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Sgt. Ralph C. Erickson Sr.

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Sgt. Ralph C. Erickson Sr. Obituary
Retired Waltham Police Sergeant Ralph C. 'Connie' Erickson, Sr., of Waltham, died Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston with his family at his side. He was 89. Connie was born in Waltham on October 26, 1924, one of three children born to Swedish immigrants Anders D. and Bertha (Whitman) Erickson, and was a lifelong resident. He attended Waltham schools and as a member of the high class of 1943 left in his junior year to join the Navy. He became a member of the 67th Naval Construction Battalion, the 'SeaBees", and spent most of the war in the Pacific, mainly at Saipan and on the island of Tinian. It was at Tinian that his unit was tasked with building and keeping open runways for the heavy bombers that landed and took off around the clock helping to turn the tide of the war toward the Allies. The SeaBees, known for inventing things and building them on the fly as the need arose, also built and elevator and refrigerated bunker to store that atomic bomb that would be used in August, 1945 that brought World War II to an end. When he got out of the Navy Connie returned home to Waltham where he went to work as a groundskeeper at Mount Ida College in Newton and took up playing semi-pro football, a sport in which he excelled. He also thought it a good idea to go back to the high school for his diploma and it was there that he met his future wife, Mary F. 'Fran' MacDonald. Connie and Fran were married on August 15, 1948 and were married just shy of fifty years before Fran's death on March 1, 1998. A year after he got married, on September 26, 1949, Connie was appointed to the Waltham Police Department and was made a patrolman a short time later. Connie loved being a cop and the job loved him. He was well respected among his peers and in the community. In September, 1972 he was promoted to sergeant. Connie also furthered his education while working, attending Northeastern University and Massachusetts Bay Community College, earning a degree in criminal justice. For most of his career he was the department school safety officer and as such almost everyone in Waltham crossed paths with Sergeant Erickson at some time early in their lives. His smile, easy going nature, yet stern demeanor when needed earned his the respect and admiration of students, teacher and administrators across the city. He retired on March 21, 1985. Throughout his life Connie worked two jobs, and besides the police department, the other place everyone knew him from was working the evening shift in the maintenance department at Brandeis University on South Street for more than twenty years. The thing that kept Connie going all that time was his determination to care for his wife and his family. He happily worked day and night to provide for them and took great pride in their achievements. Connie just loved being around his kids, grandkids and later, the great-grandchildren. He was always up for a ride, whether it was with a grandson to Gettysburg to feed their shared passion for history or to the casino to try his hand with luck. Connie also loved to play golf, a sport he got good at later in life, bird watching and following all New England sports teams. He leaves his children, Ralph C. 'Buster' Erickson, Jr. and his wife, Maryellen, of Nashua, New Hampshire, Anne M. Boudreau and her husband, John; Eileen M. Erickson, all of Waltham, Frances E. Fusco and her husband, Al, of Westwood and Jenny Blouin and her husband, Rob, of West Newton; his grandchildren, Stephen Erickson, Lynn Raiche, Mary Demers, Valerie Conley, Maribeth Boudreau, Leah O'Brien, Jeb Boudreau, Nicholas Fusco, Christopher Fusco, Timmy Blouin, Erin Blouin and the late Stephanie Erickson; his great-grandchildren, Ben, Jake and Ryan Erickson, Madelyn and Kinsley Raiche, Zack Demers, Colin and Owen O'Brien and Jacquelyn Boudreau; his sister, Dorothy Carlson of Needham and several nieces and nephews. Connie was also the father of the late Maryjean Erickson and brother of the late Leonard Erickson. Family and friends will honor and remember Connie's life by gathering for calling hours in The Joyce Funeral Home, 245 Main Street (Rte. 20), Waltham on Sunday, November 24th from 2 to 6 p.m. and again on Monday morning at 9:00 a.m. before leaving in procession to Saint Mary's Church, 133 School Street, Waltham where his Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. Burial will be in Mount Feake Cemetery. Connie's family will be eternally grateful to Dr. Chuck Morris and the staff at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and the staff at the Waltham Diabetes Center on Waverly Oaks Road for the special care they took. Friends who wish may honor his memory with a donation to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 60 Walnut Street, Wellesley, MA 02481. To share a memory please visit www.joycefuneralhome.com.

Published in Waltham News Tribune from Nov. 22 to Nov. 29, 2013
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