Born March 7, 1939 in Worcester, he was a son of the late George and Anna (Lally) Erickson. He attended Saint Stephen’s High School and served his country honorably in the United States Marine Corps. He married the love of his life, Mary C. O’Leary, Aug. 24, 1968 in Saint Stephen’s Church, and they had been residents of Shrewsbury since 1969.
Don, lovingly known to family and friends as Puppit, began work with Local #57 Ironworkers, then worked for over 25 years with the United States Postal Service in Worcester before retiring in 2001.
He leaves his loving wife of 48 years, Mary, and their son, Michael F. Erickson, his wife Susan and his granddaughter, Elizabeth, all of Auburn; his brother-in-law, Paul O’Leary and his wife Joyce of Worcester; and his sister-in-law, Alice O’Leary of Holden. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews. In heaven, Don joins his daughter, Christine M. Erickson, who died April 24, 2001, and his siblings, Lennea Erickson, George Erickson, Betty Morrone, and Kay Bora.
Puppit was a member of the Adelphi Council #4181 Knights of Columbus and the YMCA Burroughs branch. He was active in Shrewsbury Little League and Shrewsbury Youth Hockey when his kids were active in sports in town. He enjoyed fishing excursions with his son, Mike, and while he wasn’t a fan of the beach he always looked forward to the annual summer cookout on Cold Storage Beach in Dennis with family and friends. The twinkle in his eyes was the result of the birth of his only grandchild, Elizabeth. Don enjoyed picking her up from school and he was delighted in being her “Grampy.”
Family and friends will honor and remember Don’s life by gathering for calling hours Monday, Jan. 16, from 4-7 p.m., at Heald & Chiampa Funeral Directors ~ The Sumner House, 5 Church Road, On the Common, Shrewsbury Center. Members of Adelphi Council #4181 will meet at 6 p.m. for their ritual. His funeral Mass will be celebrated Tuesday, Jan. 17, at 10 a.m., in Saint Mary’s Church, 640 Main St. Burial with military honors will follow in Saint John’s Cemetery of Worcester.
Memorials in his name may be made to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, UMass Memorial Healthcare, Office of Advancement, 333 South St., Shrewsbury, MA 01545 or Family Health Center of Worcester, Inc. 26 Queen St., Worcester, MA 01610.