Barbara Jean “BJ” Howard-Erickson age 62 of Lake Halle, WI peacefully entered the Glory of God at home surrounded by family on March 18, 2021, after a long terminal lung illness.

Barb was born on March 21, 1958, in Duluth, MN to James Peter and Corrine Rose (Windus) Howard. When Barb was 5, the family moved to Eau Claire, WI where she grew up. Barb attended Regis High School and graduated from St. Bede’s Academy in 1976. She then became a medic and worked for Menomonie Ambulance Service during the 1980’s. In 1998, Barb graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Vocational Rehabilitation from UW-Stout. She went on to have a successful career at Aurora Community Services as a case manager until she retired.

Barb was a gifted artist and photographer. She was an avid motorcyclist and enjoyed the outdoors and camping. She loved gardening and her love of God’s creation grew with age. She made numerous trips to the mountains out west and especially loved the Grand Tetons. In addition, Barb spent many weekends for a number of years with other volunteers helping raise funds for free Breast Cancer screenings in the community.

Barb came to know Jesus Christ in the later part of her life. She and her husband Darin walked in Christian fellowship until her last day. Barb cherished the last years of her life with her husband Darin Erickson, the love of her life, whom she married on June 27th, 2009.

Barb was preceded in death by her infant sister Loretta Rose and her father James.
Barb is survived by her husband Darin Erickson, sons Matthew James (Tessa) Feeney and their four children Isabelle, Aiden, Tori, Tyra, and Nicholas Christopher (Cass) Feeney, her mother Corrine, sisters Roberta Helen “Bobbie” Howard and Catherine Anne Howard, brothers Christopher John (Judith) Howard and Nicholas Peter (Dori) Howard, her mother- and father-in-law Dave and Clois Erickson, brothers-in-law Blaine, Brian, and Darick, and many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews.

A Memorial Service will be held at St Olaf’s Catholic Church in Eau Claire on Tuesday March 23, 2021, at 2:00 pm. Visitation with family and friends will be held one hour before at the service at 1:00 pm at the church. There will be no burial. Reception to be held at the Eagles Clubs.

The family would like to thank the staff at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire and the Staff St. Croix Hospice for their excellent care. Friends and family are welcome to leave online condolences at


  1. My deepest sympathy for your loss. I first met Barb when she was my supervisor at Aurora, she was a fair and wonderful leader who soon became a friend too. We had many things in common and good times too. I admired her wisdom and confidence and looked up to her for the strong beautiful woman she was. I Loved her dearly. I will always remember her and miss her. My thoughts and Prayers for her family and friends.

  2. Thinking of you all with heartfelt sympathy and prayers. Barb was a sweet and caring person. God’s peace.
    From family friends, Ginny and George Severson

  3. I’m so sorry to hear that B.J. passed on. I would have liked to have come to the memorial service at St. Olaf’s but I just now saw the beautiful obituary. That would have brought back a lot of memories since B.J. and I sang in the choir together there. She had a beautiful voice and had to carry us both!
    B.J. and I went to Regis together and lived close enough that we would walk over to each other’s house. I remember her parents and sister and brothers. My name was Mary Wilkinson back then. B.J. was a caring and faithful friend! I always had fun with her, and enjoyed her family too. I wish we would have stayed connected.
    I’m sure she is dearly missed by all of you. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  4. I just heard, today, Thursday 3-25, I’m in shock yet,BJ and I went to grade school, St Olaf, and high school Regis, hung out with Mary Wilkinson, we all use to have sleep overs at BJ house, We had so much fun. I live in Chippewa so we were neighbors and didn’t realize it, how sad. God bless you BJ I will never forget, going to your house, football games, school dances, choir, singing in church, you playing the guitar ? being in your wedding, you were so young,, and that big beautiful smile. Say hi to my mom and dad , JC. (you were the one tha gave me that nickname !!!!!)

  5. I just heard this afternoon about B.J. I went to grade school at St Olaf and high school at Regis,that is where we met Mary Wilkinson. We had some great times together , singing at mass, football games, sleep overs , surprise birthday parties, driving around in the VW, or the station wagon, I was even in her first wedding she was so young.. BJ I’m so sorry I wasn’t able to send you off, Rest in peace my friend
    Cindy Vinton Rohrman

  6. I apologize for this tardy tribute. Please be sure Darin receives it.

    I know Darin and his brother Brian. I remember Darin saying, often, when he met his dream woman he would “treat her like a Queen.”

    We’ve lost contact over the years, and I never met Darin’s beautiful bride.

    When I saw this picture in the newspaper, I immediately thought, “She looks like an angel.” I believe Darin saw her much the same. He met his dream angel and made her his queen, if only for a short while.

    Darin, the pain of losing your lovely bride must be immense. I’m sorry she had to leave so soon.

    I pray for God’s mercy and grace to comfort all who grieve.

    With heartfelt sincerity,
    Cindy Eisold Larson

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