Helen Erickson
1931 - 2020
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July 2, 1931 ˜ June 22, 2020

Helen Erickson was born in Ridgefield, WA on July 2nd, 1931 to Sam and Helen Zimmerly. She was the second to the oldest of ten children. Helen graduated from Ridgefield High School in 1949 and attended two years at Cascade College in Portland.
She married Vinton Erickson from the Lake Shore/Felida area of Vancouver in 1953 and they had 5 children that were raised on the family farm.
Besides the farm which took a great deal of her time, in her earlier years she taught children’s choir at their church, sang in choir and trio. She took her 5 children to piano lessons, swim lessons, OMSI classes, & 4-H. Helen was also on a reading committee with the schools, and passed on her love of reading to her children.
She was a bit of a maverick acquiring her pilot’s license in the mid 60’s and also took computer classes which she used for setting up the pay system for the farm.
Who of you still have your stick-pin buttons that she passed out to top pickers in the strawberry or cucumber fields? Or perhaps remember the end of strawberry season picnics at Lewisville Park? The twelve ‘Erickson Farms blue’ school buses went on their regular routes to pick up the kids who finished the strawberry season, only this time for a picnic, prizes & talent show.
She opened ‘Erickson Farm market’ in 1989-2006 which generations of the family were able to work together.
Helen and Vinton took many trips around the U.S., Europe and New Zealand. One of her favorites was visiting the Zimmerly family farm in Switzerland.
Helen started many family traditions, one of which was a large Christmas display that started in the early 1960’s which included colored lights, a manger scene and luminarias, after visiting Vinton’s sister that lived in New Mexico.
Another tradition was taking her grandchildren to the Clark County Fair, one that still would have continued in her memory this year with grandkids & great-grandkids.
Helen lived on the farm property until she couldn’t live on her own anymore and then lived the last 5 years with her youngest daughter Angie and her husband, Bob. She passed soon after listening to Andrea Bocelli singing, ‘Amazing Grace’, on June 22, 2020 with family at her side, from a long battle with congestive heart failure. We will miss her cheerful attitude, her love of music, family, and her curiosity.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Vinton who passed away in 2013.
She is survived by her daughters, Wendy (Mike) Stack, Debbie (Andy) Warner, Angie (Bob) Combs; and 2 sons, Doug (Vickie) Erickson and Matt (Pam) Erickson; also 8 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, 4 sisters, 1 brother & many others.
Because of the restrictions yet for large gatherings, there will be a small family service at a later date.
Please sign her guest book @ www.Columbian.com/obits

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Columbian on Jul. 5, 2020.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
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17 entries
September 15, 2020

Helen and Vinton gave me the opportunity to earn money for my first year of college. I worked in the strawberry and bean fields picking and then later was on a work crew that planted strawberry runners, made bunny holes in the bean fields and weeded the corn fields. I was also a field boss for a short time. I remember Helen with fond memories. She was always kind and understanding. I especially remember standing outside the Erickson house and she would pass out checks at a side window. Yes, I still have my pins too. They were hard earned and gave one a sense of accomplishment. The Ericksons gave much to the Hazel Dell and Vancouver community. I am sick at heart knowing Helen is gone, but her love lives on in her children, grandchildren and all those pickers who were touched by her kindness and opportunity to work. My condolences to her family. I will always be indebted to the Erickson family.
Cynthia Killip
July 16, 2020
I too picked berries with Helen and Vinton. Later I enjoyed their farm store and our interactions as fellow farmers. I'm sorry to see Helen's passing and offer my condolences to her family.
Geri Kromminga
July 11, 2020
As a former not top picker I have many fond (and not so fond) memories of Vinton and Helens farming adventures.
Hot, cold, wet, good bean rows, bad berry rows, plywood outhouses, and Lewisville Park Celebrations!
As a member of First Church I have good memories of their kindness to a young boy whos daddy had died. (And Wendy, Debbie, and the rest of you.)
Im sure shes with Jesus and my Daddy, Kenneth and Mom, Nelma (all were at Cascade together)
What a sad glad day it was when she left us and met Jesus face to face.
Dwight Buck
July 10, 2020
So sorry to hear about Helen. She was a wonderful nursing theorist and I have used Modeling and Role-Modeling in all of my research and now share with graduate students. God bless.
Celeste Baldwin
July 9, 2020
Sad hearing of Helens passing, what a great person she was. The farm was where I grew up from ten to eighteen, every summer either picking berries and beans or driving tractor and haying. Erickson farms was a wonderful place to learn how to work for an employer and taught many of us how to succeed in later life. Some of my best memories are of those years working the fields for Vinton and Helen.
They will be missed but at least they are now together.
Prayers and best wishes to the entire family.
God bless
Tim Jeffries
July 8, 2020
July 8, 2020
Such great memories were made during the summers on Erickson farms. My deepest condolences to the Erickson children and their families. May the love of friends and family carry you through your grief.
Calleen (Schmitz) Howell
July 8, 2020
I would like to send deep condolences and let family know what a positive influence Helen, Vinton and her family had on my and my family's life while I was growing up. Showing and allowing my brothers and I the virtues of rewards for a hard days work in the fields with tasty berry benefits. Providing a little extra spending money for our famly by providing part time work for my father. Not just berry picking but farm hand work that help build and teach skills. Strong grounding in the church showed me a strong convicted woman with a loving heart. The picture of her sent me back 50 years and brings a tear to my eyes. Tears of joy for knowing her and the blessings she has left behind.
Kevin Crockford
July 8, 2020
Helen was a very kind lady. I used to clean carpets for their rental properties. Vinton had a strong handshake and would let one know if you were holding back at all. Both were respectable people. My condolences to the Erickson family
James Bousquet
July 7, 2020
My husband & I currently live in Erickson Farms, we love our neighboorhood & the vision Vinton & Helen shared for their property. Helen was always a warm & caring graceful lady. Gary also grew up with the Erickson family, so he has many many memories. I was a city girl but I loved seeing their Christmas display every year and the gift shop they had was a delight.
Our deepest sympathy to family & friends, she will be missed but the memories will be in our hearts forever. Please know that we are thinking of you all...
Gary & Darla Warner
July 7, 2020
So many fond memories working for Vinton and Helen. Dale as a farm hand, Carol in the fields.
Sincere condolences to the Erickson Family.
Dale and Carol Scott
Carol. D Scott
July 6, 2020
Our sincere condolences to the family during this sad time. Erickson farms is a part of my familys childhood treasured memories. The Nantz family
Doris Nantz -Wright
July 5, 2020
For the people who have commented so far, thank-you from our family. And, a special thank-you to Dr. Shepard for the years you were our Mom's doctor. You always went well beyond what was expected. We hope you are enjoying your retirement.
Debbie Erickson-Warner
July 5, 2020
Rest together in peace, Helen and Vinton. Thank you for providing an opportunity to build my work ethic. All good memories from a 60's strawberry picker.
Daniel Vossen
July 5, 2020
Sorry to read of the passing of Helen Erickson. Special thanks for the opportunity to work in the fields at a time that it was still permitted for a youngster to do so. It built character and for me established the foundation for a long and highly successful working career. I will be forever indebted to the Ericksons. May they forever Rest In Peace,
A Gordon Malella
July 5, 2020
I still proudly have my pins for both strawberries and beans. She and Vinton were both great people
Scott McClure
July 5, 2020
A delightful upbeat person I was fortunate to get to know. So full of life and positivity. She made the world a better place. I express my deepest sympathy to her family for their kids.
Mary Shepard
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