Ken Erickson: Father to ten

Friday, June 28, 2019

The Erickson family

By Ivy Beck
Life Enrichment Assistant
Aegis of Shoreline

Ken Erickson, 86, and Jane Antoinette (Toni) met on a blind date, saw each other five times, and got married nine months later. A year after their marriage, Ken and Toni welcomed their first child into the world.

Thus commenced a family which would grow to be a dozen people in eighteen years. “If you’re catholic and you can’t count (fertile days)…Bingo! You’re going to have a big family,” Ken jokes. They did not plan to have ten children. They also didn’t plan not to.

Fortunately, all ten children maintained positive relationships with one another. “Maybe it’s a necessity with that a big a group” that everyone cooperate, Ken says. The family would pile into their fifteen-passenger Dodge van, and go on family adventures. They would also travel together which “was complicated, but it was all worth it.”

For Ken, one of the most rewarding things about having so many children was “recognizing their individuality and how different their needs are.” He emphasizes how important it was to listen to each of his children. 

In fact, his advice for new fathers is to “just listen. Know you don’t have all the answers, and listen.” Ken is reluctant to impart too much advice because it is what he has done his whole life. But he also adds the necessity of a relaxed approach to life when you’re a father. “You can’t write the script. You have to live with what you’ve got.”

Ken continues his fatherly duties today as a grandfather to 21 and a great-grandfather to 3. He can now be found at Aegis of Shoreline, reading the paper, enjoying drinks and live music at Happy Hour, relaxing in the Courtyard, and spending time with his children.


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