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Carolee Gale Eriksson

Jun 9, 2022

1936 – 2022

Carolee Gale Eriksson, a music inspiration, returned to her heavenly home on Monday, May 30, 2022. Her legacy of joyful living and musical appreciation lives on in her family, hundreds of piano students, musicians, and music teachers inspired by her throughout the world.

Carolee was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, on Sept 16, 1936, to Albert and Violet Gale and was provided many opportunities to serve alongside her parents while enjoying a variety of musical activities. Her first piano teacher, Ruth Hardy Funk, told her, “music will open doors for you that nothing else will open.” Carolee found that indeed, music provided her with wonderful travels, forever friends, growing experiences and countless satisfactions and opportunities to serve. She began teaching private piano when she was 16 years old, driving to her students’ homes for scheduled lessons. It was an immediate love affair- the students, the music, the excitement, the challenge, the fulfillment and she took enormous pleasure in it all.

Carolee attended the University of Utah where she studied under Gladys Gladstone Rosenberg, a pupil of Franz Liszt and Arthur Schnabel. She accompanied ballet classes and performances, enjoyed rehearsals and musicals, in addition to teaching piano lessons. Throughout her youth, she won many piano contests and competitions, including the Utah State Fair Piano Competition. She soloed with the Sacra Dulce Chorus, the Intermountain Chorale, and the Utah Symphony, and traveled to numerous places sharing and enjoying music with others. Carolee performed extensively throughout her youth and into her later life. Her performances included television programs, broadway musicals, Young Artists of Tomorrow, choirs, dance groups, piano ensembles, ballets, oratorios and much more.

Carolee served in the Northern States Mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, in Chicago, Illinois (1961-1963).

While accompanying the Sacre Dulce Choir, Carolee met an amazing bass singer, Rick Eriksson, and married him in the Salt Lake Temple on December 3, 1968. She states, “This was the beginning of the best and most precious part of my life.” Carolee and Rick shared 50 years of marriage, all of which she cherished.

Inspired and thrilled by the Kindermusik program while working with Phyllis Weikart from Germany and Elizabeth Polk of New York fame, Carolee enjoyed twenty years (1984 to 2006) as an Associate Instructor at the University of Utah in the School of Music Preparatory Division. Known to her young students as “Mrs. E,” she said, “… music is joy and there is pleasure in it. Children live in a world of noise, here they learn to hear.”

Carolee was filled with love for her students, music, and life. She felt great fulfillment and pleasure in her children and family, her dear friends and neighbors, and the many musicians she worked with. The pure grace and exceptionally charitable heart of Carolee will forever bless all those who were privileged to know her.

She is preceded in death by her sweet husband, Herbert “Rick” Eriksson, son, Lars Moroni and daughter, Merry Lynn. She is survived by children Joseph (Vickie), Robin (Julie), Lisa (John) Axley, Britin (Malia), Justin (Jennet), Korrin (Jon) Watters, 16 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and her sister Lindalu Gale. Special thanks to her sweet niece Christena Ohrn for her daily visits filled with treats and love.

Funeral services will be held on Saturday, June 11, 11:00 a.m. at the Farmington Rock Chapel, 272 North Main, Farmington, UT. Friends may call Friday evening from 6-8 p.m. at Russon Brothers Mortuary Bountiful, for a viewing and again at 9:45 a.m.-10:45a.m at the ward house, prior to the services. Interment will be in the Lakeview Cemetery in Bountiful.