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Gladys M. Erickson

Gladys Mae Erickson, age 91, of Willmar, died Monday afternoon, Aug. 11, at the Bethesda Heritage Center in Willmar.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, August 15, at the Bethel Baptist Church in Kerkhoven. Interment will be at Hillside Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, August 14, at Peterson Brothers Funeral Home in Willmar and will continue for one hour prior to the service at the church on Friday.

Gladys Mae Erickson was born on July 12, 1923 on a farm in Green Lake Township in Kandiyohi County to Frank R. and Adeline (Ring) Zwemke. At the age of 5, she moved with her family to a farm west of Willmar. She received her elementary education at District 45 in St. John's Township. She attended the First Baptist Church in Willmar where she accepted Christ as her Savior at the age of 11 and was baptized. She moved with her parents to Echo, Minnesota in 1938 where she attended high school and graduated in 1941. She attended Bethel College and St. Cloud Teacher's College where she received her B.S. degree in education in 1946. She taught elementary grades in New London, Redwood Falls, Roseland, Blomkest, and Willmar schools, a total of 27 years. On October 13, 1951, she married Theodore (Ted) Erickson of Blomkest, Minnesota, at her parent's home near Pennock, Minnesota. They lived in Blomkest for 13 years and then moved to the Pennock farm where they lived for 40 years. Gladys and Ted moved to Willmar in 2003. In April of 2014, Gladys moved into Bethesda Heritage Center.

Gladys was a member of Bethel Baptist Church in Kerkhoven from 1964-2014, where she served as a Sunday school teacher, pianist and worked with the Women's group. Gladys enjoyed her family so much and also her teaching career. Gladys and Ted made lasting memories with their grandchildren by taking each of them on a special vacation. Quilting, crocheting, playing piano, flower gardening, reading and working on jigsaw and crossword puzzles were important pastimes in her retirement years. Her desire was to glorify God and to praise Him for all the blessings He bestowed upon her and her family.?

She is survived by three children, Mark (and Sharon) Erickson of Willmar, Janell (and Roger) Johnson of Minneapolis, and Shelley (and Gordie) Molenaar of Raymond; seven grandchildren, MacKenzie (and Caleb) Bjorklund, Selena Klein, Tyrone (and Holly) Johnson, Damien Johnson, Angela (and Christian) Peterson, Meggan (and Paul) Hoffmann, Loren (and Hollie) Molenaar; and eight great-grandchildren, Olivia and Ellorie Bjorklund, Isabelle and Elliott Klein, Blake and Amayia Johnson, Chloe Peterson, and Cub Hoffmann. Also surviving are sister-in-laws, Margy Johnson of Kasson, Dorothy Anderson of New Brighton, and Doris (and Arnold) Lindberg of New Brighton; and brother-in-law, John Erickson of Minneapolis; besides other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her beloved husband, Teddy in 2011; two brothers, Beryl and Wally Zwemke; sister-in-laws, Pearl Zwemke, Marilyn Erickson, Virginia Erickson; brother-in-law, A. Dwight Anderson and Lennard Erickson; and two nieces, Helen Sogge and Ruth Sinnwell.