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Obituary for Leslie H. "Eric" Erickson

Leslie H. Erickson, 94 of Onalaska, Wis., passed away on June 22, 2020, at the VA Medical Center in Tomah Wis. He was born in Sparta, Wis., on January 10, 1926, to Doretta and Oscar Erickson. He attended school in Bangor, Wis., and graduated in 1943. Immediately upon graduation, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He received his basic training at Great Lakes and attended Gunnery School and Advance School in Washington, DC. He was a Gunnery Mate aboard LST 543 during the D-Day invasion of France on June 6, 1944. He participated in numerous channel crossings from England to France and was then sent to the Pacific Theater where he survived the securing of Okinawa, Iwo Jima, IE Shima, the Philippine Islands of Leyte, and Luzon and other islands held by the Japanese. He was a member of the first Freedom Flight from La Crosse to the World War II Memorial in Washington in October of 2008. In 1950, he was transferred to Gluek, Minn., where he was the Accounting Manager of 10 Cargill Elevators. He met and married Wanda Myhre in Montevideo, Minn., in 1953. Three children were born from this union. The marriage ended in divorce in 1973 in Fairmont, Minn., where he had been transferred. In 1977, he was transferred to La Crosse, Wis., as the Manager of the River Terminal Elevator. He remained in La Crosse until his retirement in 1992 having spent 45 years with Cargill. On July 13, 1985, he married his high school sweetheart Germaine (Wolf) Craig. They resided in Bangor for about a year and moved to Onalaska where they remained. After retirement he took up golf as a hobby and belonged to several senior golf leagues in the area. Germaine and Les spent the first 10 years of their retirement wintering in Florida where Les had a job as a Ranger at a local golf course in Winterhaven. He enjoyed meeting and getting acquainted with lots of people. They enjoyed the flea markets and all the activities living in a retirement park while in Florida. He was an avid card player and belonged to a couple card clubs in Onalaska. He started the Alcoholics Anonymous program in Onalaska at his home with a couple of friends. When it reached capacity too large for his house, it was moved to the First Lutheran Church with the blessing of Pastor Gavin. He was involved for many years with the Habitat for Humanity in La Crosse working on several houses and spending a week or so each year in Minneapolis working on projects with other Cargill retirees. He also enjoyed working in his yard and spending time in the outdoors. He also enjoyed doing wood working in his shop and puzzles. He is survived by his sister, Lorraine Livesay of Sullivan, IL; son, Scott (Peggy) Erickson of Trempealeau, Wis.; daughters, Lori (Gary Trogstad) Ziemann of Eyota, Minn. and Lisa (Jeff) Meek of Maple Grove, Minn.; step children, Linda Wilder of Olympia, Wash., Mark (Cindy) Craig of Neilsville, Wis., and Beth (Don) Vruwink of Milton, Wis.; 17 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Germaine; and sister, Dotty. A private family service with Military Honors will take place at the Burns Cemetery in Bangor, Wis., with Pastor Roy Hefti officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials to the St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Bangor or the Bangor VFW Post 8278. Cards of condolences may also be sent in care of the family at 6988 Kimberly Court N, Maple Grove, MN 55311.