Charlie Ericksen Obituary, Death- In 2011, Bob and Joanne Updegrave had recently relocated from Pennsylvania to Flagler County, where they became involved in Republican politics. That same year, Charlie Ericksen made the decision to compete against Jon Netts for the position of mayor of Palm Coast.
Ericksen counted Lee Willman as a buddy throughout his life. They both helped for many years at the Sheltering Tree, which is a cold-weather shelter and one of the countless places where Ericksen volunteered or gave of his time in one form or another during the course of his life. Willman was assisting him in the campaign he was running. However, she was forced to leave town on the same night as a major Tea Party gathering back when the Tea Party was still a thing. She approached Bob Updegrave with her request for a favor.
“I want you to assist Charlie, to stay with Charlie during this event, and to keep him moving,”” Willman is quoted as having spoken something to Updegrave in his memory. “‘Charlie needs to meet and greet as many people as he can, but Charlie has a tendency to just stop and talk,'” said the supervisor. “And she told me, ‘your job is to keep him moving, and to cut his conversations, diplomatically, politely, as short as possible.'” Updegrave decided to accept the position. “So Charlie was my first political job upon moving here.” And he became familiar with him, as did a great many other individuals quite rapidly.
Willman and Updegrave had the same experience that everyone else who knew Ericksen did shortly after they first met him: the lanky Nordic and former Army instructor who’d spent a lifetime in insurance administration before retiring to Palm Coast was one of the great talkers of the age. Not idle chit-chat. We are not idly passing the time. That drove him absolutely crazy. No, he preferred to strike up conversations with strangers, learn about what they did and why they did it, and develop an interest in the work that they did.
Soon enough, he would be getting himself engaged, whether it was in a political group, an advisory board, a neighborhood organization, or perhaps, his own runs for office. Charlie Ericksen – he was one of those men who most people referred to by both his names, his identity in full – found discussion irresistible because he found his community and all of the individuals who made it captivating. He was one of those men most people referred to by both his names. He just couldn’t get enough information about it. Campaigning was not something that came easily to him.
he thought it was artificial and pretentious (it was one of the few things that would prompt him to use one of his few preferred obscene words, “bullshit”). However, he enjoyed talking to others. Conversation was the key that unlocked the door for him. It allowed him to enter anyplace, and he went everywhere; as a result, Charlie Ericksen came to be regarded as Flagler County’s version of Zelig, the character from Woody Allen’s film who always appeared to be in the appropriate location at the appropriate moment.
Ericksen was a conservative at heart and unsentimental to the core, but he was primarily a pragmatist who could speak to and get along with anyone anywhere on the political spectrum. He did this for the decade that he was a ubiquitous presence on Palm Coast’s and Flagler County’s political scene. Ericksen was a pragmatist who could speak to and get along with anyone anywhere on the political spectrum.
He came in second place in the competition against on Netts. He was defeated by Netts, who scarcely campaigned at all, who won by a margin of 13 points. Ericksen recognized that his 40 percent wasn’t that poor of a showing for a novice competing against the county’s top statesman, despite the fact that his decisive loss may have been the last straw for the majority of people.