Minnesota firefighter's remains brought back to Kandiyohi County
The funeral for Ryan Leif Erickson is scheduled for Friday, May 20. He was killed May 12 on duty, en route to his storm spotter role.
BLOMKEST, Minnesota — The community of Blomkest gathered on Main Street Tuesday night to show its appreciation and respect for Ryan Leif Erickson as the Blomkest Fire Department and Rescue Squad escorted his body back to Kandiyohi County.
Erickson, 63, of rural Blomkest, was killed Thursday on duty, en route to his storm spotter role when an empty grain bin was blown onto him by straight-line winds in the May 12 storm.
The Erickson escort traveled from St. Cloud via Minnesota Highway 23, then south on U.S. Highway 71, east on Minnesota Highway 7 and north through Main Street of Blomkest and back to Peterson Brothers Funeral Home in Willmar.
Willmar Fire Department personnel and Willmar residents gather along Trott Avenue Tuesday to honor Erickson on the final leg of the procession to Peterson Brothers Funeral Home in southwest Willmar.
Erickson's celebration of life service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Friday, May 20, at the Refuge Church at 1000 Sixth Street Southeast in Willmar.
Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 19, at Peterson Brothers Funeral Home and will continue for one hour prior to the service at the church on Friday. Interment will be at the Evergreen Cemetery in Blomkest.
Erickson was born March 3, 1959, in Willmar to Evie and Bob Erickson. He graduated from Willmar High School in 1977 and then attended Willmar Vocational Technical Institute.
"He was a true Blomkest lifer," reads his obituary. He went to work at Erickson's Plumbing and Heating, the family business in Blomkest. "Ryan treated each customer like family and was proud to be people's 'go to guy'," according to the obituary. He also was enjoying his latest endeavor working in sales at Perkins Lumber.
Erickson met his wife, Kelly Erickson, on a chance encounter on a Mexico trip and they married in 2000. He became a proud parent to two girls whom "he loved and treated as his own," the obituary said.
Erickson served on the Blomkest Fire Department for more than 40 years. He was always looking forward to their community fundraising events. He also loved his volunteer work, especially two mission trips to Bolivia where his plumbing expertise enriched the communities there.
He was a strong supporter of his community and was always proud of his float creations for Blomkest Appreciation Day, according to his obituary.
He also served on the East Lake Lillian Township Board, the Kandiyohi Power Cooperative Board and many other boards during his career.
Erickson is survived by his wife; two daughters, Tasha (and Dustin) Hage of Fargo, North Dakota, and Jennifer (and Trenton) Adkins of Spicer; and four grandchildren, Jackson and Westin Hage and Quinn and Leighton Adkins; mother, Evelyn Erickson-Paulson of Willmar; and three siblings, Ross (and Margaret) Erickson of Willmar, Matt (and Rai-Anne) Erickson of Blomkest and Dana (and Tom) Roderick of Rockford, Illinois.
He was preceded in death by his father and a grand-nephew, Eli Mattfield.