Sun Prairie/Madison - Geraldine Lou Ericksen, age 84, of Janesville, WI, died peacefully on Friday, August 16, 2013, after a battle with Alzheimer's disease. She had been a resident of Cedar Crest retirement home in Janesville since May 2012. Prior to moving to Janesville, she lived for 10 years at Oakwood Village East in Madison, and, for 38 years, in Sun Prairie.
Gerry was born in November 21, 1928, in Duluth, MN, the oldest child of Quinton and Signe (Olson) Miller. She graduated from Menomonee Falls High School in 1946 and attended the Dodge County Normal School in Mayville. While working at the Wisconsin Telephone Company in Milwaukee, she met her husband Wilbur Ericksen. They married in Menomonee Falls on September 6, 1952. Several years later, Wil began a series of Telephone Company transfers that resulted in family moves to Superior, Appleton and finally Sun Prairie in 1963.
Gerry was a quintessential stay-at-home mom during the '50s and '60s. In addition to taking care of her family, she played piano for community events and enjoyed bowling, golf, knitting, and social gatherings with friends and family. When her children were in their teens, she went to work for the Sun Prairie School District as an aide at Eastside and Westside elementary schools.
After their retirement, Gerry and Wil purchased a winter home in North Fort Myers, FL, which they enjoyed until Wil's death in 1993. In 2001, Gerry moved to Oakwood Village East-Prairie Ridge. She was proud to be part of the 4th floor community and a participant in their service projects, particularly the preparation of care packages for soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Gerry was a member of Sun Prairie's 20th Century Club, the Wisconsin Telephone Pioneers and Our Savior's Lutheran Church. In her later years, she volunteered at Olbrich Botanical Gardens and enjoyed regular visits to the Fireside dinner theater in Fort Atkinson.
Gerry is survived by her daughter, Christine (David) Moore, of Janesville, her son, Richard (Cynthia) of San Antonio, her grandchildren: Caroline Moore, Madison, Catherine Moore, Decatur, GA, Amanda Ericksen and Phillip Ericksen, both of San Antonio; her sister, Lorraine (James) Thompson, of West Bend, her brother, Kenneth (Faye) Miller of Glendale, and several nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Robert Miller; and her husband, Wilbur Ericksen.
Gerry's family extends their sincere thanks to the staff of Cedar Crest and Agrace Hospice for their compassionate care and kindness.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, August 24, 2013, at OUR SAVIOR'S LUTHERAN CHURCH, 550 Lincoln Drive, Sun Prairie, with Reverend Dr. David J. Berggren officiating. Visitation will be held at 9:30 a.m. preceding the service. Burial will be in Sun Prairie Memory Gardens.
Memorial donations may be made to Our Savior's Lutheran Church, Agrace Rock County Capital Campaign, the Wisconsin Alzheimer's Institute or the charity of the donor's choice.
Cress Funeral and Cremation Services
1310 Emerald Terrace
Sun Prairie, WI