Randal Allen Erickson died March 10, 2023 at home just a week shy of his 74 th
birthday. If you were lucky enough to know him, you’d probably describe him as a
kind, welcoming, down to earth man with endless pride for his grandkids; a guy
who had a million stories to tell if you happen to ask the right question.
The first born child of Harry and Marian (Bohn), Randy was the only son, left to
contend with his three strong willed sisters Debbie (Dan Smith), Pattie
(Kaufmann), and Sue (Bill Eldridge) who he was ever proud of giving a hard time,
often regaling the story of how he would trick them into washing his ’68 Camaro
when they were young.
Randy spent his formative years running the streets of north Racine with
infamous names like Benedict, Hisgen, Marinac, Sorenson, and Spangenberg. An
accomplished trumpet player, he joined the Racine Kilties Drum and Bugle Corp as
a Kiltie Cadet in 1962. In 1968 and ‘69 Randy and his best fiends took a break from
sneaking beer out of Frank Benedict’s Lincoln store, carrying the Kilties to back to
back national championship titles.
Like so many of his generation, Randy was a member of the ROTC through Horlick
High School (class of ’67). During Vietnam, he enlisted in the Army Reserves
attaining E-8 rank serving as a Drill Sergeant at Fort Ord and Fort Sill. Throughout
his life he found himself in leadership roles, treating those in his orbit with
kindness and respect. Except for that “one kid from a rival drum corp” who
arrived for basic training and unknowingly disparaged the Kilties in front of him.
As his kids, we helped add color to his time in service, aided by his generally quiet
demeanor, the lore of “sergeant savage” was born striking fear into many a
After completing two associate degrees in business, he spent his career working
for Snap-on Tools Inc. (Kenosha) overseeing the service divisions of North
America, Europe, and Asia. He took pride in his work which took him across the
US, Canada, and Europe. After retirement, Randy moved north to Hatfield, WI
building his dream home on a small lake, filling his days with fishing, camp fires,
and quiet mornings drinking coffee with Meg on the front porch.
Volunteering was part of his legacy. Randy was a founding member of the Oak
Creek High School marching band scholarship fund. He spent over 7 years quietly
serving as the treasurer for the Merrillan Lion’s Club. He was a fixture volunteer at
the Lion’s events including fishing derby, car shows, always willing to volunteer
his time and energy.
Randy was married to his wife Meg (Knotek) for 51 years. He was extremely proud
of his children Chris (Katie), Neal, Megan Brezinski (Matt). Out of all his
accomplishments and titles, his most notable was that of grandpa. His eldest
grandson Cullen found his way to a trumpet which brought his grandfather’s love
of music and marching full circle. Grandpa believed Cullen has a natural
intonation and projection and made a point to attend his marching and band
concerts regularly. Layla, his eldest granddaughter is a gifted soccer player, when
he wasn’t traveling around the state to watch her play; he followed her team’s
progress closely online, checking in after every game. Cameron, third eldest
grandchild is a member of the Green Bay boys and girls choir. Cameron shares his
grandfather’s love of music, his quiet demeanor, and fishing. Grandpa and
Cameron spent many long hours together fishing off grandpa’s pier, a cherished
time for them both. Teagan is fourth on the list, Grandpa was always a willing
participant in a never ending list of adventures including fishing, kayaking, soccer,
generally anything that kept grandpa on his feet, and how he found the energy to
keep up is a mystery. Fifth and youngest, Mila was grandpa’s little buddy.
Mornings spent sitting on his lap or eating his famous pancakes with extra
sprinkles were many. Grandpa had a perpetually “lumpy” chair that needed
squishing, his thumb wrestling was legendary, and none of his grandchildren
survived without, at one point or another, grandpa ending up with their nose.
Randy’s life will be celebrated August 19th at his home in Hatfield, WI with
further details to come.
We encourage you to remember Randy in a way he would have seen fitting. Get
off the highway and take the scenic route, spend time with friends, share a story
with a stranger, watch a Packer game but remember, it’s just a game.
In true mad plaid Kiltie fashion we end by saying “Should old acquaintance be
forgot, and never brought to mind? … We’ll drink a cup of kindness yet, for the
sake of auld lang syne.”
The Buswell Funeral Home of Black River Falls is assisting the family, 715-284-