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Robert L. Erickson

Sept. 5, 2007

Dr. Robert L. Erickson, who for 34 years served Western Michigan University as a professor of speech pathology and audiology, 13 of those years as chair of the department, died Wednesday, Aug. 8, at his winter home in Phoenix, Ariz. He was 73.

He was born Sept. 15, 1933, in Omaha, Neb., earning a bachelor's degree from the University of Omaha. After serving in the U.S. Navy from 1955 to 1957, he obtained a master's degree in speech pathology from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. He earned a doctoral degree from the University of Iowa in 1963 before moving to Kalamazoo at the invitation of Dr. Charles Van Riper to join the WMU faculty.

His professional achievements included leadership roles in the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, in which he was elected a fellow in 1976, the Michigan Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the Council of Graduate Programs in Communication Sciences and Disorders, serving as president of both organizations, as well as contributions to numerous publications in the field. He was the recipient of many honors and awards, including the University Distinguished Service Award in 1990. He was a mentor and friend to students, colleagues and clients whose lives he touched. He was also a loyal supporter of the Lost Chord Club.

He retired from the University in 1997 with emeritus status.

A memorial service will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 15, in Kalamazoo at First United Methodist Church, 212 S. Park Street. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to the Dr. Robert L. Erickson Endowment Fund and sent to: Western Michigan University Foundation, Attention: Dr. Robert L. Erickson Endowment Fund, Kalamazoo MI 49008-5403.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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