CLASS 'OF 75 IN MEMORY

Mary Houghton (Erickson) VIEW PROFILE

Mary Sue (Houghton) Erickson

1957 - 2013

Mary Sue (Houghton) Erickson, 55, passed away peacefully on the evening of Feb. 22, 2013, at her home in the presence of her beloved husband and four children. 

Born on July 29, 1957, in Kenosha, Wis., to Ralph and Jane Houghton, Mary lived a good and fruitful life and will always be remembered as someone who constantly encouraged and lead by example. A graduate of Mary D. Bradford High School she attended the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Mary met her loving husband and best friend of 24 years, James N. Erickson, while living in Kenosha. They were united in marriage on Oct. 22, 1988. 

After attending University of Wisconsin Whitewater, Mary earned a certificate and license to teach birth to 4k education and eventually a certificate in preschool administration. Mary was a licensed pre-school teacher for 27 years in Kenosha, Wis., and ran a home daycare center for 11 years. In 1994 she was awarded Pre-School Teacher of the Year for the greater South-eastern Wisconsin area. She then worked as a three and four year old teacher at Pleasant Prairie Renaissance School specializing in Reggio instruction. She eventually served as director of Pleasant Prairie Renaissance School for six years before finally being employed by the Kenosha Unified as an educator at the Chavez Center for learning. 

She was an avid supporter of fine arts in the Kenosha Unified School system and served on the Band Boosters organization and as a band chaperone for the better part of two decades. Mary also loved watching and attending Packer games with her husband and family. Over the course of their marriage Mary and Jim held many social events at their home as they loved to entertain and offer hospitality. In her later years, Mary became quite the gardener and was always eager for spring so that she could begin her work! Above all else, Mary was love. Her faith in a promise after death gave her a joy and compassion that made even her last days seem like a celebration. The world had more joy because of Mary. Her memory will live on in every single person she encountered and she will always be remembered as someone who loved unconditionally. 

Mary is survived by her loving mother, Jane Houghton of Kenosha, Wis.; her husband, James Erickson; her children, John ( Andrea ) Anderson, Andrew Anderson, Janelle Erickson (Nate Buchholz), Julie Erickson, and her soon to be born grandsons, Johnathon Joseph Michael Anderson and Owen Ross Anderson. She is also survived by her siblings, John ( Janey ) Houghton, David ( Koreen ) Houghton, Kathy Spiro and Steve Houghton.

Visitation with the family will be held from 1 p.m - 2 p.m. followed by a memorial service at Crossway Community Church at 13905 75th St., Bristol, Wis., on Saturday, March 2, at 2 p.m. There will be a short reception immediately following the service. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Erickson family would be appreciated.



 
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03/16/13 08:50 AM #1    

Kris Olsen (Thrailkill)

 

Feb 23,2013

It is with great sadness that I must pass this news along from
Mary Houghton Erickson's husband, Jim.
Thank you, Jim, for letting us know and for sharing Mary's journey with so many.
Mary's earthly presence will be missed greatly, we are diminished,
while Heaven is celebrating her laughter and smile.
Thanks, Mary! Thanks, Jim.
The following is from Jim's FB post.
Thanks to everyone who helped make Mary's life so special!

 
"At 11:53 CDT on Friday, February 22nd 2013 A.D.;
Heaven welcomed its newest Angel, Mary Sue Erickson.
She was surrounded by her immediate loving family of 5,
James Erickson, John Anderson, Andrew C. Anderson, Janelle Nicole Erickson & Julie Rose Erickson.
We watched her draw her last breaths and realized that her hard fought fight was over and that she had moved on to her Eternal Glory. It's hard to say goodbye to someone who has defined your life like none other. I've lost my best friend and the love of my life, I don't know how this wound will ever heal but with Gods help I'll be equiped to somehow perservere. Mary was loved by so many people who knew her as well as by others who didn't, her fight inspired us all. 
Todays Bible Verse of the Day, Psalm 23:1-6, The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want; He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters; He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for His names sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies; Thou anointest my head with oil, my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
R.I.P. Mary Erickson
The Memorial service for Mary will take place
Saturday, March 2,2013.at 2:00 PM
at Crossway Community Church,
13905 75th Street, Bristol WI.
This Church is across Hwy 50 from Thompsons Strawberry Farm. There will not be a viewing, however our Family will visit with those who attend from 1:00 until the service begins at 2:00.
Thanks again for all the kind thoughts and prayers during this difficult time, we're blessed to have great people in our lives. Todays Bible Verse of the Day, Revelation 14:13, And I heard a voice from heaven saying, "Write this; Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord henceforth." "Blessed indeed," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!"

 


05/03/13 09:21 AM #2    

Kris Olsen (Thrailkill)

Although my high school memories of Mary are limited to her friendly smile and infectious laughter, mainly from casual encounters, Mary and I had many opportunities to talk on the phone as I tried to find people and convince them to sign in on the site and attend the 2010 reunion. These were only made possible after reading her Dad's obituary and finding out that her name had been changed to Erickson and she was in Kenosha. My attempts to get her to show up at our reunion were unsuccessful, as she felt that she had changed too much since the last reunion and was unsure of what to expect. It was not long after our reunion that Mary found out that she had her biggest challenge in front of her, that of fighting and beating her cancer diagnosis.  

Although Mary missed our reunions, she was able to reconnect with many friends, both old and new through her Facebook page and posts and through our class site. Her battle with all facets of her challenges were shared and Mary was able to realize that in spite of time, friendships are based on something much more important that physical appearance and preconcieved notions of societal stereotypes. In spite of being rather private for so long, perhaps Mary realized that she had much to teach each and every one of us through her journey. 

Mary's Love of Life was so obvious and her energetic approach to all she did included her journey with cancer. One thing that immediately drew me to call Mary back was her faith in God and her confidence in her faith. Knowing Jesus was going to be there with her on her journey, each step of the way provided the strength to face each day. 

Mary's Love of her family and her strong faith helped sustain her each challenging day of her lengthy fight with cancer.

It was her incredible strength that allowed others, her friends and family and even strangers who soon became friends to realize Mary's amazing faith in her Heavenly Father. Mary is finally reunited with her beloved Dad, and as I spoke with her two days before her journey to Heaven, she asked that we invite her husband, Jim to our next reunion so that he can meet the amazing friends that were part of her life. Jim and all of Mary's family are most certainly welcome, as are all family members of any friend or classmate. 

Our timing is not God's timing, most of the time. Yet there is some solace in knowing that His timing is Perfect in the Big Picture. Meanwhile, we are in this School of Life and Mary's desire to teach others remains. Mary's Life and untimely death continue to teach me that Today is a gift and try to let others know you care and reach out, even if it is uncomfortable. We never know when it's our time, but until that time, savor the opportunities that come your way to speak your Love and live your faith. Thanks, Mary! Until we meet again my friend...


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