My Dad was a big fan of the Wizard of Oz, and almost anything Sci-Fi… particularly the classics, like Dr. Who, Star Trek, War of The Worlds, When Worlds Collide, etc. I am so happy I had time to watch some of these favorite movies with him in the last few months. The time I spent with Dad recently is precious and I’ll never forget it.
Dad really is a great man who touched many lives. The outpouring of appreciation from his former students and colleagues has been enlightening, comforting and re-assures me that everything Dad worked so hard for was worth it. It seems he truly earned the title of “Life Changer”.
Here is the obituary as is — so hard to write a short piece on such a great life, such a great Dad.
Clifford Kapps Eriksen
Date of Death: Thursday, December 2, 2010
Clifford Kapps Eriksen, 74, passed away peacefully on Thursday, December 2, 2010 at the Woodward Home in Keene, New Hampshire.
Born February 18, 1936 in Brooklyn, New York to Louis Eriksen and Frances Kapps Eriksen, Clifford was an exceptional student. He attended Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn NY, and went on to graduate Phi Beta Kappa with a BA in English from The College of William and Mary and a Masters in Liberal Studies from Wesleyan University.
Clifford was a passionate educator, dedicating his 41-year career to the education of thousands of students from all walks of life. Clifford met Elsa Hess while teaching English at the Foreman School in Litchfield, CT and they married in 1962.
He went on to teach at the Winchendon School (Winchendon, MA), and Chapel Hill School (Waltham, MA). As Headmaster of The Knox School (Saint James, NY) for twenty-nine years, Clifford fully developed and implemented his educational philosophy which was based on love, structure and well-rounded enrichment. He would often say, “I am a full-time father of two and a part-time father to hundreds.” He was an active member of the Clamdiggers (Long Island Heads of School), and the Nissequogue Point Beach Club.
Clifford was very active in his local Christian Science Churches; acted as pastor, addressed many associations, and published numerous articles in Christian Science periodicals.
In 2000, Clifford and Elsa retired to their lovely home in East Alstead, NH where they enjoyed their freedom, cats, garden and their time on Lake Warren.
He is survived by two sons: Benjamin Eriksen of Huntington, NY, and Timothy Eriksen and his wife Magdalena of Amherst, MA, and his two beloved grandchildren: Luka and Anja Eriksen of Amherst, MA. He is predeceased by his wife, Elsa Hess Eriksen, and his two brothers, Joel Eriksen and Charles Lachenmeyer.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that contributions be made to The Clifford K. Eriksen Administration Center Building Fund at The Knox School, Saint. James, NY.
A memorial service will be held at The Knox School in the Spring of 2011.