Memorial service for Arthur Erickson on Sunday

A memorial service and reception celebrating Arthur Charles Erickson’s life will be held at 2:30pm on Sunday, June 14, 2009 at the Convocation Mall, Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia. Dean Peter Elliott is officiating. Donations in lieu of flowers should be made to the Arthur Erickson Foundation for Excellence in Architecture.


Born on June 14, 1924 to Oscar Ludwig Erickson and Myrtle (Chatterson) Erickson, Arthur followed his own path from an early age, and was encouraged to do so by his unconventional parents. Arthur sought to understand the relationship between human endeavour and the natural world, and was influenced by people such as his mother, his high school art teacher Ella Faunt, Group of Seven painter Lawren Harris, and McGill University architecture professor Gordon Webber, individuals who all thought for themselves and challenged preconceived notions.


Arthur never stopped questing and learning, admired high achievement, and loved sharing creative meals and wide-ranging conversation. Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright’s home Taliesin West, he determined that if such passion in form was possible in architecture, then architecture was the profession for him. Arthur was a world citizen who observed how different cultures solved design problems, and recognized the influence of climate and site on design. His absolute determination to balance light and form, function and site, culture and environment, led to a remarkable diversity of work that broke technological and design barriers again and again. Unconstrained by habit and convention, Arthur could see beyond the limits.


Arthur was brilliant, charming, urbane and stubborn, and inspired great devotion in those around him. In his last year, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases caught up with Arthur, and his health declined quickly, giving out at last on May 20, 2009. Arthur loved and recognized his family and friends right until the very end. He is survived by his brother Don Erickson and Don’s children: Christopher; Geoffrey and his daughter Ana Paula Erickson; and Emily and her children Benjamin and Eliza McCullum.


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