Lt. Commander, Stephen Flanders Erickson, USN, Retired, died on Monday, March 4, 2019 at Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland CO, from heart failure, after a prolonged recovery from a traumatic brain injury that occurred in December 2018.
Steve was born on May 16, 1944 in New Haven CT. He spent his childhood in New Haven CT, Cortland NY, Harrisburg PA and Upper Arlington OH. He graduated from Upper Arlington High School in 1962, excelling in football (All CBL Conference End), swimming (All-American) and track.
Steve attended Toledo University playing varsity football and track. He was a three-year letterman and all Mid-American guard in 1965. He was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society. He graduated in 1967 with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. He graduated The Ohio State University in 1968 with a Master of Science in Sanitary Engineering. He also received a Master of Science in Systems Management from the University of Southern California in 1975. Steve was pursuing a Doctorate in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Nevada.
Steve served in the United States Navy, Civil Engineer Corps from 1969-1989. His duty stations included Cherry Hill NC; DaNang, Vietnam as part of the Naval Support Advisory Group; Point Mugu CA; Port Hueneme CA; Okinawa, Japan; Charleston SC; Yokota, Japan; Oakland CA.
Steve’s military honors include: Meritorious Unit Commendation; Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V”; Navy Achievement Medal; National Defense medal; Overseas Service Medal with two bronze star; Vietnam Armed Forces Honor Medal 1st Class; Vietnam Campaign Service Medal with Device; Vietnam Meritorious Citation (Civil Actions Medal, 1st Class with Palm); Vietnam Campaign; Navy Rifle Marksmanship Ribbon (Sharpshooter); Navy Pistol Marksmanship Ribbon (Sharpshooter).
After retiring from the military, he worked five years at South Dakota State University as the Director of Physical Plant and five years for the City of Columbus Director of the Division of Water and Sewers. In 2004, he worked as a civilian contractor in Bagdad, Iraq supporting military operations. Steve was a Member of the PAMVET (Proud American Military Veteran) Colorado chapter.
Steve was an avid photographer and won numerous awards for his work. He was athletic during his military years as a runner and participated in many marathons and triathlons. He enjoyed camping and travel. He passed on his marksmanship skills to his children and grandchildren. He enjoyed spending vacation time with his four grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his father Edwin Erickson, mother Rebecca (nee Flanders) and brother Bruce Erickson. He leaves his wife of 51 years, Jan (nee Uschlbec) Erickson; his daughter Kristy Lyn (Michael) Vannelli, his son Keith Michael; his grandchildren Joseph Enzo, Leo Nicolo and Alessia Rose Vannelli, and Ryker Chase Erickson; his sister-in-law Ann Erickson of Chapel Hill NC; his brothers David (Sherry) Columbus OH, Glenn (Sandra), Natal Brazil, Mark (Eloise) Columbus, OH; ten nieces and nephews and eight great nieces and nephews.
On Wednesday, March 13, 2019, a memorial service for Steve will be held at the Northwest Church of the Nazarene in Columbus OH at 10:30am. He will be laid to rest in the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in Seville OH at 2:30pm with military honors. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project.