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Erickson, Christopher A. “Chappy”, age 63 of Edina, passed away 7-20-2020. Preceded in death by parents Edward and Grace Erickson. Survived by wife Lisa, children Christina Erickson, Jessica (Austin) Cozad, Trevor and Trent Kopp and Michaela Erickson, brothers and sisters Nancy (Tom) Daley, Jeffery (Elisabetta) Erickson, Ellen (Peter) Wilson, David Erickson, Britta Erickson, numerous nieces, nephews, family and friends. Due to COVID 19 restrictions an invitation only memorial service will be held at Wooddale Church Eden Prairie Campus. Memorials preferred to https://www.eppicministries.org/
Huber Funeral & Cremation Services
Eden Prairie Chapel 952-949-4970
Erickson sibling memories:
Pesky, adventurous, resourceful, full of life … these are the words that come to mind when I think of Chris as a child.
Chris was born when the family lived in a little brown bungalow on a hill above the park in Columbia Heights. Almost as soon as he learned to walk, he learned to skate. Little Chris would slide down the hill with his skates on and take to the ice. A retired police officer, volunteering his time at the park, coached him into the best little skater on the rink.
He was barely tall enough to reach the mailbox at our next house in SE Minneapolis, but Chris REALLY wanted mail. One day a pair of officials came calling on mom to report that her middle child had committed a federal offense — helping himself to the letters (and bills) meant for our neighbors. She sweet-talked them out of pressing charges — and so he stayed out of prison!
Jeff, second born:
We lived in SE Minneapolis when the I 35 interstate extension was under construction. As boys of adventure we would ride our bikes around the site - very cool for us! One summer night when it was already dark, Chris and I and another friend named Raymond came upon the site to see a bulldozer parked at the top of an exit ramp under construction, facing the steep incline. We got off our bikes and Chris climbed into the driver's seat while Raymond and I stood on the treads on either side. Chris was pretending to drive the bulldozer. There was an instrument panel in front of the steering levers that had a cover that was closed. I flipped the cover open and a light came on. Inside there was a button and of course buttons are meant to be pushed, so I pushed it. It was apparently a starter button because as soon as I pushed it, the bulldozer started up. Additionally, the earth moving blade in the front started to go up! We were all stunned but Chris sat paralyzed in the driver's seat with eyes the size of silver dollars. Needless to say, we scrambled off the thing as quickly as we could, got on our bikes, and got the heck out of there…leaving the bulldozer running. Early next morning on my paper route I decided to check it out and found the bulldozer still running! Chris, Raymond and I all agreed not to say anything to anyone about it and consequently we kept looking over our shoulders for a week, waiting for the police to lift our fingerprints off the bulldozer and come arrest us.
A few more stories in which the two Erickson boys were in cahoots. On several occasions Chris and I snuck out of the house late at night during the summer and stayed out all night. I can't remember exactly what we did, pretty innocuous stuff......mostly riding our bikes around and actively evading the police. We snuck down the back stairway of the house, always challenged by some squeaky steps. One night we had just made it outside and were about 20 feet from the door when the light came on and Dad appeared at the door holding a baseball bat. We flattened out on the ground just outside the circle of light. He yelled "Who's out there?" a few times and looked like he was ready to use the bat. We were perfectly still and thought for sure that he could see us (we could see him so clearly) but his eyes had not adapted to the dark. After a while he closed the door, turned out the light and went back upstairs. Undaunted, in the thrill of adventure, we ran around for the rest of the night. I am still amazed the police never saw us and dad apparently never checked to see if the kids were okay.
Our family home in SE Minneapolis was a Sears and Roebuck kit house, possibly the Maytown model version and probably built in the early 1900's. That old house had a trap door in the back hallway at the top of the back stairs that allowed you to get up onto the roof. There was a little protected spot in the area where if you crouched down you could not be seen from the ground. Chris and I would sometimes go up there in the winter and lob snowballs at people walking on the sidewalk. The house was on a corner lot so there was plenty of sidewalk. We didn't try to hit anyone (and didn't) but got great enjoyment watching the people we targeted being dumbfounded trying to figure out where the snowballs were coming from.
And then all the times at Van Cleve Park, when the fire department would come and flood the field to make a skating rink. Chris would skate circles around me…all the time…very annoying. Nancy is right. Chris was a gifted ice skater!
Jane, fourth born:
Chris loved to drive, the longer the road trip the better. During our high school years we had to share a car - lots of negotiating! He taught me how to drive in Minnesota snow - even took me down to Grace High school to learn how to get out of a spin and how to explain to the New Brighton police officer why we were spinning donuts in the parking lot!
From early on Chris loved animals but I think our German Shephard, Tanner, was probably his favorite. Tanner kept Chris company on his early morning paper route. One morning, as the story goes, Christ rounded the corner of a house to confront a scary looking guy who started toward Chris until Tanner whipped around the corner, sat down by Chris, began a low menacing growl and provoked the guy to flee immediately.
Hockey was a big part of Chris’s childhood - he was probably the best athlete in the family. Hockey in the winter, baseball in the summer and somewhere along the way he picked up soccer. I know one of the pleasures my father had was watching Chris & Jeff play ball - they’re both very good, always on the traveling teams.
In high school, Chris was very protective of his little sister. He looked out for us in all kinds of ways. He would tell the guys who wanted to ask me out that if they tried anything he would beat them up!
Ellen, fifth born:
Having Jane as my immediate playmate and David and Britta to act as second mother (to their chagrin), I have less young child memories of Chris. Although I do remember getting thorough enjoyment of conquering my tough older brother by jumping out and authentically scaring him in surprise when I cried “Boo” as he rounded the corner from the living room to the dining room. From the time I was young to middle school I do remember feeling safe that Chris could deal with my enemies and beat up whoever may cause a threat. At the same time, he was not always the nicest of big brothers! That pesky toughness may have been training ground for his missionary endeavors in later years…like being held at gunpoint in Guatemala!
In later years we became much closer due to our love for Jesus Christ. I think of Chris’ wide and winsome smile with a life and energy that wanted to reach out and connect, and a passion to put feet to that spirit. Like us all, he was a work in progress, but I was very privileged to experience the tenderness and generosity of his heart. On more than one occasion he would give me a one hundred dollar bill for my birthday or Christmas and I knew very well it was really not in his missionary budget! The joy and freedom with which he gave is the intangible that impacted and remains. I am deeply grateful for God’s choice of my big brother.
David, sixth born:
The long, picturesque drive down the Gunflint Trail. The taste of pristine water drunk from a crystal clear lake. A gazillion star spread out against the sky. The Northern Lights streaking across the sky like smoke from Dad's pipe being sucked from one end of the Earth to the other. The frenzied call of the loons during the Northern Lights display. All courtesy of a trip Chris took me to in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.
Britta, seventh born:
Some of my memories include always having Caribou coffee time together and spending that brother/sister quality time together. I remember having a big bonfire at Chris’ house in Corcoran and having picnic food with smores. All this with family that was the best time together. I love you Chris very much and you will always be in my heart and memory forever.