Eight Bells: Charles Erickson Jr.
Published on April 17th, 2019
Charles Henry Erickson Jr. died just short of 88 years on April 10, 2019. He was born April 19, 1931 at home in New Orleans to the late Charles H. Erickson, Sr. and the late Aurona May deLanzac Erickson.
He attended Louisiana State University in 1950 where he played in the band before joining the U.S. Coast Guard. He attended Spencer Business College and became a CPA. It was there that he met his future wife, Rosa Argentina Loredo, who he would marry in 1958.
He finally realized his dream of becoming a sailmaker in 1968, starting his business in his garage. He was an avid sailor, winning many races, and was most at home on a sailboat in Lake Pontchartrain and the Gulf of Mexico.
In 1971 and 1972 he was elected Commodore of the New Orleans Yacht Club. In 1983 he organized the Corinthian Sailing Association and was elected Commodore of that organization in 1986, 1987 and 2008.
“Charlie was bigger than life,” reports champion sailor Benz Faget. “Entertaining, educational, confrontational, yet extremely loving. His loud boisterous voice could heard for miles. He had a knack for getting things his way but always looked out for his fellow man, willing to help the ones that needed it the most, especially the underprivileged!
“He hired me in 1973 to work at his sailmaking shop, a franchise of Hard Sails. Charlie taught me how to build sails and canvas products but more importantly he taught me about life as well in his unique fun loving way!
“Some of the best years of my life were spent working, learning, and growing as a person under his guidance and friendship. Everyday could end up a new experience in life, mostly filled with memories of joy and laughter, and leaving me looking forward to the next day.
“He was also one hell of a bourre and checker player, and coined and marketed the infamous Hard Sails t-shirts (“SAIL WITH A HARD ON”) in which we sold thousands! Many sailors around the world had shirts from our shop.
“Godspeed Charlie, you are truly a leader and a God sent icon to mankind. I’m sure your new journey will be just as rewarding! Thank you for all you’ve done for us here!”
Charlie and his wife had three daughters, Leslie Fredotovich (Ian), Tina Dalton (Chris) and Charlene Yorke (Lary). He also has three grandsons, Ian Fredotovich, Wesley Fredotovich, Christopher Dalton and Charles Dalton. Contributions can be sent as a donation to Boy Scouts of America, PO Box 152079, Irving, TX 75015.
Source: Legacy.com, Benz Faget