Anne Erickson, a former Bangor Daily News reporter who went on to found the Katahdin Times weekly newspaper in Millinocket, died on Wednesday. She was 88.
Erickson, a Millinocket native and 1947 graduate of Stearns High School, initially worked as an x-ray technician and, after meeting her husband, Albert, at her family’s insurance business, the Reed Insurance Company, according to her obituary. In the 1960s, she took a job as the Millinocket correspondent for the Bangor Daily News, a position she held for close to a decade until, in 1976, she founded the Katahdin Times.
The Katahdin Times was for over 30 years the Katahdin region’s largest weekly newspaper, circulating to East Millinocket, Medway and Millinocket, when the area had one of Maine’s highest per-capita income rates and as many as 5,000 workers employed at its two paper mills.
Mike Dowd, the director of print operations for the Bangor Daily News and a past president of the Maine Press Association, said Erickson gave him his first job in journalism while he was a student at Stearns High School in Millinocket.
“I’ll always be grateful to Anne Erickson for giving me the opportunity to write for the Katahdin Times when I was a student at Stearns High School,” said Mike Dowd. “She taught me the importance of community journalism and the value a newspaper brings to readers by telling their stories and keeping a watchful eye on local government.”
Over the years, Erickson held nearly every position at the Katahdin Times — editor, reporter, advertising director, photographer, photo developer and print editor, according to her obituary.
In the early 2000s the Katahdin Times was sold to publisher Bob Pushard of Hometown Newspapers, and in February 2009 it ceased publication.
In her retirement, Erickson taught Sunday School at the First Congregational Church of Millinocket, was a member of the Katahdin Area Chamber of Commerce and Millinocket Literary Club, and doted on her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. A memorial service is set for 1 p.m. Saturday, May 11 at the First Congregational Church of Millinocket.