Wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother Peggy Ericson died peacefully in her sleep on Wednesday, December 9, 2020 in her home. She had celebrated her 95th birthday the prior week.
Margaret (Peggy) was born to Ernest and Doris on December 2 in Tampa, Florida, and was always proud to be a native Floridian, maintaining a lifelong love of tropical plants and flowers and warm weather.
After graduating from Hillsborough High School, she studied nursing at Washington University in St. Louis, graduating in 1946.
She met and married Whitman Ralsten, and together they had four children. After the marriage ended, she persevered, working as a nurse while also raising the children.
She remarried seven years later, to James Dale. The family moved to California, and two years later, her fifth child, Diane, was born.
She earned a degree in behavioral science at Cal Poly Pomona and received her BSN at the California Statewide Nursing Consortium, Long Beach. A lifelong nurse, she finished her career by working as a medical-surgical RN at San Dimas Community Hospital for over 25 years. She also was a Nursing Instructor at both Citrus College and Mt. San Antonio College.
A woman of faith, she also had a lifelong love of music. She taught piano lessons in her Claremont home, and accompanied her class at Pomona First Baptist Church for many years. She was a prolific gardener, taking great pride in her flowers and plants. She had learned the art of entering contests from her mother and won numerous prizes with her creative entries. She loved animals and welcomed many pets into the family.
After Jim’s passing, she married Harvey Ericson. Longtime fellow church members, each had lost their spouse the past year. They enjoyed 20 years together, spending time in Claremont, Guam, and her favorite (in summer), Lake Tahoe. They volunteered with The Gideons and regularly visited seniors in local care facilities to brighten their days.
Mrs. Ericson is survived by her husband, Harvey; her children, Janet Johnson (Ray) of Stoneham, Colorado, Charles Ralsten (Betsy) of Quincy, Illinois, Hollie Brown (Brad) of Chino Hills, California, Eleanor Fuller (Jim) of Kneeland, California, and Diane Dale of Goleta, California. She is also survived by 11 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; stepdaughter Carol Nielsen (Hans); four step-grandchildren; and four step-great-grandchildren.
She was predeceased by her brothers, Jack and Bobby; her sister, Kathleen Merrill; and her stepdaughter and stepson, Debra Ericson and Chris Perez.
The family will gather for a memorial service at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Salvation Army at https://give.salvationarmyusa.org/give/164006/#!/donation/checkout.