ESCANABA - John T. Erickson, 71, passed away unexpectedly on April 19, 2013, after a short-lived battle with a lung disease. John was born on July 29, 1941, in Escanaba, Mich. He served his country in the military for two years and received an honorable discharge in 1962. He worked for the Chicago Northwestern Railroad for 30 years as a switchman. John married his beloved wife and best friend, Judy Erickson (Cook), on June 6, 1964. They had two beautiful girls, Lisa (Snyder) and Jodi (Garcia).
During his early years John enjoyed racing modified cars and had won many special accomplishments. He earned the name "The Flying Squirrel" and proudly displayed this name on his cars.
John had a sense of humor that was vibrant. It was impossible not to smile around John as he made people feel comfortable in the warmth of his presence. His humorous personality was appreciated by many; especially his daughters, grandchildren and friends. John made friends wherever he went. He touched numerous lives, no matter how long he knew you. He had a love for golf and was a member of The Bluff, The Highland, and recently Irish Oaks Golf Courses. He enjoyed snowmobiling, playing cards with friends, cooking without recipes, traveling, and supporting the Red Wings and Vikings.
John T. Erickson
Family meant more than anything to John. His daughters considered him to be more than a father; he was also their friend. Together they enjoyed creating memories through activities filled with love and laughter. John enjoyed spending time with his family going on road trips with his wife and son-in-law. John had a very special relationship with his son-in-law, John Snyder, who he thought of as a son and best bud. John introduced his son-in-law, who he nicknamed "Long John", to the game of golf and from then on, they shared a passion for the game together. They spent summers boating and jet skiing, listening to bluegrass music and sipping on fine wine.
John was known as Grandpa Buddy to his four grandchildren, Mitch and Nicole Snyder, Austin and Lucas Garcia and a special great-granddaughter, Brooklyn (Braasch-Snyder). He supported every event his grandchildren had from football games, musical events, and dance performances. John never wanted to miss a moment of his grandchildren's lives and he truly enjoyed watching them grow up.
John is survived by his two sisters, Nancy Crowe and Joann Erickson. He will be greeted in heaven by his mother and stepfather, June and Glenn Moras; father, Ray Erickson; brother-in-law, Ken Crowe; and niece, Tanya Buckland.
John was a respectful and honest man who loved nothing more than to be with the people he loved most, his wife and family. John will be forever remembered as J.T., Grandpa Buddy, and most recently Great Grandpa Block. By all he will be remembered as a man with great love for what matters most in life - family.
Visitation will be on Wednesday from 3 to 5:15 p.m. at the Crawford Funeral Home. At 5:15 p.m., family and friends will have an opportunity to share thoughts of remembrance. The Mass of Christian Burial will be at 6 p.m. at St. Thomas Church with Rev. Rick Courier officiating. A meal will follow in the church hall. Burial will be in Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery. The Crawford Funeral Homes are assisting the Erickson family.