Doris Erickson
Doris Erickson

Obituary of Doris Bremner Erickson

Doris Bremner Erickson, 77, died Thursday, August 17, 2006, after suffering a brain hemorrhage. Doris was born March 13, 1929 in Lynden, WA to George and Marian Bremner. She attended Lynden High School, where she was an avid softball player and co-editor of the yearbook. She went on to attend the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA and graduated from there in 1951, with a major in History and a minor in German. In 1950, Doris was married to William (Bill) Erickson, and they had three daughters Kathryn, Kristine and Elaine, and two sons, David and Bruce. In 1965, Bill’s employment took the family to southern Indiana, near Louisville, Kentucky. Bill left early in the year to start his new job, and Doris followed with the children, ranging in age from 3 to 14, at the end of the school year. They carried with them everything they still owned, after having sold their home and most of their possessions, and traveled on the train for several days to their new home in the Midwest. Over the next six years, the family appreciated getting to know a different part of the country. Doris, who loved the out-of-doors, enjoyed canoeing the rivers and camping and hiking in the mountains of eastern Kentucky. In 1971, when Bill’s father died suddenly, the family returned to Tacoma, making another epic journey across the country, this time by car, to take care of his ailing mother. As her children were heading off to college, Doris returned to college herself, earning a master’s degree in Education. She spent some time as a substitute teacher in the Tacoma school system. When Bill’s employment on an Alaska North Slope project took him on a temporary assignment to southern California, Doris decided that, while she did not want to live in California, she was ready for another adventure. She took her youngest son, Bruce, who was the only one still living at home by then, and moved to Anchorage, Alaska. She continued to work there as a substitute teacher. Bill eventually joined her, and they spent several happy years in Alaska. In 1980 they returned to Tacoma. Doris, who had always wanted to use her education degree in the area of educational counseling, found employment in that capacity with the U.S. Army at Fort Lewis. This new job, which she enjoyed thoroughly, eventually provided her with the opportunity to work in the Army’s education program in Germany. Doris and Bill had a wonderful time living in Germany during the years between 1984 and 1987. After they returned to Tacoma, Doris worked at Fort Lewis for another decade, receiving numerous citations and commendations for outstanding performance, until she retired from the Army in the late 1990s. Over the years, Doris had developed a love of birding, and in retirement she devoted much of her time to pursuing that interest. She birded in many areas of the country, as well as overseas, but frequently declared that the Pacific Northwest was “God’s Country.” She hiked and camped all over western Washington, and much of eastern Washington and Oregon, as well. Several times she went on longer journeys with her children and grandchildren into Idaho, Montana, and western Canada. She had particularly fond memories of driving up the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park, just when all the alpine meadows were filled with stunningly beautiful wildflowers. All her life, Doris loved growing a large vegetable garden. She also had a small orchard, and several kinds of berries. Summer visitors could always count on having great quantities of fresh produce, especially strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and blueberries which she had picked herself, either from her own plants, or from one of the U-pick berry farms in the Puyallup Valley. Her most recent project was to plant a small hillside below her home with Washington native flowers, bushes and trees. She delighted in observing all the songbirds and wildlife that came to value their new habitat there. In July of this year, Doris welcomed all of her children and grandchildren for their annual summer visit. She was devoted to her five grandchildren and treasured their company. The family had a wonderful couple of weeks, and they are deeply grateful to have had this one last opportunity to all be together. Doris’ sudden death came as a terrible shock to her loving family, and they are thankful to the extraordinary staff at Tacoma General Hospital for their help in this difficult time. The caregivers in the hospital were, without exception, incredibly helpful, caring and compassionate. Doris is survived by her devoted husband of 56 years, William, her children, Kathryn of Bedford, MA, Kristine and Bruce of Seattle, David of Lancaster, CA, and Elaine of Los Altos, CA, and by her five grandchildren, Luke, Adrien, Nikole, Max and Sarah. She also has a sister, Margaret Greenway of Seattle, and three brothers, Donald Bremner of Pasadena, CA, James Bremner of Olympia, and William Bremner of Seattle. Her family and friends mourn her loss profoundly, but are comforted by their many wonderful memories of a kind wife, mother, grandmother and friend who loved deeply, laughed easily, and had a full, interesting, adventurous and enjoyable life in which they were all privileged to share. Services will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 22, 2006 at Browns Point United Methodist Church, 5339 Browns Point Blvd. N.E., Tacoma. A reception will follow from 4-6 p.m. at the Browns Point Improvement Club, 201 Ton-A-Wan-Da Ave. N.E., Browns Point, WA. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to: Tahoma Audubon Society 2917 Morrison Road W University Place, WA 98466 Nisqually Land Trust P.O. Box 1148 Yelm, Washington 98597 Friends of the Hylebos Wetlands P.O. Box 24971 Federal Way, WA 98093
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A Memorial Tree was planted for Doris
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Edwards Memorial | University Place
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