Robert “Jake” Erickson, 77, of Wilmington, MA, passed peacefully on Saturday, February 4, 2023 after a short fought battle with cancer. He leaves behind his wife, “his rock” and true love of over 28 years, Mary Lou “Lulu” Hand.
He will be profoundly missed by his two daughters, Emily Perkins and her husband, Adam; and Megan Gaffney and her husband, Shayne. Jake’s days were filled with offering life advice to his grandchildren, John, Samantha, Addison, Jacob, Finn and Gracie, in addition to serving as an honorary grandfather, friend and mentor to countless others.
A fierce and passionate storyteller, who thoughtfully balanced facts with hyperboles, Jake spent many years riding the blue waters as a wave and wind surfer, serving as a beach boy at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel in Waikiki, HI.
Born in Panama, Jake’s life journey took him all over – from Chicago to California, where he spent some time in Hollywood as a writer. He may not have taken a straight road, but it led him to a path where he became the center of his family. He often reminded us he had no regrets.
Jake was happiest when he was with his family and favorite pets, eating blueberry pie and Mexican food, and watching sappy movies like “Fried Green Tomatoes” and “Steel Magnolias.” While always showing a rough, “nerves of steel” shell on the outside, he was a soft and compassionate teddy bear on the inside.
Son of Robert Erickson and Ester Ortega, Jake was also a loving brother, uncle and friend to many he came across.
Our memories of Jake are a blessing. His stories will forever be told, and we’ll find comfort in listening to his favorite song:
“Someday I’ll wish upon a star, wake up where the clouds are far behind me. Where trouble melts like lemon drops, high above the chimney top, that's where you'll find me.”