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January 4, 2011

John Milton Erickson, UCM Professor, Wonderful Wbg Resident

John Milton Erickson died Dec. 30, 2010. He was born Aug. 2, 1936, in Rugby, N.D., the son of Frank and Selma (Iverson) Erickson. John or "Milt" as he was known then, grew up in Towner, N.D., and graduated from Towner High School in 1954.He was active in music organizations, sports, and worked in his father's hardware store. He attended Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., for three years and then joined the U.S. Marine Corps, which sent him to Southeast Asia for 18 months duty with the 3rd Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force.He spent time in the Philippines and Hong Kong, and was based on Okinawa, where he developed a lifelong love for all things Asian.Upon his return to the states, he returned to Concordia and graduated with a B.A. degree in 1960. In 1960 he married Annette Boutiette.They had two children, Lance and Gail.After working as a social caseworker, banker and insurance managerial trainee, he earned an M.S. in Marketing at the University of North Dakota. where he spent two years as an instructor of marketing. In 1965, John and his family moved to Warrensburg, where he taught for 30 years at UCM, retiring in 1998.He served as chairman of the Department of Business Administration from 1977 to 1984. He earned an Education Specialist degree from the University of Missouri Columbia in 1970 and a Ph.D. from Kansas State University in 1976. While at UCM he also guest lectured in Sweden, Mexico, the Netherlands and studied Japanese business and culture at Sanno College in Tokyo, Japan. In 1983 he traveled to Bangkok, Thailand, where he assisted in establishing the CMSU Bangkok Alumni Association.  In 1984 he married Barbara (Bobbie) Hess.Together John and Bobbie enjoyed Rving throughout the U.S. and Canada and also took many international trips.They also were active with international students attending UCM, often entertaining them in their home and encouraging them in other ways.  In addition to travel, John was an avid fisherman and he especially loved going to Bennett Springs to fly-fish.He enjoyed cooking, building and fixing things in his workshop and gardening.He continued his love of music by singing in the Chancel Choir at the Methodist Church and for some years singing barbershop with the Teacher's Pets.He was active in the Noon Rotary Club, served on the Military Affairs Committee of the Warrensburg Chamber of Commerce and was locally famous for participating in dozens of ribbon cuttings as a red-coated member of the Chamber. Most of all, John was a people person - a peacemaker who managed to stay friends with all sides, a kind person who always found the good and the beautiful in everyone he met.He had a wry sense of humor and loved to tell stories about his own misadventures.  John was preceded in death by his parents and infant sister, Alice Mae Erickson.  He is survived by his wife, Bobbie, of the home; son, Lance Erickson and wife, Lisa, of Lee's Summit; daughter Gail Morton and husband Shawn of Lee's Summit; stepdaughter, Kendy Hess and Dave Woessner of Maynard, Mass.; brother, Jerald Erickson and wife, Bonnie; and his grandchildren, Lauren Erickson, Luke Erickson, Blake Wrisinger, Elizabeth Wrisinger, Christopher Morton, and Dustin Morton.
Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 3, 2011, from 6 to 8 p.m., at Sweeney-Phillips Holdren Funeral Home in Warrensburg. A memorial service will be Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2011, at 2 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Warrensburg, followed by a gathering for family and friends.Cremation will be followed by a private burial at Sunset Hill Cemetery.  Memorial contributions are suggested to the Methodist Church or to the John and Barbara Erickson Scholarship Endowment for International Studies and both can be left at the funeral home.