Albert W. Erickson|
Albert (Al) Wendell Erickson, Ph.D., age 84, passed away Sunday, October 27, 2013 in Bellevue, Washington. Dr. Erickson was Professor Emeritus in the Department of Fisheries at the University of Washington. He joined the UW in 1975 and retired in 1993. Dr. Erickson was a leading expert in bear biology and wildlife management, and also conducted research on marine mammals including killer whales and Antarctic seals. He completed seven research tours of Antarctica. Prior to coming to UW he was Associate Professor with the University of Idaho in Moscow, Curator of Mammals for the Bell Museum at the University of Minnesota, and Regional Director of Fish and Game in Anchorage, Alaska.
Dr. Erickson was born in Chicago June 23, 1929 to Carl and Pearl (Campbell) Erickson, and raised in Germfask, Michigan. At the age of 17 he joined the Marine Corps where he served as a fleet marine aboard the USS Midway as an anti-aircraft gunner. He received his BSc and Ph.D. from Michigan State University where he met his wife, Laurel (Fountain) Erickson (deceased). A colorful character, Dr. Erickson was known for his keen sense of humor and unwavering commitment to the Republican party. In addition to his career as a professor, he served as Mayor of Yarrow Point, and in retirement became a rancher, farmer, and hunting club proprietor in Monroe, Washington. At the age of 74 he took up track and field and became the Washington State, US and World decathlon champion for his age group. His accomplishments were featured in several magazines. He is survived by three sons, David (Rose Anne), Steven (Heather) and Gregory (Kate); brother Carl and sister Grace Gephardt, and his beloved companion for the past 13 years, Sigi Massine. He was a devoted Grandpa to Mitchell, Blake, Kayley, and Rachel Erickson. A memorial service will held Saturday, November 16, 2013 1:00 pm at St. Luke's Lutheran Church, 3030 Bellevue Way, Bellevue, WA with reception following.
Published in The Seattle Times on Nov. 11, 2013