Wallace Leroy Erickson
September 9, 1930 – June 3, 2021
Wally Erickson, founder of the iconic Bloomington MN restaurant, Wally’s, passed away on June 3, 2021 at Hospice House of Kansas City following a massive stroke.
Wally was born on September 9, 1930 in Austin MN where his parents, Leonard and Gladys Dahly Erickson, raised him. After graduating from Austin High School, he attended Hamline University. When the Korean War started, Wally interrupted his studies in 1951 to enlist in the US Army. He served in NATO’s Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in France and was honorably discharged as a Corporal in 1954. Wally then returned to Hamline to complete his bachelors degree in Economics and met his future bride, Marjorie Lou Mackay. Following graduation Wally began work as a sales representative for Hormel in Birmingham, AL. On May 31, 1957 he wed Marj in Winterset IA. They lived in Birmingham until 1959 when he was transferred to Minnesota. Shortly thereafter their first of three children was born and they purchased a house in Bloomington MN. In 1969, Wally started his own restaurant, prior to that, Wally held sales and management roles with Hormel, General Mills, The Broiler, Diplomat Cafeteria and Wyman Nelson/Perkins. Wally built his restaurant into a destination for delicious roast beef sandwiches. In 1999 he retired, selling his restaurant and moving to Owatonna MN. Wally relocated to Olathe KS in 2019.
Wally was active in his community serving in various leadership capacities at St. Stephen Lutheran Church in Bloomington and as president of the Bloomington Council of Gifted and Talented. He also was involved with AFS and other exchange programs, hosting students from Peru and France along with a teacher from China.
Wally loved to golf. He was a member of Minnesota Valley Country Club for many years and then joined Hazeltine National Golf Club. During retirement, he spent many winters in warm locations across the US in order to golf year-round.
Wally enjoyed travelling, particularly to France, with numerous trips there including extended stays. Also, he made two trips to Peru where he climbed Macchu Pichu and boated the Amazon.
Wally enjoyed festive occasions with a great meal, a bottle of wine, and sharing of stories and jokes.
Wally was proud of his Norwegian heritage - he enjoyed a shot of aquavit (or two) on celebratory occasions with holiday meals of lefse and oyster stew. He named his children in that spirit: Nels, Sonja and Lars. Skol!
Wally was preceded in death by his wife (Marj), his parents (Leonard and Gladys), sister (Audrey Larson/Plunkett), brother (Dean). He is survived by his children, Nels (Ann Lenczewski), Sonja (Dave Castle), Lars (Julie); his grandchildren, Tess Erickson Meyer (Mike Meyer), Luke (Hannah Berkman), Tally (Scoop Ruxin), Montara, Malia, Cole and Brinik; and many beloved in-laws, nieces, nephews, granddogs, neighbors and friends.
Memorial services were held in person on Thursday, June 10 at 4:00 pm at Holy Cross Lutheran Church at 7851 W. 119th St. in Overland Park, Kansas. You will find the link below to watch the services:
Memorials are appreciated to Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Macular Degeneration Research or to the donor’s memorial of choice.
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