PARK CITY, Utah. — The Park City Government released a statement Monday mourning the death of Bruce Erickson, a longtime Park City leader, at age 67. Erickson served on the Park City Planning Commission for 16 years and planned to retire from his six-year term as Park City Planning Director sometime in 2021.
Crucial projects Erickson oversaw during his time as City Planning Director include the Treasure Mountain development dispute, the acquisition of Bonanza Flat, and the preservation and protection of Park City’s Historic District through the revitalization of the Park City Historic District grants program.
To his many longtime friends, colleagues and admirers, his volunteerism was as impressive as his Planning Commission achievements. His work outside of the city included volunteering at the Glenwood Cemetery and Recycle Utah where he served as both a Board Chairman and resident traffic director on Dumpster Days and Household Hazardous Waste Day, among other events.
Erickson’s involvement in Recycle Utah began by default. His late wife Candy Erickson, who served Park City as a Councilwoman for three terms, was also a city liaison for Recycle Utah. When she passed, then Executive Director of Recycle Utah Insa Riepen called upon Erickson to join the ranks as a volunteer.
“[I told him] ‘we need a continuation with the name Erickson, and you are all mine,'” Riepen said of her efforts to recruit Bruce. “He was my star volunteer.”
Riepen said Erickson was the unofficial recycling police at the center, constantly directing people what to dump where. However, his dedication to Recycle Utah expanded beyond policing; when Riepen asked him to become a board member, he joined and later even served as board chair.
“When I think of him, I think of the day after Christmas, [Bruce] in his big boots and all his warm clothing in the parking lot directing traffic at the recycling center. He was quite a forceful, but very effective, traffic controller during collection days,” Riepen said. “He was always ‘with me.’ It was a delight to know he was in our corner.”
Carolyn Wawra, current executive director of Recycle Utah, said Erickson easily accrued 50 or more volunteer hours a year through his work at Recycle Utah’s dumpster and hazardous waste days alone.
“One day at the dumpsters, he told me he had to mow the lawn at Glenwood Cemetery the next day and asked if I wanted to help him. After all the volunteering he did for [Recycle Utah] the past couple of days, there’s no way I could say no,” Wawra said. “Bruce and I spent three hours out mowing the lawn at Glenwood. He even let me use the huge mulcher, which was pretty intimidating at first!”
Erickson’s varied volunteer interests focused on serving people. At the cemetery, Riepen said Erickson was committed to caring for gravestones that had fallen down and standing them upright again. His volunteerism was a testament to the care he had for everything Park City.
“[Bruce and Candy] embodied a passion for place, giving far more to Park City than they took from it,” Mayor Andy Beerman said in Monday’s statement. “They were a formidable team that combined sharp wit, humility, and a tenacious spirit to maintain Park City’s small-town character.”
The Ericksons’ legacy is celebrated by many in the area.
“If you combine the years of service from both Candy and Bruce together, that couple was part of making Park City what it became, and that should not be undervalued,” Riepen said.