Petersburg Pilot -


Beatrice “Bea” Erickson, 93


Bea died peacefully on February 24, 2012 at Good Shepard’s Nursing Home in Mesa, Ariz. Bea touched many lives and will be remembered fondly by those who knew her.

Beatrice “Bea” Erickson was born near Sheyenne, N.D. on November 20, 1919 to Agnes Berg from Norway and Albert Erickson of Swedish descent. She had two brothers, her older brother Willard and younger brother Kent.

She attended a one-room schoolhouse in a Norwegian community and attended a Swedish Lutheran Church. She lost her mother at an early age and her father helped her attend nursing school, which she graduated from in 1943.

She then spent two years in the service of her country and following that she attended four years at the University of California and graduated with a BS degree in public health nursing with a certificate in school nursing. She stayed there and worked for several years and hearing the call of adventure headed to Alaska in 1953.

Shortly after her arrival in Petersburg she met a handsome dark Norwegian by the name of Arvid Espeseth, they fell in love and after a two-week courtship were married. Arvid lost his life in a boating accident in 1963 and Bea kept herself busy as the school nurse and the Public Health Nurse.

She later met Warren “Frog” Burrell and he was a special friend of hers for many years. She always remained close to many in the extended Espeseth and Burrell families.

Bea spent 25 years as the Public Health Nurse in Petersburg and in the last 10 years also made twice monthly trips to Wrangell. Myrtle White Skaflestad and Sigrid Medalen were her long time coworkers. She retired in 1978 and spent 12 more years in Petersburg.

She moved to Arizona in 1990 to be closer to her brother and cousins. Bea had a warm heart and was always there to lend a helping hand. She volunteered her time to many charitable organizations, playing the piano and organ well up into her 80’s. She was an active member of the Sons of Norway, and numerous other organizations in Petersburg. When she moved to Arizona she continued to give of her time and talents and played music up to the point her health would not allow her to anymore.

A memorial tea will be held in her honor at 2:00pm on June 30, 2012 at Mountain View Manor.


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