Longtime La Grange, CA area rancher, Roger Erickson, passed away at the age of 87 at the Alexander Cohen Hospice House in Hughson, CA on Aug 4, 2016.
Born in Modesto to Iver Eric Erickson and Ruby Rose Voight Erickson, his family lived in the area of Turlock Lake until 1936 when they moved to what became the family ranch on Rushing Road near La Grange.
Roger graduated from Roberts Ferry School, and then made the long daily trip to Oakdale High School, graduating in 1946, whereupon he immediately started his life’s work – that of a cattle rancher on the land where he had been raised. In 1950, Marylin Grace Carpenter of Waterford became the cattleman’s wife and together they worked to build a wonderful life of family and friends on their foothill ranch near the Tuolumne River. Roger retired in 2000, passing on the business to his children.
Roger was the last remaining founding board member of the La Grange Rodeo Association (c. 1948), that was formed to join in the state’s celebration of California’s Centennial year. Roger was an 18-year-old, just out of high school – the youngest of the committee. All the board members were contributing money to start the project – Roger contributed $50, a very large sum for the time from a young man. The people on that committee were Roger’s friends, neighbors and business associates for the many years to come and the Rodeo Association did not end with the Centennial Celebration. The community of La Grange and the Rodeo Association still holds an annual rodeo and homecoming on the first weekend in April. Even when no longer able to physically join in the events, Roger’s knowledge and advice was sought out and his historical contributions are legend.
Roger also belonged to the CA Cattleman’s Assoc., the San Joaquin/Stanislaus Cattleman’s Assoc. and the Modesto Elks Lodge. A former member of the Oakdale Golf & CC, he and Marylin enjoyed golfing together. They loved cruising, many travels in their RV, and spending time at their cabin in the Dardanelles – recording great memories with family and friends. They also shared in the love of their special dog, Maggie.
Roger is survived by his wife of 66 years, Marylin; children, Jeff Erickson (Mary), Carol Erickson (Randy Bennett), and Kurt Erickson (Marlene). Grandchildren – Lisa Sikora (Mark), Rodney Erickson (Tina), Standon Hooks (Andi), Andrea Reynolds (David), Amanda Johnson (Jimmy), Will Bennett (Olivia). Nine Great Grandchildren – Riley, Parker, Joey, Jenna, Devin, Ruby, Ava, Liam, and Nolan; and Great Great Grandaughter, Mia.
A memorial tribute to Roger Erickson will be held in the future.
If you wish to memorialize Roger’s life with a donation in his name, please consider the Society for Disabilities, 1129 8th St, Modesto, CA 95354; Community Hospice, 4368 Spyres Way, Modesto, CA 95356, or Shriner’s Children’s Hospital, 2425 Stockton Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95817.
The Oakdale (Calif.) Leader
Aug. 17, 2016