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Obituary

Rev. Nancy J. Erickson

September 12, 1946 - September 25, 2022

Rev. Nancy J. Erickson, 76, Lincoln, passed away on September 25, 2022 after a short stay at St. Elizabeth Hospital. Born on September 12, 1946. Nancy left us peacefully, with her husband, Aaron, by her side.

What does the Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8

Nancy was born to Joseph and Dorothy Erickson, where she lived on a farm between Wahoo and Ceresco, NE. Nancy contracted poliomyelitis at the age of six, and after ten months in an iron lung, Nancy’s parents drove her to Warm Springs, Georgia for treatment. The entire community of family and friends rallied around Nancy to insure she received the best treatment, the best education, and the most love. Nancy never asked, “Why me?” or said, “It’s just not fair.” She accepted her situation and created an extraordinary life for herself.

Nancy’s educational accomplishments included her Undergraduate Degree from Midland Lutheran College, Fremont, NE, with degrees in psychology and sociology; a Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; and her Master’s Degree of Divinity from Yale University, New Haven, CT.

Throughout her career, Nancy worked in a variety of positions where she fought for socially just treatment of the disenfranchised and individuals with disabilities. She earned many awards for her services to the community, including the “Valiant Nebraskan Award” from the Nebraska Easter Seal Society, the “Service to Mankind Award” from the Mid-Town Sertoma Club, and the “End Hunger Award” from the Nebraska Pantry Network of Interchurch Ministries of Nebraska. Appointments made to her by past governors of Nebraska included the Governor’s Committee for Employment of the Handicapped, the Public Buildings Safety Advisory Committee, and the Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission.

Nancy’s work at the local, state, and national levels led to the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990. Lincoln and the country now have curb cuts, elevators, accessible water fountains, Handi-Vans etc. She ended her career of service as an Associate Pastor at First Plymouth Congregational Church from 2004 to 2017. Nancy’s life was a testament to the biblical verse of Micah 6:8: “What does the Lord require of you? To act justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”

Nancy is survived by her husband, Aaron Gibbs; brother Bill Erickson (Kris), Lincoln; sister, Joan Erickson (Brian Husby), Greeley, CO; Bill’s children, Ellie Erickson (Lindsay Smith), Austin, TX; AnnieLaurie Erickson (Patch Somerville), New Orleans, LA; Conor DoRan, Lincoln; Joan’s children, Aaron Rankin, Houston, TX; Jonathan Rankin (Carrie), Concord, MA, and Hannah Rankin (Billy Alexander), North Aurora, IL; and Mason Husby of Richmond, VA, step-nephew; five great nieces and nephews (Sonny, Lenny, Cooper, Leah, and Micaela), as well as a host of extended family, former colleagues, and friends.

Memorials in lieu of flowers to Fresh Start, a transitional home for women moving out of homelessness, 6433 Havelock Ave, Lincoln, NE 68507, and the Women’s Scholarship Fund of the Board of Women’s Ministries at First- Plymouth United Church of Christ, 2000 D St., Lincoln, NE 68502.

A celebration of Nancy’s life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 1st at First-Plymouth Church, 2000 ‘D’ Street.

Services

October1

Celebration of Life

CST

First-Plymouth Church

2000 ‘D’ Street, Lincoln, NE

Share a Memory or Condolence

October 19, 2022

Nancy was a wonderful classmate and dorm-mate at Yale Divinity School. She brought love, light, grace, laughter, passion for justice, wisdom, deep listening, intelligence, strong faith, and so much more to every interaction. May her bright spirit rest in peace and rise in glory.

– Joan Sulser
October 5, 2022

One year, at annual conference Doane, Nancy led a study that resulted in her call to First-Plymouth, Lincoln. What a great rejoicing for all of us serving with her on the conference Disabilities Ministries Board. You were a great mentor, Nancy, not only for us but for all who knew you. Thank you again and again.

– Rev. Dr. Dee Brauninger
October 3, 2022

I miss sharing political concerns with Nancy at LifePointe. She was such a wonderful spirit…lived her principles…carried on…stood for something. We are already missing you, dear friend.

– Pam Baker
October 1, 2022

Our deepest sympathies to the family. Polio dealt her a difficult challenge, but her courage and depth of character built a life of accomplishment and purpose. God speed.

– Ross and Carole Larson
September 30, 2022

Sending condolences to Nancy’s family. I so admired her compassionate ministry at First Plymouth, especially with the Women’s Board and Plymouth Pride. Her servant heart and dedication to justice will long be remembered.

– Sue Goodrich
September 29, 2022

Sympathies to her family. I became aware of her in contacts while I was director of the Lincoln VA’s Vet Center. Hunger issues and the Human Services Federation kept her involved for the good of the community. The Good Lord will bless her for her works of mercy and ministry.

– Lawrence D. Obrist
September 29, 2022

I have known Nancy since I was a child at First Covenant Church. Our lives intersected in various odd serendipitous ways. She was always gracious. Always kind. She lived the life of Christ. Truly a wonderful example of joyful service and love.

– Jane Hairw
September 28, 2022

Extraordinary woman; Child of God; Inspiration to all. Now you can dance.

– Deanna Bahr

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