In Memory of Erik Kees

A Celebration of Erik's life will take place at a later date.

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Erik Lowell Kees, age 51 of River Falls, WI, passed away on April 13, 2020 in Durand, WI. Erik was born August 26, 1968 in Menomonie, WI to Lowell and Mary (Bushland) Kees. Erik was an active, spontaneous and talented man. In his early days, he was proud and appreciative to earn his Eagle Scout award, wrestle at the state wrestling championships, participate in many outdoor adventures and develop many amazing friendships with his River Falls High School classmates. He graduated in 1986 by the narrowest of margins, but had about as much fun as one could have in doing so. Erik had a very successful career as a sales representative for Andersen Windows for 20 years and then at Fargo Glass and Paint for the following ten years. Throughout his working career, Erik had many wonderful opportunities to travel and live in many different places throughout the United States. He was a diligent worker who always went above and beyond for his employers and customers. Erik acquired many new and enduring friendships throughout these years as well.

Erik especially enjoyed his time in the outdoors and with nature and spent a considerable amount of time hunting, fishing and hiking. He made many trips to the mountains and he especially treasured his considerable time spent in Alaska. A farmer at heart, Erik loved working the land, acquiring tractors, and raising everything from pheasants, goats, chickens and pigs.

His heart was happy with the unconditional love and companionship from his dog, Stella, who preceded him in death. He was a complex man who had an amazing sense of humor and proclivity for pranks, could be the most kind and gentle person you could find one day, and as stubborn and ornery as you could find the next day. He was willing, however reluctantly to be transparent and let those closest to him in on the things in life that presented challenges for him. Erik was a wonderful son and an amazing brother and uncle, who will be forever remembered and dearly missed.

Erik is survived by his parents, Mary and Lowell Kees of River Falls; brother, Ian Kees and his daughter, Marin Kees, who loved uncle Erik so dearly (along with Bren, Jack and Ella who brought additional joy to his life these last two years); sister, Kealynn Kees of Brooklyn, NY; godfather and uncle, Forrest (Kathy) Bushland; aunt, Zona Kees; aunt, Sally Weisenbach; aunt, Nancy Johnson; uncle, John (Bev) Kees; uncle, Curt (Betty) Kees; aunt, Verona Kees; aunt, Roberta (Rod) Bauer; uncle, Bob (Helen) Kees; aunt, Candace (Tom) Harris; and uncle, Bruce Kees; and well over 150 cousins. Erik was kind and generous to many and especially appreciated his wonderful group of friends who benefited his life in so many ways. Erik was preceded in death by his grandparents, Lloyd and Irene Bushland, Hayward, WI, and William and Theone Kees, Durand, WI, each of whom he honored and had deep and meaningful relationships with.

Due to the current coronavirus concerns and restrictions of gatherings, all services for Erik are private at this time. A Celebration of Erik’s life will be planned for the future for family and friends to come together.

Funeral services are entrusted to the O’Connell-Benedict Family Funeral Home and Trusted Cremation Provider of River Falls, WI (715) 425-5644. www.oconnellbenedict.com

Erik's Tribute Wall

Tributes (23):

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  • Holding you all gently in my heart for this great loss, Mary and Lowell. Knowing that his life had been productive, varied and filled with love may help ease the pain. Thinking of you deeply at this time.
    Love, Maralee

  • Our sincere condolences to all of your family.
    I remember he worked for us in his high school years, what a Great kid. May he Rest In Peace.

  • I was so shocked when I heard of your loss I didn’t know what to say, my deepest condolences and prayers to your family. Tim Christensen

  • Many fond coaching memories of Erik in River Falls & hunting memories in Hertel at the Kusilek cabin. Rest in peace, Erik.

  • R.I.P. my old friend. It has been many years since we have talked. You were a good friend and proud to have know you since we were little kids. Our class has lost way too many and we are barely in our 50’s.

    Prayers and Best wishes to the Kees family,
    -Tony

  • Mary and Lowell
    Please accept my sincerest condolences on the passing of your son,Erik. I wish you peace and light during this difficult time. I am holding you all in my prayers.

  • Gone too soon….. Eric was our FGP Rep for many years and we developed a friendship over that time. He knew how to take care of business and did it with a smile and a positive outlook. He would check in with me every few weeks just so say hi and see how life was. I will miss my friend and colleague, till we meet again Erik RIP. Our condolences to all of Eric’s Family, especially his Mom and Dad.
    God Bless You All

  • Erik was a fun student. I could always count on him for positive play with he came to PE class.

    Hugs, Mary. I never wish that anyone join the “my kid died before me” club. It’s heartbreaking.
    Mrs Timmerman

  • It was sad to hear about Erik’s passing. I had the pleasure of working with Erik when he was our Andersen sales rep for FGP and when he was an FGP Millwork sales rep. We traveled together many times over the years to visit customers, solve problems and regale me with stories of his adventures, like hunting wild hogs. He was the only one I knew who, when driving down a road, could identify tractors in the fields and yards, sometimes saying “ I’ve got one like that”. He will be dearly missed, but will remain fondly in the memories of those whose lives he touched.
    Mike

  • We are so sorry to hear that Erik passed away. We had many trips to Alaska fishing salmon on the Skwentka River. He was a hardcore fisherman who like me never seemed to get enough. He will always be remembered. Our condolences to his family.

  • Mary and family,
    I’m so sorry to hear of your loss ~ you are all in my thoughts and prayers. May our gracious God welcome Erik to His heavenly home and grant you peace and comfort in the days ahead.

  • Erik was a dear friend from the moment we met about 19 years ago. I will miss his laughter and jokes & the way he would say the word an-a-way (anyway). We picked on each other often which made his visits to Fargo Glass something to look forward to. I will miss our talks so much. I’m blessed to have known such a caring, wonderful & thoughtful person.
    Pease & prayers be with all of you during this difficult time. May you rest easy, my friend. Until we meet again.
    ~Bridget

  • Aunt Mary, Uncle Lowell, and Cousins,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. May God surround you all and bring some peace and comfort. Erik, rest easy cousin. You were taken far too soon.
    Love and Hugs!

  • Mary and Lowell, Ian and Kealynn,
    I am so sorry to hear about Erik’s passing. I have many great memories growing up with him in the neighborhood back in the day. Praying for all of you during this time and may God grant him peace and the promise of everlasting life.

  • Mary and Lowell, We have wonderful memories of our times together as our children were growing up. Vance and Eric were so much alike in many ways. I was not surprised he was a farmer at heart. Your gardens were always huge and something to be proud of. We were shocked to read about Eric and please know our thoughts and prayers are with you. Love to you both, Kealynn and Ian.

  • Erik was our rep for Andersen and later Fargo Glass out here in western North Dakota. Over the years a great friendship grew, and we continued to visit on the phone, with calls every couple of weeks. When asked how he was doing, it was always good, he would never complain about it and would then change the subject and ask how it was going in our lives. When he called, he would always start out by saying that he was a rep for the IRS or some other off the wall thing and of course we new it was him but it was his way of trying to brighten our day. We will miss you.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.

    Eternal Rest Grant on to him.

  • A young man taken t soon. I have known and worked with Erik for 30 plus years. He was an individual that would do anything for you. We had some really great fishing times, To this day I don’t think he ever had a ND Fishing License. RIP Erik, I will miss our phone calls.

  • What a wonderful tribute! I laughed out loud at the “he graduated with the narrowest of margins” comments. Erik was known to forget to turn paperwork in a time or two at work also! He was more concerned visiting with his customers and serving others, which is what he was always the very best at doing.

    Prayers to the extended Kees family. May Erik Rest In Peace.
    -Nicole