When Eric was around, everyone knew it! His contagious, booming laugh and smile lit up a room. He was not able to stay still for very long, which led him to constantly seek adventure and fun times. He talked to people everywhere he went and stories abound of the funny ways he met people and became friends with them. Being tossed into a pool by him was a good ice-breaker!
Eric was born July 25, 1986 and lived most of his life in Spring Grove, Illinois. He was sensitive, caring, active, a hard worker, talked non-stop, told or played jokes constantly, and was drawn to extreme sports that challenged him. He climbed before he walked and there was never a railing, tree, or hill that he wouldn’t climb. When Eric was 5, his sister Samantha was born and he was over-the-top happy. He never left her side, slept on the floor beside her crib, and played with her constantly. She became spoiled with all the attention Eric gave her. They were very close and he was patient and loving with her. Eric was a protective older brother and they shared a special relationship.
Eric made some very good friends growing up in our small town and they continued to be friends all his life. He was a good listener and loyal friend. I remember all the girls that would call him during middle and high school to talk to him about their problems…he probably had more “girl” friends at one point than guy friends due to his capacity to empathize. He had a temper though, and sometimes the weirdest thing would set him off. He’d get stuck on a point and drive the people around him crazy. But, that was Eric, everyone knew, and a minute later he could be laughing again.
Eric attended Northern Michigan University and made many good friends. He loved the area, and took full advantage of all the activities available: snowboarding, cliff jumping, camping, and golfing. He also met Caity, the love of his life, in college. I know that sounds corny, but it is true. Caity and Eric were so compatible and perfect for each other. They have some of the best pictures I’ve ever seen of their life together. He graduated in May 2008 with a business degree and planned to start his own business as soon as he could.
Eric moved to Arizona in January 2009 after his best friend, Joe Hodgins, died in a car accident in November 2008. They met in grade school and shared a birthday, which they always celebrated to the max. Joe’s death shook Eric to the core and he decided he had to make a change. He loved Arizona and being with family there. He found work, enjoyed the sunshine, and bought the motorcycle he dreamed of having since he was young. He became an account manger at CVS Caremark, where his outgoing personality was perfect for working with customers.
Caity moved to Arizona in January 2010 and they became engaged in June. Eric proposed with a ring he had made using a diamond from his great-grandma’s ring. We are thankful to have Caity part of our family because she is a sweetheart.
Eric and Caity shared a love of motorcycle’s and took many rides together, just the two of them, and also with Uncle John. Eric and Caity had just returned from a weekend trip to Las Vegas the morning he died. He watched the Bears game at his Aunt and Uncle’s house, left to ride home to make Caity dinner before she had to go to work, but was struck by the drunk driver about a mile from home, on November 28, 2010.
Not a second goes by that we do not miss Eric. However, Eric loved life, he was always trying to cheer people up when down, and had a motto of NO REGRETS. We want to keep his spirit alive and live how we know he’d want us too.
Please join us as we celebrate Eric’s love of life.