Earl H. Erickson

GORHAM — Earl Howard Erickson, 82, of Gorham, passed peacefully on Tuesday, April 24, 2012, at his home, surrounded by his family. It was his final wish that he could be in his home when he passed.

Earl was born in Guilford on June 17, 1929, the son of Rudolph and Arlene Parsons Erickson. Earl grew up in Gorham, spending many of his early years on the Parsons’ family farm. At the age of 12, he moved with his parents to the Little Falls area of Gorham.

As Earl grew up, he found that he loved working in the woods. He started logging with a team of horses when he was only 16 years old. In later years, he went back to logging but now with trucks and bulldozers. He often said that if he could have made a living at it, he would have worked in the woods all his life.

Earl worked for over 38 years at S.D. Warren in Westbrook, retiring in 1991. He enjoyed every day of his retirement. He sometimes commented that he was so busy that he didn’t know how he had had time work all those years.

Whenever Earl wanted something, his first thought was to build it himself. Over the years, he built everything from motorcycles, campers, a car to race at Beech Ridge and a summer camp in Naples, to the house he built for his family. He was always ready to help everyone build anything they needed. As his children married and started their own families, he helped each of them to build their homes. If Earl built it,  it would stand the test of time.

In March 1950, Earl married his sweetheart, Shirley Miner, and together they raised five children and now have several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Their home has always been the center of family gatherings and a stopping place for their many friends and extended family. Everyone has always felt welcomed in their home and when leaving, Earl always said, “Come back when you can stay longer.”

Earl had so many interests including camping and fishing at Moosehead Lake and Kokadjo, snowmobiling thorough the Maine woods and boating on Sebago Lake. Other than his wife and family, the love of his life was motorcycles. He loved building them and the faster they were, the better he like it. His nickname was “Speed” and he rode throughout his life, only giving it up a few years ago. Wherever he was, camping, fishing or motorcycling, he was always surrounded by family and friends.

Earl took pride in keeping his lawns and yard in perfect order. He mowed at least twice a week and if there wasn’t enough grass to mow, he did the neighbors lawns. In winters, Earl plowed snow at his home and, again, the neighbors’ homes as well. The family jokes about Earl’s obsession with removing every snowflake. His wife made sure that she kept a supply of siding pieces to replace the ones that Earl knocked off by plowing so close to the edges of the buildings. In good weather, you could always find him sitting in the swing, surveying his handiwork and waving to friends passing by.

As Earl neared the end of his life, he decided that he wanted to write a book about his life. With the help of his family, the book was completed a short while ago. Each of the children now has a bound copy, signed by their Dad. It is a new family-heirloom.

Earl was predeceased by his son, Rex H. Erickson, who passed away in November 2007.

In addition to his wife, Shirley Miner Erickson, Earl is survived by his daughters, Deborah Perry and Julie Harmon; sons Tony Erickson and Chris Erickson; eight grandchildren; and five great- grandchildren.

A graveside service was held on Sunday, April 29, 2012, at 11 a.m., at Hillside Cemetery on Huston Road in Gorham. A gathering of family and friends was held at Earl’s home following the service.

Arrangements are by the Dolby Funeral Chapel, 434 River Road, Windham. Online condolences may be made to www.dolbyfuneralchapels.com

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