John Erickson, 61, of Lee's Summit, Mo., died July 16, 2013, at St. Luke's Hospital in Lee's Summit.

He was born in Preston on Dec. 25, 1951, to Donald and Helen Kimball Erickson. He grew up on the family dairy farm in Fillmore County, north of Newburg. After graduating from high school in Mabel, he attended college in Winona and married Cheryl Larson.

He then entered the United States Air Force and served as a maintenance NCO on C-130s and was honorably discharged.

After returning to the area, he earned a bachelor of science degree from Winona State University. He then entered the United States Navy as a maintenance officer. He served both East PAC and West PAC aboard the USS Coral Sea where he received the Navy Achievement Award and the USS Nimitz, retiring as a Lieutenant in 1994 in Poulsbo, Wash.

John divorced and subsequently relocated to Mabel and assisted with his mother's care.

In 1997, he was united in marriage to Mary Garrett Erickson and they made their home in Lee's Summit, Mo., for the past 16 years. He was a talented craftsman and many people were blessed with his woodworking creations.

He is survived by his wife, Mary; his children, Jonathan Erickson and Lindsey Erickson of Poulsbo, Wash., and Kristopher (Queen) Erickson of Bellingham, Wash.; his step-sons, Josh Bruce of Lee's Summit and Robbie (Jennifer) Patterson of Lenexa, Kansas; his grandchildren, Madelyn and Garrett Patterson; his siblings, Mary Jo (Mike) Brewster of Lee's Summit, Bob (Darcy) Erickson of Mabel and Kathy (Mike) Brandt of Peshtigo, Wis., and numerous nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by two brothers, Mike and Stevie Erickson.

A celebration of life service will be held at a future date in Mabel. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the National Kidney Foundation in John's name.