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Erickson, Jean Florence (Baumgartner)  
Salinas Jean Erickson Jean Florence (Baumgartner) Erickson, 92, of Salinas, passed away Tuesday, March 17, 2015, at home. She was born Aug. 8, 1922, in Cleveland, OH. Jean graduated from Cleveland Heights High School in 1940 and Hillsdale College in Michigan with the class of 1944. She was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority while at Hillsdale and also worked with elementary school children at the Merrill-Palmer Institute Early Childhood Center in Detroit. While back in Cleveland, after graduation a friend told Jean that American Airlines was interviewing for stewardesses, and this piqued her interest. She interviewed and was hired on the spot. During her tenure with American through the latter years of WWII and beyond, 1944 to 1949, she flew out of Tulsa and Los Angeles and advanced to Chief Stewardess where her duties included the training of new hires which at that time was limited only to single women. Jean married her childhood sweetheart, Wallace Edward Erickson, on Sept. 9, 1949. Wally got his first teaching and coaching job in Aug. of 1949 in Calexico, CA where the couple lived and had their first son, James, before moving to Salinas in 1951. Jean worked in the Salinas Public Library which was located on Main Street at the time and volunteered with the Junior Woman's Club in Salinas. Wally taught and coached at Sherwood School in 1951, and then moved on to teach at both El Sausal and Washington Jr. High Schools in the succeeding years until his retirement. While in Salinas, sons Jon and Jeff were born, and when the youngest started school in 1963, Jean joined Wally in the teaching profession. She was hired by Principal Henry Kammann to teach a fourth grade class at Santa Lucia School, later renamed Henry F. Kammann School. She later moved across town to Mission Park School where she remained until retirement. Jean loved to teach; she loved books; and she loved children. Investing herself in the lives of her students and colleagues gave her great satisfaction, yet above all she loved her family and would move mountains if necessary for her boys. She will be greatly missed, but the rich memories of an amazing woman and loving Mom will keep her close in our hearts always. Survivors: Sons, James Erickson of Greenville, SC, Jon Erickson of Fresno, and Jeff Erickson of Vacaville; brother, Robert Baumgartner of Novelty, OH; and eight grandchildren, Jeni, Erin, Kaci, Natalie, Kathryn, Benjamin, Andrew and Elise. She was preceded in death by her husband, Wallace Erickson; her parents, George and Helen Baumgartner, and her sister, Patricia Schneider. Memorial service at 1:00 p.m., Saturday, April 4, 2015, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 1071 Pajaro St., Salinas. Reception to follow at 2:00 p.m., in the church parish hall.
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Published in The Salinas Californian on Mar. 27, 2015
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