Gayle Erickson, 82, formerly of Spring Valley

Gayle Richard Erickson, 82, died peacefully on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, at his home in Rochester.

He was born to Arnold and Marcella “Sally” (Means) Erickson in Spring Valley on March 7, 1937.

His youth was spent in Spring Valley and he graduated from Spring Valley High School in 1955.

He served in the United States Army from 1955 to 1958 as a medical specialist stationed at the military hospital in Chinon, France. Rather than coming stateside for leaves, he traveled through Europe beginning his love of travel.

He worked at the Rochester State Hospital as a psych aide II on the medical and surgical units.

At the hospital he met student nurse, Ann Estrem, whom he married a year later in 1963.

They lived in Minneapolis while he attended the Fairview Hospital School of Radiation Technology.

After completing school, they moved to Rochester for his employment with the Mayo Clinic. His career at Mayo from 1965 to 1996 was spent at Saint Marys Hospital and the Mayo building X-Ray Departments.

He was a good, kind and mischievous fellow. He had a knack for connecting with and entertaining children with his stories and numerous tricks. This gift was useful with pediatric patients, his nieces and nephews, his own girls and his grandsons. He enjoyed nature, traveling to new places by plane, train or ship, life-long learning, animals, trains, Gopher sports and people watching while enjoying a cup of coffee preferably at a sidewalk cafe.

He had been on home hospice under the loving care of his wife and daughters for 16 months.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Gayle; his two daughters, Susan (Jim) Schleusner of Champlin, Minn., and Vicki Erickson of Rochester; his two grandsons, Austin and Ethan Schleusner; his brother, Gary (Bobbie) Erickson of Spring Valley; niece, Jennifer (Brian) O’Conner of Spring Valley; nephew, Steven (Darcy) Erickson of Rochester; great-niece and nephew, Brennen and Elise of Spring Valley and his three sisters-in-law and their families.

A memorial service for him will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 4, at Bethel Lutheran Church, 810 Third Avenue SE in Rochester. 

In memory of him, in lieu of flowers, please do a good deed. Any memorials are requested to Quarry Hill Nature Center (www.qhnc.org) where the Rochester State Hospital Cemetery is located or towards mental healthcare such as NAMI (www.namiroc.org).