November 14, 2023

Image shows the outside of the Girouxville Museum which features a totem pole, 1990 (SPRA 007.002)

Roy Erickson was born on September 29, 1922 in Girouxville AB. His parents were Fred and Marguerite (Bourgeois) Erickson. Fred, who was from Sweden, came to the Girouxville district in 1914 and he married Marguerite in 1915. They homesteaded and raised five boys: Nelse, Andre, Louis (who also joined the army), Roy, and William. Roy met his future wife, Maggie Waldner, of Clairmont, in January 1943 as he was in training for the Army in Grande Prairie. He went overseas on February 25, 1943 and joined in active combat in Italy, fighting in the Mt. Casino Battle. That September Roy’s mother died, but he was not allowed to go to the funeral. Roy and his troops were in an armored tank which hit a land mine and exploded. Many were killed or injured. Roy, being severely injured, was in hospital in Italy, before being returned to an armed forces hospital in Halifax, Canada. He was in a coma for a month. November 11, 1944, he was discharged and allowed to go home to recuperate with his family, and return to farming. Maggie came up to Girouxville in spring of 1946 to visit her sister Annie (who was married to Roy’s brother Louis). Roy and Maggie became reacquainted and married that same year on August 15. The new couple lived at Roy’s older brother Andre’s house while their house was being built. The Erickson brothers farmed together on the homestead until the early 60s when they each moved to their own farms. Roy and Maggie bought a farm 2 miles north of Girouxville and moved into the house there in 1958 with their family. They had 4 children: Judy, Carol, Arlene and Troy. For 17 years they had a mixed farm with grain, cattle, pigs rabbits, and egg production. They were also avid gardeners. Maggie also worked at the Girouxville Hotel Café to supplement the income. In 1973 they sold some of their land in order to expand the egg business. Two years later on April 31, they sold the farm, due to Roy’s failing health, and built a home in Girouxville. Roy, remaining a farmer to the very end, kept his combine to do custom combining, until he was too ill. He passed away from cancer on November 8, 1978, in Grande Prairie. Maggie sold the house and moved to Grande Prairie to be closer to her family.

Source: Reflexions Vol. 3 p. 543

Soldier Spotlight highlights veterans from the Archives’ online Soldiers’ Memorial. Each week, our volunteers select a remarkable individual to showcase in this blog series. The Soldiers’ Memorial commemorates more than 1,100 WWI veterans and 2,300 WWII veterans from our region. Three dedicated volunteers have contributed over 1,200 hours to this project by researching and writing biographies. Our goal is to have all South Peace soldiers acknowledged for their service. If you know of someone who lived in the South Peace and should be listed on the Memorial, or would like to get involved by researching a local veteran, please contact the Archives.

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