Lois-Jean (Updike) Erickson, age 88, peacefully went to sleep in Jesus’ arms
at Bethany Home, Waupaca, on Saturday morning, July 15, 2023.
She was born in Milwaukee on August 28, 1934, the child of Gladys and Walter Buege and given the name Virginia Orilla Ethel Buege. Sadly, her father tragically passed in a traffic accident and her mother was not allowed to continue raising her child and Virginia was placed in the Milwaukee County Children’s Home. Thankfully her time in the orphanage did not last long, as the sweet little blue-eyed girl with the beautiful blond “Shirley Temple” curls caught the attention of a childless couple who happily made her a part of their little family through adoption. She was given the name Lois-Jean, by her new parents, Maud and Russell Bryan and began her new life in the city of Ripon. Soon after joining her new family, Lois-Jean, having been carefully taught by her mother and her church, realized that she needed a Savior and at the young age of six, Lois-Jean put her faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and was baptized. Her faith was a central part of her life through all of her years and she actively participated in the work of the Lord in every church she became a part of. She enjoyed attending Bible studies, women’s circle meetings, teaching Sunday school and Vacation Bible School, as well as singing in the choir. She had a beautiful soprano voice and shared her love of singing by taking her children to many old-fashioned hymn sings! Lois-Jean was a good student, a published poet, gifted in public speaking, and played clarinet in the band. She graduated from Wayland Academy and went on to study at Oshkosh Business School. Lois-Jean met her first husband, Richard Updike in 1953, and they eventually made their home in Neenah, where they raised their four children. While busy raising her children, Lois-Jean assisted with her children’s activities as a Girl Scout Leader, compiling statistics for Little League, Girls Club Advisor and school lunch mom. She also became involved with her beloved Betty Rebekah Lodge #212, and served as Wisconsin State President of the Rebekah Assembly.
Not long after Dick’s retirement, he was stricken with cancer and passed away. Lois-Jean spent her time with her family, volunteered many hours working with children in the local AWANA Bible Club, as well as knitting thousands of hats and scarves for the needy at Northcott Neighborhood House in Milwaukee. After several years of widowhood, Lois-Jean became reacquainted with an old friend that she had met through his first wife. Leo Erickson, also widowed, became her constant companion and the two found love a second time! August 25, 2012, they tied the knot and enjoyed almost 11 years of wedded bliss. Lois-Jean leaves a legacy of her love for Jesus Christ lived out in her service to others.
Lois-Jean was preceded in death by her birth parents, Gladys & Walter Buege, and adoptive parents, Maud & Russel Bryan, her sister, Barbara Buege, her two brothers, Charles Thom and Sonny Thom, her first husband, Richard M. Updike, her daughter Catherine Marie, her grandson, William Richard, great-grandson Hunter Heiser and great-grandson Qualee Jones.
She is survived by her husband Leo Erickson, Waupaca; children: Peggy (Albert) Taylor, Milwaukee; Patricia (Edward) Huber, Waupaca; and Russell (Melanie) Updike, Temecula, CA; stepchildren: Larry Erickson, Clintonville; Lonnie Erickson, Clintonville; 10 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, August 27, 2023, at Fellowship Baptist Church N3548 County Rd E, Waupaca,
WI, Pastor Rick Anderson officiating. Visitation will begin at 1:00 pm with the Rebekah Memorial Service at 2:00. The Main Memorial Service will follow. A fellowship meal will be held after the service. Private family burial will be in the Oak Hill Cemetery, Neenah. The family is asking those attending to please wear blue, Lois-Jean’s favorite color, or something with butterfly print.
The family would like to thank Dr. Ellen Wenberg and the staff at Bethany Home of Waupaca for their excellent care of Lois-Jean. Holly Funeral Home of Waupaca is assisting the family with arrangements.