John Erickson

Obituary of John Erickson

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John S. "Jack" Erickson, 94, a materials engineer and lifelong resident of Schenectady, NY, passed away on March 13, 2023 after a short illness. Jack was born in Schenectady on November 17, 1928 to Adolph G. "Del" and Signe Sward Erickson. Growing up on Avenue A, he enjoyed fishing and camping with his father in the Speculator/Moffitt Beach area of the Adirondacks and played banjo with Stephen St. John's Plectrum Orchestra, including performances on WGY radio. After graduating from Nott Terrace High School in 1947, Jack received a bachelors' degree in materials engineering from Upsala College (East Orange, NJ) in 1951, where his activities included singing in the university choir. He served in the Korean War between 1951 and 1953 as a US Army medical x-ray instructor stationed at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. Subsequently, Jack joined General Electric's Research and Development (R+D) Laboratory in 1953 as an x-ray crystallographer expert, working with Jack Low's group on analysis of metallic fracture mechanisms in silicon-iron mixtures. He received a master's degree in metallurgical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1961. Jack's career then took him to Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory in Niskayuna, where he worked for the rest of his nearly 45 year GE career on refurbishment and recertification of US Navy Trident nuclear submarine reactor cores. It was at the 3rd floor GE R+D coffee machine that Jack met his future wife Stephanie Terni Erickson, a bacteriologist. Married in 1960, Jack and Stephanie had two sons, Philip and Courtney, and established their home in Schenectady. Jack's devotion to and love for his family was always paramount and an inspiration to all, including a perfect attendance record for every musical performance by his sons at school. The regular trips with his wife and sons in a Ford LTD station wagon to his in-laws at Terni's Store and Terni Ford in Millerton, NY were particularly countless in number. Jack was an avid reader and thinker, with a deep knowledge and passion for military history and military arms collections spanning the 19th and 20th centuries including participation in a far-ranging sword exhibit at the Higgins Armory in Worcester, MA. His early adoption of computers and the Internet kept Jack well ahead of his peers in electronic matters. Jack also derived joy from an encyclopedic knowledge of lyrics and melodies from the Great American Songbook era, acquired during his days as a college student while listening to the late night "Milkman's Matinee" broadcast over WNEW in NY. Jack was predeceased by his wife Stephanie Terni Erickson and his youngest son Courtney Arthur Erickson. He is survived by his older son Philip (Sarah) Erickson and his grandson James Warren Erickson. Jack's family profusely thanks the medical staff at Ellis Hospital in Schenectady for superb care during his last illness. Jack will be deeply missed by his family and his many neighbors and friends. Jack's life was remarkable by any measure, not only for his sharp mind and career but most importantly for his attitude as a kind, caring, and outgoing person who was always keenly interested in helping others and learning the stories of their life and work. His family will carry on this spirit and curiosity as his ongoing legacy. Arrangements are pending. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Jack's name to the Foundation for Ellis Medicine in Schenectady (, or to the West Point Leadership Center at the US Military Academy at West Point (
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John Erickson

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John Erickson

1928 - 2023

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