Cover photo for Ronald "Hot Rod" Oran Erickson's Obituary
Ronald "Hot Rod" Oran Erickson Profile Photo
1936 Ronald "hot rod" 2019

Ronald "Hot Rod" Oran Erickson

August 29, 1936 — November 27, 2019

Ronald "Hot Rod" Erickson; age 83 of Rush City died Wednesday, November 27, 2019 at Northern Pines Assisted Living in Pine City.

Ronald Oran Erickson was born August 29, 1936 to Walter and Elsie (Rodbom) Erickson in Rush City, Minnesota.

As a youth, Ron attended schools in Rush City, graduating from Rush City High School in 1955.  In October of 1955, Ron enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he served on aircraft carriers as a MM 3rd Class Airplane Mechanic. For a time, Ron was stationed in the Great Lakes area and on a carrier in the Atlantic off the coast of Rhode Island. Hot Rod, who could not swim, enlisted in the Navy with friends Jerry Nelson, Alan Vaughn and Therman Hanson. Hot Rod eventually had to pay someone to pass his swim test for him! He was honorably discharged September of 1959 and was part of Naval Reserves until October of 1961.

Living the majority of his life in Rush City, Hot Rod had various occupations after the Navy. His skill and talent encouraged mostly mechanical jobs including working at a salvage yard in Schaffer with his brother Les.  He also worked at machine shops in the metro, owned and operated a Skelly gas station in Rush City on highway 61 (old "Coffee Cup Cafe") and a tavern in Rock Creek. A significant part of his life (20 years) was spent driving heavy equipment in a gravel pit for Barton Sand and Gravel (Tillercorp) in Maple Grove.

Hot Rod was a motorcycle enthusiast, owning several different bikes, one with a sidecar.  He enjoyed working on cars, motors and anything he could put a wrench to. Ron was given the nickname “Hot Rod” by his brother Lawrence because he was always working on cars. 

In his younger days, Ron enjoyed snowmobiling and winter activities. Later in life, he enjoyed leaving winter and traveling by 5th wheel to Arizona and Texas. He also enjoyed hunting, fishing and spending time with his "coffee buddies". 

In 1985, Hot Rod ended his membership in the local BPA (Bachelor Protection Association) when he married Betty Sobieck. The couple both sold their respective homes in Rush City and purchased a home on Goose Lake. They entertained and enjoyed the company of many at this lake home.  They spent 10 years living in St. Petersburg, Florida before returning to Minnesota when they purchased a condo at Rush Landing Court in Rush City. The last several years have been spent living in assisted living facilities in North Branch and Pine City.

As the family information center, Ron will be missed by his siblings. He enjoyed keeping in touch with family members, knew what was happening to whom and could be relied upon to keep everyone informed.   

Ron is survived by his step-children Beth Hein of Rush City, Dan Sobieck of Oakdale, David (Ritsuko) Sobieck of Japan; grandchildren Brittney (Jeremy) Schwinn of Fargo, ND, Brooke Hein of Oakdale, Blake Hein of Rush City, Brent Hein of Fargo, ND, Tiffany Sobieck of Japan, Adam Sobieck of Oakdale; siblings Robert (Janice) Erickson of Deerwood, Delores Erickson of Aitkin; sister-in-law Barbara Erickson of St. Louis Park; many nieces, nephews and friends.

He is preceded in death by his parents Walter and Elsie Erickson; wife Elizabeth “Betty” Mae Sobiek-Erickson; siblings Lawrence (Wanda) Erickson, Wayne Erickson, Leslie Erickson, Corrine Lindemann, Eldora Coyle, Arlene Blackford, niece Mary Coyle and nephew James Lindemann.

Father Shane Stoppel-Wasinger will officate at a memorial service for Ron: 2 PM; Saturday, December 7, 2019 with a visitation time one hour prior, all at the Olson Funeral Chapel in Rush City. On Friday evening from 4-8 PM a reviewal gathering (casketed body present) will be held at the funeral chapel. 

The inurment will take place in the Calvary Catholic Cemetery of Rush City.  

Funeral arrangements for Hot Rod Erickson are entrusted to: Funeral and Cremation Service of Rush City, Olson Chapel.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ronald "Hot Rod" Oran Erickson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, December 6, 2019

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Saturday, December 7, 2019

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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