Milton Erickson

Milton Erickson
Sioux Falls, SD
April 26, 2020
L. Milton “Milt” Erickson was born May 7, 1926 at Minot, N.D. to Ole A. and Annetta (Otterness) Erickson. He passed away on April 26, 2020 at Good Samaritan – Sioux Falls Village.
Milt’s family lived on a farmstead near Eckland, ND. When his father died of pneumonia in 1935, the family (Annetta and four children under 10 years of age) moved in with Milt’s grandfather, Lars J. Otterness in Dell Rapids. While growing up there, Milt helped out on his uncle Felix’s farm and his uncle Robert’s farm. He frequently mentioned how kind his uncles were to pay him the same wage as their hired hands while he was only 10 or 11 years old.
Milt graduated from Dell Rapids High School in 1945 and from Augustana College in 1949. He received a master’s degree in social work from the University of Iowa in 1955. He was awarded a certificate in gerontology in 1978, was named S.D. Social Worker of the Year in 1981, and received the AARP Andrus Award in 2002.
He married Joyce Stolsmark on July 30, 1950. Theirs was a loving and lasting marriage of nearly 70 years, providing a wonderful example and home environment for their four sons. He was employed at Bethesda Children’s Home in Beresford (1949-1953), Lutheran Social Services of SD (1955-1973), Community Education of Augustana College (1973-1981) and Senior Citizen’s Services (1981-1991). He retired in 1991.
Milt was active in many organizations including: AARP, Co/Op (Congregational Outreach with Older Persons), Board of Sioux Vocational School, Board of the Good Samaritan Village, National Board of the Good Samaritan Society and Board of the Center for Active Generations.
He was a member of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church since moving to Sioux Falls in 1955. He and his wife Joyce enjoyed camping. Lake Carlos in Minnesota, Lake Okoboji in Iowa, and the Black Hills of South Dakota were favorite destinations. In their retirement years, they were members of the Minnekota Travel Club and especially enjoyed the annual club caravan to Arizona in the winter months.
Milt loved people and spent his life helping others. He will be remembered for his kind and gentle spirit, his concern for others, and his frequent words of encouragement. Regardless of the challenges of life, he maintained his trust in God and a positive attitude.
Survivors include his wife of almost 70 years, Joyce; four sons, Larry Erickson of Adel, IA, David (Adriana) Erickson of Wausau, WI, Paul (Susan) Erickson of Sioux Falls, Tim (Kim) Erickson of Lakeville, MN; seven grandchildren, Ryan Erickson of Sioux Falls, Kristen (Steven) Lancaster of Minneapolis, MN, Elizabeth Erickson of Minocqua, WI, Scott Erickson of Kyoto, Japan, Luke (Kendra) Erickson of Chatfield, MN, Grace (Greg) Bader of Farmington, MN, Ben (Macy) Erickson of Lakeville, MN; three great grandchildren, Mackenzie Erickson, Lena Erickson and Elijah Bader; his brother Eugene (Betty) Erickson of Sioux Falls, special friends Sharon & Rudy Carey of Sioux Falls and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Cyrus Erickson, who was killed in action in Korea, and his sister, DeLoris Erickson.
A private family service is being held due to the pandemic. Interment will be at Woodlawn Cemetery in Sioux Falls. A Celebration of Life is planned for a later date.
Memorials may be made to Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 909 W. 33rd Street, Sioux Falls, SD 57105.