Kenny’s to buy a slice of coconut cream pie — to go. Frequently she would call ahead just to make sure they had a piece left in the cooler.

For the last year-and-a-half, Kay had been living at Primrose Retirement Center in Austin. She had become part of the fabric of that community and relished her social opportunities. Many thanks to the residents and staff for their excellent care and for keeping her mind and body involved and active. Similarly, we extend our gratitude to the nurses and doctors of the third floor ICU at the Austin hospital. We appreciated your care-filled attention to both patient and family.

Kay is survived by her two sons: Dale (Joanne) Erickson of Lago Vista, Texas, and Neal (Liz) Erickson of Austin, Minnesota; five grandchildren: Bill (Tara) Erickson, Drew Erickson, Megan (Darren) Larsen, Annie Erickson, Tim Erickson; one great-granddaughter, Reagan Erickson.

She was preceded in death by her parents; infant brother, Kenneth; and her husband, Arne.

A memorial service will be held on Thursday, Feb. 26, at 11 a.m. at St. Olaf Lutheran Church with the Rev. Paul Lutter and Todd Portinga, Associate in Ministry, co-officiating. There will be a visitation at the church beginning one hour before the service. Interment will be at Oakwood Cemetery. Clasen-Jordan Mortuary is in charge of arrangements. The family prefers that memorials be directed to the St. Olaf Lutheran Church Music Fund.