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Mark S. Erickson

July 24, 2022 | 13 comments

On July 20,2022, Mark made his final ride to a better place. He was born in Madison, WI  on October 25, 1951 to Rudolph and Patricia (Hunter) Erickson. Mark was known by many names: Surfer, Ripple Rider, Plum Nuts, Markie Mark, Marcus, Dog Whisperer, Maaarkk, Billet Dad, and answered to many more. He was in the automotive field in one form or another all his life, and for most of it he was a Service Manager for KMart (where he met his wife), and Frank Len for 18 years, until they closed. Mark worked as a driver for Napa in his retirement until early this year, when his body wouldn’t let him any more. On  weekends you could find him golfing, riding his Harley, woodworking in his garage, or micro managing his yard to perfection. Golf was usually on the tv in the garage and the stereo would be blaring (rock and roll was his favorite). He would lend a hand to whomever needed it and enjoyed the times with the neighbors in the driveway. Mark was always a fun loving guy, a tough guy with the heart of a marshmallow and made friends easily. He was like a grandpa to the kids on the street, and all the dogs loved him, he always had treats for them. He loved fast cars, motorcycles, and you may have seen him in his purple van named Plum Nuts during his days in Bar City Vans. Or marching the streets during Oktoberfest as a Grenadier and Grenadier General, and in a kilt during Irishfest where he volunteered for several years. For 6 years he and Mary were billet parents for hockey players with the Coulee Region Chill. With this our family was extended and they became an important part of our lives.
His best title was that of husband to Mary( he was her biggest supporter) and father to Erick of whom he was very proud. He helped teach him to be the wonderful man his is today.
It was fitting that he passed away on “Windsor Wednesday” just before his buddies got to the house. They were there to support him on his journey.
Mark is survived by his wife of 36 years, Mary Tracy Erickson, son Erick Nelson, HD Ryder his puppy, sister Karin Austin, brothers Greg and Ted Erickson, brother Dan Donahue, sister Kathy McWilliams, and their spouses, step-brother Donald Donahue and step-sister Cheryal Boles. Also several aunts , uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews and brother-in-law Ben Oldenburg and sister-in-law Bonnie Erickson. It’s a big family!
He was preceded in death by both of his parents, step dad Neil Donahue, brother Eric Erickson, sister Liz Oldenburg , and a nephew.
Special thanks go out to Dr. Larry, PA Lisa, nurses Jenna and Mary and the whole hospice team. They were great! We couldn’t have made it without our special friends and neighbors that helped us when we needed it most. You know who you are.
Memorials would be welcome to Big Bikes for Little Tykes, Thunderide for Juvenile Diabetes or the La Crosse Humane Society.
A celebration of Mark’s life will be held for friends and family on August 27th at their home from 1-5 pm. Bring a lawn chair and a story.
His Motto to Live By:
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, Windsor in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming “Whoo Hoo what a ride”.
He fought to the end and there’s a Deyo in the air! Get a colonoscopy****



  1. Wendy Franke

    Awesome obit! Very fitting so such a fun guy!

  2. JOYCE diveley

    Mary…again, my deepest sympathy on your loss!
    Irish hugs! JOYCE

  3. Cheryal Boles

    God speed…safe rides forever ❤️

  4. David Berger

    First Met Mark n Mary on a beautiful fall Sept evening 1997. They had volunteered to take our family to a business after 5 event, that the La Crosse Chamber of Commerce put on for years. We were blessed by these two awesome volunteers who put us at ease from the beginning of our Monday evening and through the duration. Our sincerest and Heart-felt Condolences to the Erickson Family during these difficult times. God bless you all and thanks for sharing your family with ours for 25 yrs. Love Ya!!!! Cindy, Nikki, n Dave.

  5. Donna Mae Phillips

    Mary, we were so very sorry to read of Mark’s passing. Ron and I remember seeing and visiting with him at the clinic a couple times. Yes, we do remember those Oktoberfest get-togethers as well. Our sincere sympathy to you and your family. Ron & Donna Mae

  6. Jim Tracy

    Couldn’t find a better brother-in-law, friend, or golfing buddy. Just a down to earth fun guy. Hit them long and straight in heaven

  7. Tim Sprester

    Mary and family, so sorry to learn of Mark’s passing. He surely lived life to the fullest and invited many people to join in the fun. We were all very lucky to have met a sparky lad like Mark. Tim and Connie Sprester

  8. Lynn Wagner

    I knew Mark from the Harley shop. He was always a fun guy to hang around with and enjoy a cup of coffee. He will be missed by his Harley friends!
    What an awesome obit, highlighting his interests, his family, and his many friends. What a good and rewarding life he lived. Rest In peace Mark.

  9. Karen Bakken

    I went to high school with Mark. Yep, we called him Surfer. Years later the Army sent us to LaCrosse and there he was at Frank Len!!! Loved seeing him there. Our sympathy to your family. A nice man.
    Karen Bakken


    So sorry for your loss Mary! Thinking of you, you captured Mark’s life so well. Hugs!

  11. Daron L Schmitz

    Sorry for your familys’s loss Mary and Erik!!! Mark was a great guy and friend!!! Our prayers are with you and your family!!!!

  12. Mark and Vicki

    Mary we are so sorry for your loss
    Matk was a great guy, always looking out for the other guy. Let us know if we can help in any way! Vicki and Matk.

  13. Sue Miller

    We are so blessed to be a part of the Erickson clan of family and friends. He will remain on our hearts and wished him a great ride home on Tuesday before he passed. I am sad for all of us who are family, friends, co-horts in shenanigans and the list goes on. Peace and love Markie Mark. Take your ride..there’s new places to explore!!

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