SIOUX FALLS — Joan (Downes) Erickson died Sunday, June 8, 2014, at the Sanford Foundation Hospice Cottage in Sioux Falls after a long and courageous battle against cancer. She was 85 years old.
Her memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Friday, June 13, at East Side Lutheran Church, Sioux Falls. The family will greet friends one hour prior to the service at the church.
JoJo, as she was known to her grandchildren, was born on Oct. 6, 1928, to Fredrick James (Fred) and Beatrice Evelyn (Houghton) Downes at Willow Lake. She grew up on a farm north of Stockholm in the only Irish family in that Scandinavian community. She graduated from Strandburg High School in 1946 and started working at First National Bank in Watertown.
At a high school softball game she met Richard “Dick” Erickson, who described her as the “love of his life”.
They married on Sept. 16, 1949, in Watertown. They began their life in Watertown and later moved to Sioux Falls in 1955. Dick and Joan had three children, Jon, of Huron, Laurie McGreevy and her husband, James, of Peoria, Ariz. and Lizbeth Gullickson and her husband, Charles, of Sioux Falls.
After the children were born, JoJo became a stay-at-home mother. She was passionate about public education, liberal Democratic politics and trends waiting to happen. She always encouraged her children and later her grandchildren to make something of their lives – even if it meant breaking her heart by moving away from South Dakota.
In addition to her children, those grateful for having shared her life include five grandchildren, Dr. Jon McGreevy and his wife, Tammy of Scottsdale, Ariz., Michael McGreevy of Peoria, Ariz., Emily Gullickson of Boston, Mass., Charlie Gullickson of Boston, Mass., Ann Erickson of Minneapolis, Minn.; two great-grandchildren, Emma and Ava McGreevy; two sisters, Marian McDougall of Burnsville, Minn. and Margaret Noeldner of Watertown; numerous nieces and nephews; and a host of other relatives and friends.
Joan was preceded in death by her husband, Dick, on Aug. 4, 2000; her parents; and a sister, Nellie Lou “Neenie” Obermeyer.
Paid obituary.For the complete article see the 06-11-2014 issue.
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