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Betty Erickson

Elizabeth (Betty) Joan Erickson (Niemi) beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, colleague, and friend passed away at Boundary Waters Care Center on Tuesday, October 17th, 2023.

Betty was born in Ely, MN on October 27th,1942 as the only child of Rudolph and Mary Niemi (Tkalcich). She showed a love of people, animals big and small, and her native northwoods of Minnesota from an early age. Her love for people translated into a lifetime of service as a nurse that continued into her final years on earth. She graduated from Ely High School in 1960. She attended nursing school at the College of St. Catherine and graduated in 1962. She began her nursing career shortly after and continued to work as a nurse until her 79th year of life, working as the school nurse for Ely Public Schools until late 2022. She deeply loved all of the kids she got to know and take care of in her final years.

Betty married Berna Erickson on June 15th, 1964 and built her life with him in Ely until his passing in late 2011. They welcomed their only son, Bernard (Bernie), in December 1964. Betty was an active and beloved member of her community and shared many lifelong friendships both in Ely and across the country. She was a member of St. Anthony’s Catholic Church where she was baptized.

Betty was known to many as an animal and nature lover and spent any free time she had exploring around Ely, indulging in nature and enjoying the Boundary Waters area with her husband, son, and granddaughters. She felt most at home on the lake and instilled this same deep love in her son and granddaughters. Their memories of her will live on forever at their family cabin on Burntside Lake.

Betty will be remembered by her friends and family as a pillar of love, care, and comfort. 

She is survived by her son, Bernie Erickson; four beloved granddaughters, Rachel Thunde (Sam), Emily, Madeline, and Isabel Erickson; and her great-grandson, Noah Thunde. She will also be missed by many beloved colleagues, family, and friends.

Betty was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Berna Erickson; parents, Rudolph and Mary Niemi.

There will not be a public memorial at this time, but there will be a celebration of life for close family and friends in the summer of 2024.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Boundary Waters Care Center in Ely. Betty fought vigilantly for the survival of the center and the work done there was always close to her heart. You can give donations, here:

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Kerntz Funeral Home of Ely.

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