IRON MOUNTAIN - Peg M. Erickson has established a new scholarship for graduating seniors of Iron Mountain High School in loving memory of her husband, Charles "Chuck" Erickson, a 1960 graduate of IMHS.
Erickson was born and raised in Iron Mountain and graduated from IMHS in 1960. He immediately pursued his childhood dream of operating and maintaining heavy equipment used to build roads and highways.
His education in this field began with an intensive program at the Greer Technical Institute in Illinois, where he became a graduate of heavy equipment mechanics and operation.
In the late fall of 1960, he was hired by Bacco Construction Co. as a heavy equipment operator. After four years, Chuck was promoted to truck field mechanic, a position he held for six years.
He then advanced to field master mechanic for two years before being promoted, at age 30, to equipment superintendent in charge of Bacco's Iron Mountain repair facilities. With this advancement, which he held until his retirement in 1995, came the responsibility of overseeing the maintenance of more than 300 pieces of heavy equipment.
From 1984 through 2002, he also served on Bacco's board of directors as a stockholder. Upon retirement, he also established a business as a certified heavy equipment appraiser.
Throughout his career, he was a graduate of more than 20 technical service schools ranging from the Caterpillar Engine Transmission and Master Mechanic courses to the University of Wisconsin's computer maintenance and equipment costing seminars.
With such qualifications and being a firm believer in constant updating of technical training for his mechanics, Chuck was largely responsible for Bacco's maintenance program and repair-fabrication shop regularly being featured in such periodicals as heavy duty equipment maintenance magazine and also being awarded one of the top 50 shops in the nation by Construction Equipment Maintenance magazine.
The citizens of Dickinson County as well as communities statewide, also benefited from his knowledge and expertise in road maintenance and building. In 1977, he began his tenure on the Dickinson County Road Commission, where he served as chairman for many years. In 1994, he was also appointed to the County Road Association of Michigan (CRAM) Board. There, he held the offices of vice-president and president as well as serving on the following committees: general policy, executive, commissioners', legislative review and township relations.
As a member of the U.P. Road Builders' Association, Chuck also served as president, vice president, and secretary/treasurer.
Chuck was one of the longest seated commissioners in the state of Michigan serving the citizens of Dickinson County and Road Commission across the state for more than 32 years until his death in March 2009.
To be eligible for the Charles "Chuck" Erickson Memorial Scholarship, applicants must be a graduating senior of IMHS, maintain a 2.0 grade point average through their high school career and be accepted for admission to an accredited 1-2 year college, university or technical school. Scholarship priority will be given to the fields of heavy equipment repair and operation, diesel mechanic or technician, and diesel equipment technology.
In recognition of Chuck's service and dedication to the Dickinson County Road Commission, County Road G69, also known as the Foster City/Waucedah Road, has been dedicated to the memory of Charles "Chuck" Erickson.