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National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

Age: 63
Year of Death: 2022

Ryan Leif Erickson

Ryan Leif Erickson answered his last call of duty on May 12, 2022, at the age of 62. While responding to a weather watch, wind lifted a grain bin and carried it over a building, landing on Ryan. He was born on March 3, 1959, in Willmar, Minnesota, to Evie and Bob Erickson. One might say that he was born to be a firefighter, with a father who was a founding member of the Blomkest Fire Department. He joined the team at 18, spending 45 years serving Blomkest and the surrounding communities. Ryan served as chief for several years and was a member of the First Responders.

A small-town business owner, Ryan was well known throughout the area as an owner of Erickson Plumbing & Heating with his family. He will be remembered as the “go-to guy.” At Erickson’s, customers were treated like family, and it was where people came for help, how-to directions, and a friendly face. Ryan would help with any kind of problem, not only those related to plumbing and heating. After selling the family business, Ryan enjoyed his new sales position with Perkins Lumber in Willmar.

Ryan was a member of the local Sportsmen Club and the Commercial Club and served on the boards of Lake Lillian Township and Kandiyohi Power Cooperative. Ryan was always 100% invested in whatever he was doing. He put his DYI talents to work helping his wife, Kelly, at her store and will be remembered for his prize-winning floats in the local parades. Among his volunteer work, Ryan and Kelly participated in two mission trips to Bolivia, where he was able to utilize his plumbing talents.

Ryan met his wife, Kelly, on a trip to Mexico, and they were married in April of 2000, making them a family of four. He was the “Fun Grandpa” to his four grandchildren, always ready for the next adventure.
Spending time with family and friends was Ryan’s favorite pastime, and golf was his passion. He took advantage of Minnesota’s summers by golfing two to three times a week and planned trips to Arizona to golf each winter. Ryan and Kelly remodeled the barn on their property, making it the perfect place to host Buck tournaments and family gatherings. Ryan always played to win.

He is survived by his loving wife, Kelly; two daughters, Tasha (and Dustin) Hage and Jennifer (and Trenton) Adkins; and four grandchildren, Jackson and Westin Hage and Quinn and Leighton Adkins. Also surviving are his mother, Evelyn Erickson-Paulson; and three siblings, Ross (and Margaret) Erickson, Matt (and Rai-Anne) Erickson, and Dana (and Tom) Roderick, besides other relatives and many friends.


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  1. Small town emergency responders are the backbone of the towns people feeling safe and know that when a need arises there will be a responder that will show up and care with their heart. I met Ryan when he was young and I was the Blomkest FD Training officer. You have a special place in all our hearts for all the time you gave to everyone you knew.

    – Ken Bouwman
  2. Ryan you are so missed. Ryan was our nephew. He has a kind man, generous and funny. He helped with many fundraisers. He love to laugh. He was young at heart.

    – Cathy Martin
  3. Miss you everyday! Love ya!

    – Matt Erickson