Roger Lee Erickson was born September 27, 1934, at Sioux City, IA, to Earl and Hilda (Larson) Erickson. He grew up in Elk Point, SD and graduated from Elk Point High School in 1953. He worked in Florida and then entered the US Army serving from 1956 until 1958 in Europe. On August 25, 1963, he married Shirlee Hebert at Mitchell. He worked at Erickson’s A&W Family Restaurant and purchased the family business in 1972. He and Shirlee operated the business until it was sold in 1994. Since that time he was employed by the Davison County Sheriff’s Office. He was preceded in death by his wife Shirlee in 1997. On November 22, 2001, he married Donna Radloff in Mitchell. For the past ten years he was a pheasant guide for Rooster Roost Ranch in Mitchell.
Roger was a longtime member of the First Lutheran Church, and was a board member of the Lutheran Outdoor Campus Ministry. He was on the South Dakota Restaurant Association Board and served as President in 1973. In 1966, he served as president of the Mitchell Jaycees, was a charter member of the Mitchell Police Department Reserve Unit, was a member of the Mitchell Volunteer Fire Department for 23 years, served on the Board of the Mitchell Area Chamber of Commerce Board, the Mitchell Vocational Technical Advisory Board, South Dakota Easter Seal Society State Coffee Day Chairman, regional chairman for the Jerry Lewis Telethon and was an assistant Scout Leader. He was a private pilot, member of AOPA, past president and currently serving as secretary/treasurer of the Mitchell Flying Club. He was the South Dakota Golden Gloves state boxing champion and coached boxing in Mitchell for several years. In 1976, he received the Broaster Company Outstanding Food Performance Award and in 1982, he received the Citizen of the Year Award from the Mitchell Fraternal Order of Police. He also received the Exchange Club Book of Golden Deeds Award and the South Dakota Wrestling Coaches Association presented him their Friends of Wrestling Award.
Roger is survived by his wife Donna, five children: Mark Erickson and special friend, Gigi Kerwin of Lake Forest, FL; David Mitchell, and wife Dawn of Palatine, IL; Randy Erickson of Brookings; Pamela Brown and husband Phil of Peyton, CO; Karri Deighton and husband Duane of Colorado Springs, CO; three step-children: Tom Radloff and special friend Rhonda Sites of Iona, TX; Mike Radloff and fiancé Tasha Kinnetz of Cleghorn, IA; Julie Bogenrief and husband Joel of LeMars, IA; 18 grandchildren; two great grandchildren; and one sister, Dottie Fjeldheim of Logan Hills, CA. He was preceded in death by his first wife Shirlee, one brother, Kenneth Erickson and his parents.
In lieu of flowers, a Memorial Fund has been established.
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entry posted by Corwyn Tiede on 10-04-2011
I was very saddened to hear of your father's passing. He was a good man, and always very kind and gracious. I remember him as being always upbeat and positive. I know he will be missed. God Bless.
entry posted by Ron Molzen - New York on 08-24-2011
We are sorry for your loss. Great memories growing up with him in Elk Point. I am a retired trooper from New York. When we would be on our way to the Black Hills, I made every attempt to slow my car down, so that we could enjoy root beer at the A&W. Also laugh at memories growing up. Your family is in our prayers.
entry posted by Henny on 08-21-2011
I caonnt tell a lie, that really helped.
entry posted by Cindy Hansen Linafelter on 08-20-2011
Kari my thoughts are with you and your family. May the beauty of your spirit get you through these times.
entry posted by Cheryl Kelsey on 08-15-2011
Like so many I am proud to be able to call Roger, my friend. We worked many shifts together at the jail. Donna, I'm so happy that he had you in his life these past years. He will be missed. My sympathy to all the family.
entry posted by Roger D. Tiede on 08-15-2011
I got to know Roger when I was a policeman in Mitchell before going onto the Highway patrol. We became good friends. I always enjoyed a cold mug of A&W root beer. He had the best and the coldest.
entry posted by Connie Weiland on 08-15-2011
I worked for Roger at A & W. What a great boss, I will never forget him. My sympathy to his family.
entry posted by Gary & Kay Shafer 8-15-11 on 08-15-2011
You have our sympathy in the death of your husband, and father. May the memories you have with your husband, and father bring you comfort. We hope you have reached this part of your bereavement to speak of the memories. We shall miss his smile. It was nice to have been neighbors of yours for a short while, and enjoyed working on community projects with Roger over the years too. He was well respected and loved by our entire community.
entry posted by Roger Blocker(Jr),Lori (Blocker)Berg & Jo Blocker on 08-15-2011
We were so sorry to hear about Roger. So many great memories of the Erickson's and A&W. He was a good man and friend. Heaven got 2 great Roger's this summer as our Dad
Roger passed away 6/5/11. May God keep you all in His blessed sight.
