Candy Erickson, revered city leader, dies
March 25, 2011
Candy Erickson, a Park City Councilwoman whose time in office stretched from the preparations for the 2002 Winter Olympics to City Hall’s handling of the recession, died on Thursday, a loss that will be felt throughout a disparate group of segments of the community.
Erickson was 55 years old and succumbed to complications caused by colon cancer. She died at approximately 4:30 p.m. at her Park Meadows home. Her husband, Bruce Erickson, was at her side, a family representative said in a prepared statement. Her death came nearly five years after her cancer diagnosis.
Erickson was in her third term on the City Council, winning elections in 1999, 2003 and 2007. She was among the most popular of the City Councilors who served since Park City’s population boom started in the early 1990s, winning support from a wide range of Parkites.
Mayor Dana Williams, who held office during most of Erickson’s time on the City Council, said she was dedicated to Park City’s working class and led with an open-minded demeanor.
"She had a very keen and firsthand knowledge of the fact that a lot of us who live in Park City struggle," Williams said, adding, "I think she was infinitely happy with where she lived and the direction of the city. She certainly had a lot to be proud of over her tenure in office."
Erickson’s condition worsened recently, and she had been unable to attend some City Council meetings. Williams typically told the audience that the municipal government’s prayers were with her when she was absent.
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Erickson won her City Council seat during a year of anti-incumbency sentiment among Parkites, one of three newcomers to be elected in that campaign. She quickly staked out a moderate position on the City Council that she retained as one of her hallmarks throughout her three terms.
While she supported causes that fall on the political left, such as work force housing, Erickson was also deeply rooted in the resort industry and the business community. She delivered the daily snow reports for Park City Mountain Resort for more than 20 years and worked at Cole Sport as well. She had been a leader in the Women’s Business Network, a group that works to advance women in the workplace.
In her final campaign, in the fall of 2007, Erickson led the field by a wide margin, collecting 1,227 votes. The second-place finisher that year received 903 votes.
"I think I have name recognition. People know me. I’ve been here a long time," Erickson said shortly after Election Day in 2007, saying that she was "stunned" with the margin of victory.
Erickson moved to Park City in 1983, when she was in her late 20s, raising a family and building a career during a period of extraordinary growth in the city. She was a well-known figure among Parkites before mounting her first campaign, never falling into the shadow of her husband, who was a prominent member of the Park City Planning Commission in the years before she took office.
Erickson’s early years on the City Council were dominated by preparations for the Winter Olympics. City Hall and the wider Park City community enjoyed a period of great economic expansion in the years between the Games and the onset of the recession.
Doctors made the cancer diagnosis in the spring of 2006, and she quickly underwent surgery and then a form of chemotherapy. She appeared healthy for a period after the initial surgery.
In 2009, Erickson received one of the Park City area’s cherished awards, the Linda Singer-Berrett Professional Citizen of the Year, handed out by the Park City Rotary Club. At the time, Erickson said some of her notable accomplishments during her City Council tenure included the construction of the City Park skateboard park, the building of the Park City Ice Arena, the creation of the Quinn’s Junction dog park and the expansion of the trails system.
She is survived by her husband and their sons. Erickson’s life will be celebrated at the Eccles Center at 1 p.m. on April 3. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations be made to the Candy Erickson Endowment Fund for the Betterment of Park City at the Park City Community Foundation.