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Leslie Clare Erickson DDS, MSD

Leslie Clare Erickson, DDS, MSD

Dr. Leslie Clare Erickson, 92, passed away on February 13, 2020 in Issaquah, Washington, after breaking his hip in January. He was born to Erick Leonard and Cora Erickson in Tacoma, Washington on May 26, 1927, where he grew up with his two older brothers Evan and Darel and younger sister Betty. He attended Lincoln High School in Tacoma WA, graduating in May, 1945. A few days after he graduated from HS, he enlisted in the US Navy, training in San Diego before serving as a Seaman First Class (Quartermaster) aboard the USS Wildcat (AW-2) in the Pacific from 1945-46. In the fall of 1946, he entered the (then) College of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA, graduating with a BA in 1950.

In the fall of 1950, he entered the School of Dentistry at the University of Washington, in Seattle. In January of 1951, he met his future wife Patricia Vermilion, at the UW, where she was a student in home economics. They were married on September 22, 1951 in Bremerton, Washington. They lived in Seattle until Les completed dental school, earning his DDS in 1954, followed by a US Public Health Service dental residency in Baltimore, Maryland (1954-55). They returned to Seattle in 1955 where Les worked as a dentist while pursuing graduate work at the UW Dental School, starting in 1956 and earning his MSD in orthodontics in 1958.

In 1958 they moved to Shoreline, WA where they raised their four children, Jerry, Sandy, Gordy and Liz; while Les was in private practice as an orthodontist in Seattle's University District from 1958-1977. Les and Pat took their kids on many memorable family camping and hiking trips and attended their kid's concerts, recitals and school events. They were also involved with church activities at Ronald United Methodist Church where they and their kids developed many friendships. Among other professional memberships and honors during this time, he served as Clinical Assistant, then Clinical Associate Professor at the UW Department of Orthodontics in the Dental School (1958-1977); as President of the Washington State Association of Orthodontists (1969-72); and President of the University of Washington Orthodontic Alumni (1974-79).

In 1977, Les and Pat moved to Denver, Colorado, where Les served as Chairman and Assistant Professor at the Orthodontic Department at the University of Colorado (1977-84). In 1984 they moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, where Les taught orthodontics at the University of Nebraska, College of Dentistry as Assistant, and then Associate Professor from 1984 to 1996. While there, he won the UNMC Outstanding Teacher Award in 1991. After Les retired in 1996, they moved back to Shoreline, WA in 1998, where they loved being with their kids, grandkids and great-grandkids and all their activities.

Among other hobbies and interests, Les collected books and antiques, and was a wood-worker and wood-turner. He and Pat also travelled, including one memorable safari trip to Uganda along with their daughter Sandy and her husband Mike, who live in Kenya.

He is survived by his Cousin Carol Davis of Edmonds, his four children: Gerald (Linda) of Everett, WA, Sandra (Mike) of Watamu, Kenya, Gordon (Linda) of Orcas Island, WA, and Elizabeth of Seattle, WA; nine grandchildren: Michael (Abbie), Stephen, Peter (Anne), Rebecca, Melissa (Tony), Kali (Tyler), Samantha (Jared), Bradley and Joe; and nine great-grandchildren: Aaron, Ashley, Molly Ann, Mason, Lucas, Zachary, Matilda, Wesley and Eleanor (born a week before he died). He was preceded in death by his wife Patricia, his parents, his brothers Evan and Darel, and his sister Betty.

Services will be announced at a later date. Acacia Memorial Park 14951 Bothell Way NE Seattle, WA 98155

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Published in The Seattle Times on May 17, 2020
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