Gordon A. Erickson, 87, of Naples, Fla., and formerly of Sandusky, Ohio, died early Monday morning, Feb. 26, 2007, in Naples Community Hospital.
He was born July 21, 1919, in Manistee, Mich., and graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in chemical engineering. He was commissioned in Ensign at he U.S. Naval Reserve, May 1941, and served as a Photo Intelligence Officer on the staff of Admiral Nimitz at Pearl Harbor and as acting executive Officer of a Photo Intelligence Unit in the South Pacific during the Guadalcanal and New Georgia campaigns. He also served in the Middle East and Washington, D.C., before retiring as a Lt. Commander in November 1945.
During the Korean War, he served as food section chief and price action chief for the office of price stabilization in Cleveland, where he continued to work in meat company management for five years. He moved to Sandusky in 1953, at which time he joined Grill Meats, Inc. (later Chef’s Pantry Inc.) as Assistant to the President. Throughout his employment with Grill Meats, he advanced to General Manager, President, and Chairman of the Board. Following the sale of Chef’s Pantry, Inc. to Oscar Mayer, Inc. in 1980, he served as a consultant until his retirement in 1985. He co-founded Sam Stein Associates, Inc. in 1955, serving as Treasurer until 1975, when he was elected President, serving in that capacity until his retirement in 1985.
He was active in a number of national trade organizations, which included his service as president and board chairman of the National Assoc. of Meat Purveyors, Trustee of the Ohio Meat Industries Assoc., President of the N.M.A. Suppliers Assoc., Trustee of National Prepared Food Manufacturing Assoc., and was a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.
He served as a Trustee with the Memorial and Firelands Hospital Boards and Sandusky Area Chamber of Commerce. He was a member of the Regional Planning Commission, past president of Erie County Personnel Association, and member of the Gaston Allen Masonic Lodge of Cleveland, Scottish Rite, Valley of Cleveland, Zenobia Shrine Temple of Toledo, member and past president of the Sandusky Shrine Club, member of Alpha Chi Sigma Fraternity, Plum Brook Country Club, Sandusky Yacht Club, Royal Palm Country Club of Naples, and the American Legion. He was a member and former Vestryman of Grace Episcopal Church in Sandusky.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 54 years, Martha Jane (Edgar) Erickson; parents, Erick Olsen and Jennie Alvilda (Cokeen) Solberg; and brothers, Lester, Lawrence and Ward Solberg.
Mr. Erickson is survived by his daughter, Catherine Erickson of Mechanicsburg, Pa.; two sisters, Mrs. Charles Crider of Winter Haven, Fla., and Mrs. Elizabeth Dobler of Manistee, Mich.; and his best friend, Patricia Steiger of Naples.
Friends will be received from 4-7 p.m. Friday at Groff Funeral Home, 1607 E. Perkins Ave., Sandusky. A memorial service will be 11 a.m. at Grace Episcopal Church, 315 Wayne St., Sandusky, with The Rev. Wanda Wray officiating.
Memorial contributions may be made to Stein Hospice Service, 1200 Sycamore Line, Sandusky, OH 44870; Grace Episcopal Church Memorial Fund; or the donor’s favorite charity.
Condolences at grofffuneralhomes.com.