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 Paul Gardner Erickson

Paul Gardner Erickson

Birth
Murray, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
Death 27 Mar 1942 (aged 1)
Murray, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
Burial Springville, Utah County, Utah, USA
Plot Blk. 80 Lot 2 Pos. 1
Memorial ID 62449 · View Source
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"Paul was born in Murray on December 13, 1940, when I was fifteen years old. He lived for over a year. He was a beautiful little boy. Mother got up in the morning and bathed him. I remember how they enjoyed it, laughing and splashing in the kitchen sink.

When he was a toddler, Paul, got a high fever. Mom was concerned and called the doctor. He made fun of her and said, 'These young mothers, as soon as their kid gets a temperature, they think they're going to die.' The doctor didn't come. By the time they got Paul to the hospital, it was too late.

Paul died of pneumonia when he was just 16 years old. He died on Mar 27, 1942, which was my seventeenth birthday. I recorded the event in my diary: 'My birthday and what a birthday...Daddy called up around eight and said Paul was better. We went to bed. About 2:30 Mom and Dad came in and said Paul has gone. I don't know how we'll stand it without little Paul around, and on my birthday...'

Mother was devastated and went to bed for weeks. She blamed herself for his death because she missed the fever. The emotional stress affected her physical health. It was the greatest tragedy of her life. Daddy grieved too, but not openly. Gramma Erickson almost went berserk. One time, she told me that she demanded the Lord to bring Paul back to life. 'Do not do this to this family!' she prayed. His death seemed to her as a punishment, but she knew it was not.

Months after Paul's death, Mom and I were cleaning the house one Saturday, and she found a little red ball with which Paul loved to play. I found her holding the ball to her breast, rocking back and forth on her knees, crying, sobbing and moaning all at the same time. She clung to me and we cried together.

On Memorial Day, we made the annual trek to Springville Cemetery, Mom fell out of the car onto the grass of Paul's grave and sobbed. To this day, I ache when I relive her pain at that loss. Since then, a child's death has been, for me, an almost intolerable experience. Somehow, we went on with our lives.

For years and years, I dreaded my birthday. Children meant so much to our family. Paul's death made me want to be a teacher, even more than ever before, especially for the little children and their parents in need of care and sympathy."

Taken from the autobiography of Barbara Jean Erickson Andersen, "The Story of My Life", a sister.



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  • Maintained by: Diane Finlinson Miller
  • Originally Created by: Utah State Historical Society
  • Added: 2 Feb 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 62449
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Paul Gardner Erickson (13 Dec 1940–27 Mar 1942), Find A Grave Memorial no. 62449, citing Historic Springville Cemetery, Springville, Utah County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by Diane Finlinson Miller (contributor 47733186) .