The Rev. Robert L. Erickson, longtime pastor of St. John's
Lutheran Church in Depew, died Feb. 12 in a Chicago hospital after a long illness. He was 69.
Born in Sioux City, Iowa, Mr. Erickson earned his master's of divinity degree from Concordia Lutheran Seminary in St. Louis, then was ordained June 24, 1962.
From 1962 to 1965, he was pastor of Hope Lutheran Church in Niagara Falls. He then joined St. John's in Depew, where he remained until 1980, when he joined Hope Lutheran Church in Park Forest, Ill., where he remained until 1999.
Mr. Erickson also served as interim pastor of Chatham Fields Lutheran Church, Chicago, and, most recently, Immanuel Lutheran Church, Richton Park, Ill.
During his tenure at St. John's, the Sunday service was broadcast live at 11 a.m. over WXRL radio, which is still done today. Because of the congregation's growth, an addition was constructed to the church in 1968, and a second Sunday service was added.
Active in the community, Mr. Erickson served as chaplain for the Village of Depew Police Department and Depew Volunteer Fire Department.
Survivors include his wife of 43 years, the former Kathryn Milow of Chicago; a daughter, Stephanie Youngman of Chicago; two sons, Robert Jr. of Cedarburg, Wis., and Lance of Chicago; his mother, Virginia of Beecher, Ill.; a brother, Dr. William of Henderson, Nev.; and three grandchildren.
Services were held Friday in Hope Lutheran Church. A memorial service will be scheduled in St. John's Church.