James A. Erickson, aka, “Jim,” “Jimsy,” “Shadoobie,” and “Colonel,” 88 years old, passed away peacefully at his home in Huntington Beach on March 24, 2022 from natural causes. Jim was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather, who’s memory will be cherished by his loved one’s forever.
Born February 17, 1934 in Detroit, Michigan, Jim lived out his childhood. From there he departed to serve in the Army in Germany during the Korean Conflict. Upon completing his service with an Honorable discharge, he resumed his college education graduating with his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree from Long Beach State University. During that time he was married to his first wife, Barbara, and they had three children, Scott, Julie and Chris.
Jim was a great many things: a collector, a gardener, an expert garage sales shopper, but above all else, Jim was teacher down to his very core. Inevitably, Jim would share his joy of learning with hundreds of students. He taught elementary school in Los Angeles before he moved to Huntington Beach and taught for Ocean View School District (OVSD) from where he would eventually retire. His 43-year teaching streak did not end there. After he retired from OVSD in 2001, he would volunteer at Huntington Beach Library for 20 years selling used books, a love that he would share with his children and grandchildren.
The enthusiasm Jim had for history, music, and jelly beans opened the door for a learning experience that was exciting for his students. He shared his love for reading, and encouraged it by allowing his students to check out books from “Mr. Erickson’s Library,” a wall of dusty, durable pages, waiting to be explored by young minds. In addition, he would seek out used books at garage sales, tales of boxcar children, goosebumps and, Narnia that kept his grandchildren asking for more.
During his ‘days off’ from the classroom from 1979-1987, Jim had a business selling used books at the Golden West College Swap Meet, with his unforgettable ‘Pay Me’ t-shirt he’d wear.
Jim enjoyed volunteering at OCCVP projects including Olive Crest Home for Neglected and Abused Children. He and his second wife, Judi, even turned their marriage ceremony into a fund raiser for the organization at their wedding on April 6, 1996. Jim had a very service-oriented spirit, from opening the door in chivalry for anyone and everyone, to stopping the mail man and asking them about their day, to being a volunteer shopper for the local church; Jim was a man of faith who was curious and genuine, with a kindness that penetrated everyone around him.
Jim is survived by a loving blended family of 7 adult children: Scott E. (Lisa) , Sherice (Jim) Scott G (Christina), Julie, Chris (Amy), Frank (Tory), and Valerie (Sam). Grandchildren: Lauren (Gabriel), Katie (Daniel), Victoria (Colton), Aden, and Franco. Great Grandchildren: Rey, Wyatt, Emmett, and Penelope, List of many good friends and neighbors
Memorial Service June 3, 2pm at Heritage-Dilday, 17911 Beach Blvd, Huntington Beach. Reception following at 17402 Chapparal Lane, Huntington Beach. RSVP for reception only: text or call 619 432-5377, email: JimEmemorial@gmail.com. Please bring your used books to donate to the Huntington Beach Library, and don't forget to wear a Hawaiian shirt!