Planet Princeton

Obituary: Liz Gray Erickson

Liz Erickson

Elizabeth Gray Erickson of Princeton died on May 22, 2014. She was 46.

A dancer with the School of the Princeton Ballet Society throughout her youth and a graduate of the Princeton public schools, Liz attended Williams College, where she majored in Japanese Studies and spent her junior year in Kyoto, Japan, graduating in 1989.

During the summers of her college years, she had the opportunity to intern with the Bank of New York, and after graduating from Williams she worked in New York as an analyst in First Boston’s investment banking group. She then worked for two years at Bloomberg L.P.’s Tokyo office. She returned to the U.S. to pursue her MBA at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Upon her graduation in 1995, she married Jonathan Erickson and moved back to New York to work for American Express.

In 1997, she joined Save the Children as Associate Director of U.S. Programs and co-founded and managed Youth Noise, a web-based youth advocacy program. Save the Children was the first in a long list of youth and poverty focused commitments to which Liz devoted herself, a list which included leadership roles with Isles, a Trenton-based community development organization, the Princeton Area Community Foundation where she was a leader of the Fund for Women and Girls, Volunteer Connect, Family and Children’s Services of Central New Jersey, the Center for Supportive Schools, and Kidsbridge Tolerance Museum in Ewing. Liz, the recipient of the YMCA’s 2011 Tribute to Women award, had recently joined the board of McCarter Theatre.

As devoted as she was to community and charity, Liz’s greatest commitment was always to her children, Alexandra, William, and Edward Erickson. The daughter of Rachel and the late Charles Gray, Liz is survived by Jon, Alex, Will, and Ned; her mother; brother Douglas Gray, his wife Rebecca Johnson, and their children, Ella and Nathaniel; brother James Gray, his wife Jessica Gray, and their children, Sadie and Billy; and Jon’s parents, Kathy and Ted Erickson.

A memorial service will be held on June 6, at 3 p.m. at Nassau Presbyterian Church, 61 Nassau Street, in Princeton. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Princeton Community Foundation’s Fund for Women and Girls, 15 Princess Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648, www.pacf.org, and Save the Children, 54 Wilton Road, Westport, CT 0680, www.savethechildren.org.

Liz’s family is deeply grateful to her extensive circle of friends who have been so supportive and to all who honored her by gathering in Palmer Square on the evening of her passing to give thanks for her life. Her selflessness and unbounded kindness will be missed by her family, friends, and the countless others whose lives she has touched.

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

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