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Welcome to the memorial page for

Dr. Per Henrik Wickstrom

July 28, 1942 ~ December 29, 2017 (age 75)


Dr. Per Henrik Wickstrom, 75, of Duluth passed away Friday, December 29, following an eleven-year journey with prostate cancer.  Per was born in Omaha, NE, to Gustave and Arlie (Henrikson) Wickstrom on July 28, 1942.  Per loved and embraced life in all its phases. Humility, skill, strength, and kindness were his hallmarks. Per graduated from Benson High School in Omaha after which he went to Yale University for college and medical school. He studied hard but still made time to play football and for two years was selected All-Ivy League Tackle. He also played rugby during college and medical school at Yale and during his internship and surgical residency in Minneapolis. During medical school, not one to be idle, he spent two summers in Jamaica studying the epidemiology of diabetes in the Jamaican population and one summer in San Francisco working with the Public Health Service. After medical school he moved to Minneapolis for a rotating internship and five-year surgical residency at Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC). While there he met his wife, Elaine Erickson, who worked in the hospital's emergency room. They were married in March 1971. In 1974, on completing his residency, they moved to Ellsworth Air Force Base near Rapid City, South Dakota, to fulfill his military obligation which had been deferred for education. After those two years, Per returned to Minneapolis to enter a Fellowship in Cardiovascular Surgery at the University of Minnesota. Two and one-half years later in January 1979, he joined his mentor, Hovald (Buzz) Helseth, and friend, Bjorn Monson in their busy Cardiovascular Surgery practice at HCMC and St. Louis Park Clinic in Minneapolis. In 1983 Per left that practice starting the Heart Surgery Program at St. Mary's Hospital in Duluth with Dr. Neal Vanstrom. During his time at St. Mary's/Duluth Clinic, he held various positions on the Duluth Clinic Board, Duluth Clinic Foundation Board and St. Mary's Hospital Board. He served several terms as Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Duluth Clinic and was a past president of the Minnesota Chapter of the Thoracic Surgical Association. Per was honored to be named the first "Physician of the Year" at the Duluth Clinic in 2002. He retired from his practice in January 2007. In retirement he became seriously involved-in CHUM, Duluth's nonprofit responsible for the Homeless Shelter, Street Outreach, Food Shelf and many programs to help homeless people find homes, employment and child care. The work of CHUM was one of his passions. In retirement he became an artist, first with watercolor, then acrylic, and finally with his favorite, oils. In the last decade he has amassed quite a collection.

Per was preceded in death by his parents.

He is survived by his wife, Elaine, brother Jack (Mary Lonsdale), and five nephews, JC Wickstrom, Troy (Cathy) Erickson, Brandon (Kristy) Erickson, Siver (Vanessa) Erickson, and Justin (Kari) Erickson, and their children. 

Visitation will be held on Friday January 12, 2018 from 5PM to 7PM in Dougherty Funeral. 600 E. 2nd St. Duluth, MN 55805, and will continue Saturday January 13, 2018 from 10AM until the 11AM Memorial Service in First United Methodist Church, 230 E. Skyline Pkwy, Duluth, MN 55811.  Memorials preferred to CHUM, 102 W 2nd St, Duluth, MN 55802 or to Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 219 North 6th Ave E, Duluth, MN 55805. Military Honors will be accorded by the Duluth Honor Guard.  Arrangements by Dougherty Funeral Home.  218-727-3555.


Charitable donations may be made to:

102 West 2nd Street, Duluth MN 55802
Tel: 1-218-720-0153

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
219 North 6th Ave East, Duluth MN 55805
Tel: 1-218-722-3381

 Service Information

January 12, 2018

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Dougherty Funeral Home
600 E 2nd Street
Duluth, MN 55805

Memorial Service
January 13, 2018

11:00 AM
First United Methodist "Copper Top" Church
230 East Skyline Parkway
Duluth, MN 55805

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