UP Catholic 05 06 2016 E Edition Page 19

www.upcatholic.org THE U.P. CATHOLIC May 6, 2016 19 Rvbmjuz gvsojuvsf bu xipmftbmf qsjdft A Catholic family owned & operated company since 1979 Members of the Diocese of Marquette, Michigan Ejojoh Sppn Pggjdf Gvsojuvsf Nbuusfttft Vqipmtufsfe Tfut Ljudifo Dbcjofut Cbuisppn Dbcjofut Cfesppn Mjwjoh Sppn Cretens Furniture Factory & Showroom Qfsljot Spbe Qfsljot NJ xxx dsfufotgvsojuvsf dpn N G Tbu Mpehf Dbnq boe Dpuubhf tuzmf gvsojtijoht BY JOHN FEE THE U.P. CATHOLIC After working in almost every depart- ment, and more than two decades of service, Pam Erickson retired from the Diocese of Marquette this month. She actually started doing diocesan work in 1986. Erickson performed support work from her home for Father Law- rence Gauthier with the Propagation of the Faith and the Holy Childhood Association for 10 years. Her call to regular diocesan work came in 1994 when Rick Schaeffer, then director of administration and inance, contacted Erickson and asked if shed be interested in doing support work for Catholic Campus Ministry at Northern Michigan University (NMU). She had been doing similar work for Lutheran Campus Ministry for three years. Erickson fondly remembers her time in campus ministry. She met future priests, Fathers Al Mott and Robb Jurkovich, when they were students at NMU. Shes proud to be one of the irst people who contacted the young Mott and invited him to participate in campus ministry. I loved it, it was great working with the students, Erickson said. Many are still friends of mine. After that, her career took her to offices in many locations, including the Baraga House, and most diocesan departments including office of voca- tions, continuing education for clergy, office of the permanent diaconate, office of vocations and priests' person- nel, department of faith formation and education, Catholic schools, develop- ment office, office of the bishop, and administrative assistant for the depart- ment of administration and finance. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in office administration from NMU. Working mostly in the office didn't five her a chance to see a lot of the people around the diocese she served, but she still could recognize them in a different way. I know a lot of people by phone, Erickson said. Sometimes I dont recognize the face, but when they speak I know them through their voice. Pam will be missed dearly by all who work with her. Her dedication to her work is exemplary and her vast institu- tional knowledge is irreplaceable. Most importantly, Pam is a woman of strong faith and character, said Tim Thom- as, executive director of finance and administration. Erickson has been married to her husband Kim for almost 43 years. Their relationship began to blossom in junior high school when the young Kim Erickson and Pam Wiltzius both played clarinet in the Escanaba school band and shared sheet music. They contin- ued to share music through high school and were married at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Wells. After a career at Northern Michigan University, Kim is also retiring this year. I think one of the reasons we wanted to retire a little bit earlier is we both have good health and we can do the things we want to do, Erickson said. That was (something) my mom and dad (Bill and Leola Wiltzius) told me before they passed. If you can go (and retire), go and do the fun things you can while you still have your health. They were pretty wise people. Looking back on her career at the diocese, Erickson said, Its not just a job, its a ministry. At times I would think, Oh, maybe I should get a job at the hospital or at Northern (Northern Michigan University), but its not just about the money, its about the quality of what you are doing, and the people youre serving, and the whole ministry concept of it. We have an opportunity to make such a difference in someones life. And sometimes its through just a small gesture. Its a great place to work. I think the majority of the staff here have such freat skills, gifts, talents, whatever you want to call it, that they probably could fet a job anywhere, Erickson said. I think the staff is here because they believe in the mission and they want to spread the Good News. I really do. Otherwise, I dont think they would be here. Its been great fun. JOHN FEE THE U.P. CATHOLIC After working more than two decades at the Diocese of Marquette, Pam Erickson retires this month. She has served in almost every department, retiring as administrative assistant to the department of finance and administration. Erickson retires from diocese

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