Robert “Froley” “Swede” Erickson Sr.

Published 10:47 am Tuesday, December 6, 2011

TAPPAHANNOCK, Va. – Robert “Froley” “Swede” Erickson Sr. passed away peacefully Monday, November 21, 2011 at his son’s home in Tappahannock, Virginia.

He was born in Youngstown, OH on June 8, 1917 and at the age of 4, moved to Swede Hill in Jamestown, NY.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Alice.

Survivors include a son, Robert Jr.; two grandchildren, Robbie and Megan; and two nephews, Benjie and Mitchell Thompson and family of Cary.

His athletic talents were noticed by scouts from Syracuse University and as part of his scholarship he went to Fork Union Military Academy in VA. He decided Virginia was for him and he transferred to the University of Richmond where he excelled in both football and basketball (team Captain). He was always remembered for his touchdown catch that beat The University of North Carolina, 14 to 13.

He proudly served in the United States Navy and after the war he became the Athletic Director of McGuire’s Veteran’s Hospital. He met Alice Mitchell Erickson, who was a nurse there, and they married in 1947. He moved into the tobacco business and was employed by Liggett and Myers Tobacco Company where until his retirement he was Superintendent of Manufacturing in Richmond and later Durham.

After retirement he was proud to volunteer for the Duke Children’s Hospital, especially the Duke Children’s Classic and the Durham Sertoma Club. He loved his Duke basketball and all sports and stayed very independent and active until recently.

A memorial service to celebrate the life of Robert Erickson, Sr. will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 10, 2011 in the Chapel of Massey Funeral Home in Aulander with Mike Halsted officiating. Interment will follow in Aulander Cemetery.

The family will receive friends from 1:00 until 1:20 p.m. prior to service and after the service at the home of Ann Early in Aulander.

Massey Funeral Home in Aulander is handling the arrangements.

Online condolences may be made to the family at