Douglas Erickson

Douglas Erickson

Saturday, December 2nd, 1933 Thursday, June 18th, 2020

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Obituary for Douglas Erickson

On June 18, 2020 surrounded by his wife and family, Douglas Erickson went to be with his Heavenly Father. Douglas was born on December 2, 1933 in Norway, Michigan to Edgar and Myrtle Erickson of Iron Mountain, Michigan. He attended high school in Iron Mountain where he discovered a love and aptitude for music. He continued his education at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, graduating in 1956 with a B.A. in Music Education and later a Master’s Degree in Music Education. He was nominated by his peers for excellence in music education and inducted into the Wisconsin Bandmasters Association.

Douglas met his wife, Evelyn, at a local county fair and they married on June 13, 1959, a union that would last 61 years. Douglas was a “hands-on” father to his four children and seemed to enjoy games, pranks and outdoor activities sometimes more than his kids, especially when it came to “Tickle Monster” and “Sleeping Daddy.” Each of his children became proficient performers on their chosen instrument and sharing that love of music with him created a deep and everlasting bond.

He was a long-time member of Zion Lutheran Church in Manawa, lending his musical and spiritual gifts to the church as a Sunday School teacher and performer at special services.

Douglas began his teaching career in Florence, Wisconsin, soon moving to Manawa, Wisconsin in 1960 where he would teach instrumental music for the next 30 years, retiring in 1990. His first years in Manawa were spent travelling to the local country schools, teaching music while developing the high school band program.

Throughout the decades, he challenged his students to tackle difficult and technically demanding pieces of music to include Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture and Marche Slav, the Grieg Piano Concerto and William Tell Overture among so many others of equal calibre. His students always performed at a very high level because “Mr. E.” would accept nothing less and he knew they were capable of meeting the challenge. Students would later say that there was something about “Mr. E.” that made them want to perform well for him.

Douglas was unique in his ability to train students to perform year after year at the highest levels. Throughout his 30 year career in Manawa, the high school band was awarded 22 consecutive Class A (most difficult level of music) 1st ratings in annual concert band competitions. Marching band was no different. Playing such technically and physically demanding marches as Bravura, Tropic to Tropic and Barnum and Bailey’s Favorite, his marching bands competed in parades across the country in Atlanta, St. Louis, Disney World in Orlando Florida, Traverse City and many cities throughout the Midwest, consistently bringing home 1st Place trophies. “Mr. E” even took the band to Mexico City! His bands performed countless football halftime shows and also gave semi-annual concerts for the community. With the silver cornet gifted to him by the class of 1975, “Mr. E.” enjoyed leading the pep band at high school sporting events.

“Mr. E.’s” lasting legacy was the impact he made in the lives of his students. The relationships he formed over the years were the most treasured and rewarding aspects of his career. Many students remember “Mr. E.” as one of their most influential and beloved teachers. He loved them too.

After retirement, Douglas and Evelyn moved to their lake home on the Spread Eagle Chain of Lakes in northern Wisconsin where he cherished time spent with his children and grandchildren. Doug also enjoyed landscaping, swimming and building model ships. He sang in the First Covenant Church choir in Iron Mountain and enjoyed a good Packer game (if they were winning).

Douglas is survived by his wife, Evelyn, his two daughters Elyse (Ernest) Karam and Tammy (Norman) Goris, son William (Wanda) Erickson, son-in-law Mark Fischer and 12 grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents Edgar and Myrtle Erickson and daughter Tanya (Mark) Fischer.

Do to covid-19 private family services will take place at the Jacobs Funeral Home, Iron Mountain, Mich. Burial will be in Cemetery Park, Iron Mountain.

You may leave a condolence or tribute for Douglas’ family online at

The family has chosen the Jacobs Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Iron Mountain, Mich., to honor Douglas’ legacy of life.

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Service Details

Due to covid-19 private family services will take place at the Jacobs Funeral Home, Iron Mountain, Mich. Burial will be in Cemetery Park, Iron Mountain.

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Denise Clumpner

I will forever feel that Doug was the person who helped me become the person I am today. I am so grateful that he and Evelyn pushed me to always be better, and to believe that I could do anything. Doug's sense of humor, his dedication, his encouragement, his greatness.....will live forever in those of us whose lives he helped steer toward bright futures. May God bless and keep him until we meet again. I am saddened to be unable to attend his service but definitely understand that the circumstances leave few options. My love to the Erickson family. You are all so special to me, and to my family.
Comment | Posted at 11:22pm via Condolence

Bill Handrich

From Mr. E, we learned the difference between being student musicians and mere note-players. For me, this started in the fall of 1960, when he was still giving lessons in the coach's office in the boys' locker room, before the "new" band room was constructed in the old high school. So many memories come to mind! Heaven now has its newest and latest first-chair trumpet, and his name is Doug Erickson. Bill Handrich, LWHS Class of 1967
Comment | Posted at 11:25am via Condolence

James (Jamie) O'Connor

Thank-you Mr. Erickson for all the butterflies you caused me in FHS Band. You made playing the trombone a wonderful experience. Rest in peace, I will never forget you!!! Thank-you also Evelyn for all your support, friendship, and your piano accompaniments. Our sincere condolences.
James (Jamie) & Donna O'Connor
Comment | Posted at 01:38pm via Condolence

Carol Mauser

From the inspiration he gave and the impression those times left on us we will always remember Mr.E. For those of us fortunate enough to have been a part of those moments in time we have many memories to make us smile.
Comment | Posted at 07:02am via Condolence

Ellen Timm

Evelyn, I am forever thankful to you and Doug for the opportunity to be in such an awesome high school band. This would not have happened if you had not given me piano lessons for four years. The two of you recruited me to play bells in the band because I could read music. It was probably one of the most wonderful things that ever happened to me, and it truly changed my life. I will never forget going to Traverse City and Interlochen School and a football halftime show in Madison, plus all the home halftime shows we put on. Everyone of those really made me proud. I love the two of you so very much! Goodbye for now, Doug -- until we meet again. Ellen Stroessenreuther Timm, McIntosh NM.
Comment | Posted at 05:53pm via Condolence

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