Allen Ray Erickson was born on Jan. 31, 1935 in Centralia, Wash., to Ray and Ruby (Kaugh) Erickson. Allen went to be with his Heavenly Father on Nov. 15, 2012 at home on the family farmstead. He was a graduate of Centralia High School, Class of 1954, Centralia College, and attended the University of Washington, majoring in forestry. His military service was in the U.S. Air Force Reserves, but activated during the Cuban Crisis in 1962. Allen worked for Weyerhaeuser Timber Co. in Washington and Chicago, Ill. He was then a forester for the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, managing the Tree Seed Plant at the Mike Webster Nursery and the Meridian Seed Orchard in Olympia. Allen particularly enjoyed serving on wildfire teams as a purchaser.
Allen married the love of his life, Janice Duncan in 1959, in their hometown of Centralia, Wash. The couple were privileged to share 53 years of marriage. Survivors include one daughter, Marla Ann Lefevre (David), two sons, Mark Allen and Andrew Ray, and one granddaughter, Kristen Marie Suver (Bret). He is preceded in death by one sister, Helen Marie Erickson-Wright. Surviving also is his best friend and brother-in-law, Vernon Chalberg of Montesano, Wash., and seven nieces and nephews.
Family was uppermost in Allen’s life, his passion was to preserve his grandparents’ heritage on their 1890 homestead, Vine Maple Farms. Allen researched and collected his Swedish family’s genealogy, which he published in his book The Bonas Sweden Erssons Travel to the USA- A Family History, in 1983 after three trips to Sweden. He especially enjoyed visits to the farm from his Swedish relatives. The family enjoyed many activities on the farm as well as camping trips to the ocean for clam-digging, fishing trips to Long Beach/Ilwaco, and family celebrations at Hood Canal.
Allen was a 48 year member of the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Olympia, Wash., and a 47 year member of the Rochester/Violet Prairie Grange and County, State, and National Grange. Allen was a charter member and dedicated volunteer at the Veterans’ Memorial Museum in Chehalis, Wash. Allen belonged to the Olympia Coin Club, the South Sound Farm Forestry Association and was a lifetime collector of classic comic books. For years, Allen and Janice square-danced with the Prairie Steppers and he served as wagon master for Lewis County chapter No. 9, Daughter of the Pioneers of Washington. Allen served as President of Lutheran Brotherhood Branch 8108, Master of Rochester Grange, and President of LCGS Sages.
In retirement, Allen served as State Department of Agriculture supervisor of tree-seed certifiers. Allen and Janice also enjoyed travelling to Scandinavia, Europe, cruises in Russia, Alaska, Mexico, Panama, and the Caribbean, winter trips to Hawaii, and snowbirding to Arizona. Fishing in Alaska with son Mark was one of the highlights of his life.
Allen relished his time with friends and family, particularly outdoor adventures and sharing his beautiful farm with them. He was a constant steward of his timberland and enjoyed touring the farm in his Kubota, all terrain vehicle.
Allen organized and recruited instructor, Sandy Calvert for an exercise group for those with Parkinsons, and was active in the “Chehalis Shakers” Parkinsons Support Group.
All are invited to a graveside service to be held at the Grand Mound Cemetery, 6300 183rd Ave SW, Rochester Wash., on Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. with Pastor John Rosenberg officiating. Everyone is welcome to join the family at services and for a gathering at the historic Vine Maple Farms farmhouse following services.
Thank you to all who have been a part of Allen’s life, and to those who have assisted with his care over the last several years, Providence SoundHomeCare, Home Instead Senior Care, Panorama Convalescent Center, and his medical team at Group Health Cooperative.