In Memory of James R. Erickson
The Honorable Judge James R. and Charlotte H. Erickson passed away unexpectedly and entered eternal life together on Wednesday, September 13, 2023.
James Richard Erickson was born on May 30, 1939 to Ray and Mertle (Lundberg) Erickson in Black River Falls, Wisconsin. James attended Tomah High School and was the captain of the football team. He was a graduate of the class of 1957. After high school, he started working at the Chevy plant in Janesville, Wisconsin building the 1957 Chevys. On March 6, 1959, James joined the Air Force and was honorably discharged on January 17, 1961. Once discharged from the military, James enrolled at the University of Wisconsin, Madison where he would letter in Gymnastics and meet the love of his life, Charlotte, at the library on campus. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin, Madison with a degree in Political Science and decided to further his education at the University of Colorado, Boulder earning his Juris Doctor Law Degree.
James would start his career at a private practice, while working, he would enroll at the University of Denver, Colorado to receive his Master’s of Judicial Administration. In 1970, he would work for Polk County as a District Attorney. James was elected in 1984 as the circuit court Judge of Polk County, serving on the bench for 18 years, retiring in 2002. James was a true public servant, dedicated to the people of Polk County.
James was an active member of the Masons, Wisconsin Bar Association and Volunteers of America traveling to numerous countries teaching English.
James had a curiosity for knowledge, enjoyed reading to learn and their years living on Balsam Lake. He especially enjoyed traveling with Charlotte. They traveled to eternal life together.
Charlotte was born on December 31, 1940 to William and Helen (Owens) Atwell in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. She attended Stevens Point P.J. Jacobs High School and graduated in the class of 1959. Charlotte furthered her education at Cottey College, Missouri earning her associate degree in 1961. She went on to the University of Wisconsin, Madison and graduated from the University of River Falls, Wisconsin with a master’s degree in Speech Pathology. Charlotte worked at the Polk County Health Department as a speech therapist for many years before she returned to school to pursue a degree in Nursing. After earning her Bachelor of Nursing degree from Century College, Charlotte worked at the Osceola Hospital as an RN. She later began work at the Golden Age Manor in Amery, Wisconsin as the Director of Nursing, retiring from there. Charlotte had a passion for serving the elderly and giving them comfort in their latter years.
Charlotte adored animals, if she was not out feeding the squirrels, she was checking the Arnell Human Society website. She enjoyed traveling with James, fitness, swimming at the Dallas House, taking walks around the neighborhood with her friends and hearing of the adventures of her grand kitty, Ruckus. Charlotte had a talent for fashion, home decoration and took great pride in her appearance.
Many would say Charlotte was a master entertainer, providing great food and good times. She will be missed dearly.
James and Charlotte are survived by their son, Jeffrey (Suzette) Erickson; James sister, Dorothy Prell; Charlotte’s sister, Elizabeth Webber; many nieces, nephews and other relatives.
James and Charlotte are preceded in death by their parents and numerous siblings.