It is with great sadness we mark the passing of Clarence Erickson on July 2, 2018.
Born June 19, 1931 in Tisdale, Saskatchewan, his family moved to Manitoba when he was 15 years old. He never forgot his beloved home and, although a man of few words, he had plenty to say if anyone ever disparaged the long drive through Saskatchewan.
Clarence married Merle Elizabeth Hanna (nee Grantham) in 1983 and together they cared for their beautiful Arbor Vista Farm near Pine Creek. There, he would quietly go about his day, working hard and providing for his family. His shop was equipped with lathes, welders, and torches, which he put to good use fixing farm equipment; fabricating parts that were no longer available or had yet to be invented. It was a common sight to see sparks exploding around that big anvil outside his shop.
While gifted with his hands, he was equally gifted with animals. He was kind and soft spoken and they seemed to instinctively know he could be trusted. He could pick up a tiny foal and cuddle it while it gently nosed, unconcerned, in his pockets for oats.
Although there were hard times, it is credit to both Clarence and Merle they concentrated on the good things in life. They loved to camp and travel, and sometimes just drove around to get lost down some country lane never before explored.
After selling their beloved farm in 2001 they retired to MacGregor. Sadly, Merle passed away in 2003. To his final day, Clarence felt that loss tremendously.
Clarence eventually became interested in volunteering at the Manitoba Agricultural Museum. He loved working on the old tractors and educating young people about the “old days’. He won awards for his tractor restorations and was very proud of his work. He also enjoyed time with his brothers at their shop on the Erickson Farm.
Clarence made many friends during his years in MacGregor. Some might say he was quiet, a bit hard to get to know; but those who took the time found a steadfast friend. He enjoyed countless breakfasts with his buddies, at the Hilltop Restaurant in Austin, who are surely missing him every Saturday morning.
Clarence loved to read and his home was filled with books. When asked if there was anything he needed during his recent stay at the Portage Hospital, the only thing he’d admit to needing was more books.
Not surprisingly, Clarence accepted the news of his terminal illness with bravery and realism, and continued to live his life with dignity and purpose. His sudden parting has left a gigantic hole. Many are left to mourn his passing; including his children Laurie, Sherry, Karen and son in law Rob. We grew up knowing, without being told, we had rock-solid support in this man; his brothers Earl and Ron, Dave and his wife Faye, as well as his niece and nephews Clay (Barb), Gayle (Darren and Dean (Vadreesha) and their families; his grandchildren Kaylie and Kelsey [Laurie’s], Braden and Dylan [Karen’s]; daughters in law Jenelle and Tiffany; great grandchild Allison, who he referred lovingly to as “Hilda”. It goes without saying that there are countless relatives and friends also mourning his passing.
Respecting Clarence’s wishes, no funeral service will be held. Interment will take place at a later date.
We refuse to say goodbye, rather, until we meet again…