entry posted by diane lawrence on 08-15-2011
Rog was a kind man...He always had a story to tell..He and shirley attended many a dance when my late husband, Duane moke's band was playing. Perhaps he and Shirley will again attend a dance with Duane on piano on that great dance floor in heaven
entry posted by Nicki (Klunder) Peterson on 08-15-2011
I can still hear Roger whistling in the pods at the jail. RIP Roger.
entry posted by T.J. Sanborn on 08-14-2011
My condolences and prayers are with all of Roger's family and friends. I always thought of my friend Roger as Mr. Sunshine, as he brought a bit of bightness into everyone's hearts. I will always remember him with a smile and a tear. He isn't gone, just a memory away. God bless his memory. T.J.
entry posted by Mary (Nicholson) Johnson on 08-14-2011
I am so sorry to hear about Roger, I also worked at A&W and have lots of great memories of Roger and Shirlee..My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
entry posted by Ralph Olawsky on 08-14-2011
Pam, Karri, & Mark, I'm so sorry for your loss. I was fortunate to work for Roger and Shirlee at A& W in the 70's and as Lori Peter said he was the best boss any teenager could ask for. He taught us in his simple, kind, straightforward, everyday way what the most famous of business theorists get rich writing about - that customer service is everything. I can still hear him saying to us, "The customer is always right." Plus he always treated us, his help - a bunch of often irrational teenagers - with the utmost respect. He was the best boss a kid could ask for: a gentleman with a heart of gold who modeled honesty, integrity and respect every day under every circumstance. He has been one of my true heros and someone I've tired to exemplify in my life as the model of how to be a good boss. Thanks Roger for helping to shape my life!
entry posted by Katie Bloom (Kathy Murphy) on 08-13-2011
I was so sorry to hear about your dad. I have fond memories of A&W and your family.
entry posted by Stacey Hasche on 08-13-2011
Randy and family, I am so sorry to hear about Roger, I enjoyed talking to him and finally meeting him. He was a great man and loved his family. Remember Randy i am here for you always.
entry posted by Linda Aldrich on 08-13-2011
Roger will forever be remembered in the hearts of those he touched. A kind, generous and smart man, Roger often said he never had enough hours in the day to do everything he wanted to do. May you rest in peace, Roger -- you will be missed by everyone.
entry posted by Tom Kulm on 08-12-2011
I worked with Roger at the Davison County Jail for the past eight years. He taught me a lot about respecting people. I know I could have learned a lot more from him, but I know what I did learn I will never forget.
entry posted by Lori Peter Enderson on 08-12-2011
So very sorry to hear about Roger. I worked for him in the mid 70s. He was a very kind and understanding which is just what we teen agers needed. What a full and active life he has had. He will be remembered fondly and missed. My thought and prayers are with your family.
entry posted by Culynn Curtis on 08-12-2011
Hi Donna and Family -
I am so sorry for your loss. My folks just called today and told me the news. I am so thankful for his energy and excitement about life, and especially camping ministries! We was so excited that I was going to be working at camp. What a gift to so many people at First, and everywhere in the City of Mitchell.
"For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone. If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or whether we die, we belong to the Lord. For this reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living." (Romans 14:7-9)
entry posted by Missy, Mal and Sunny \ on 08-12-2011
Gramma Donna -
We are going to hold tight to our special Papa Rog memories - first fishing trips, sweet strawberries, buzzard watching and the smile on his face when a little girl smiled and gave him a hug good night to name a few. We love you and he as much as we love our other Grammas and Grampas. We are glad we have you in our lives. xoxo
entry posted by Warren & Karen Vande Stadt on 08-12-2011
We are very saddened by Roger's death. He was such a dynamic person. We met him 2 years ago through the Good Sam camping club. We were very impressed by his happy, caring and kind soul. Our condolences to Donna and family. The community has lost a great man.
entry posted by James & Trina Kropenske on 08-11-2011
My sisters Vickie and Linda both worked for Roger at A & W when they were in High School. 1967 / 68. I had the pleasure of getting to know Roger when I was a police officer in Mitchell and through the years he always asked about my sisters. My sister said last night. "Roger touched the lives of so many young people and the people of Mitchell. He will really be missed". Our condolences to the family.
entry posted by Aaron, Stacy, Hannah, & Taylor Rolfes on 08-11-2011
We are so sorry for your loss. We will miss Roger and think of him lots when we are camping. Especially his awesome margaritas and Norwegian stories. He was one of a kind and will always have a special part in our hearts.
entry posted by Duane and Vera (Ness) Klomps on 08-11-2011
Please accept our sincere sympathy for the loss of Roger in your lives. He was a special person during our high school years and he will be missed by his classmates.