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Remembering Ethan Stewart Erickson

October 20, 2010

Photo provided

Local musician and artist Ethan Stewart Erickson (above left), a contributor to and supporter of The Rock River Times, passed away Oct. 6, 2010. He was born Sept. 13, 1949.

Above right is an illustration created by Erickson that was published in The Rock River Times in 1997. The illustration depicts the impact of the Rockford Public School District desegregation lawsuit on the Rockford community. The “Mahoney” in the illustration refers to P. Michael Mahoney, federal magistrate judge for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, who oversaw the desegregation lawsuit.

A memorial celebrating Erickson’s life was held at Anderson Japanese Gardens Tuesday, Oct. 12. Ernie Stokes, Eckankar, officiated, and Tim Roe (guitar) and E.J. Pagel (keyboard) provided music.

Following is a poem by Emily F. Evans that was presented at the memorial service:

Just Behind Life’s Curtain

Those who have gone on before,

Seemingly have shut the door,

Those whom we see no more,

Are just behind life’s curtain.

They are with us here and there,

They are with us everywhere,

There is no place called “Over There,”

It’s just behind life’s curtain.

Illustration courtesy of The Rock River Times' archives

They’re beside us day and night,

They’re around us left and right,

They’re simply out of sight,

They’re just behind life’s curtain.

You would meet with a surprise,

One that you could not surmise,

Could you see with spirit eyes,

Aye, just behind life’s curtain.

They are more alive than you,

You’ll find, when you pass through

Life’s great door, then you’ll be too,

Behind life’s massive curtain.

Life’s curtain sometime, somewhere,

Will be rent, and through the tare,

Mysteries will be laid bare,

Behind life’s mystic curtain.

I implore; don’t be misled,

Those whom we deplore, as dead,

Found life’s hidden path and fled,

They’re just behind life’s curtain.

From the Oct. 20-26, 2010 issue

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