November 18, 1967 – April 23, 2022
In between the time Erin Looker-Collins met her best friend, Michelle Looker-Collins as a wide-eyed 7th grader in 1979 and then married her in 2014, she lived a full life raising three sons—Adam, Matt, and Ben—while living and working in Council Bluffs, Iowa. In that time she gave birth to her daughter, Caitlin whom, despite passing at the age of one, Erin loved immeasurably until her final breath.
Erin was infectious. To know her for ten minutes was to know her for your whole life, and she’d certainly treat you that way. Though Erin had many great qualities (a love for good steak, bad TV, mediocre college sports teams, and ‘80s and ‘90s pop music), Erin’s final years were dedicated to being grandmother to an ever-growing set of littles. Her capacity to love in the face of adversity was like a gravity that pulled everyone around into her orbit. Her home was a haven to several of her children and friends, and in her final year, she opened her arms and home to two of her grandchildren, becoming their foster guardians along with Michelle.
Though most of us might point to the unfairness of life as it unfolded, getting so precious little time in the life she’d spent years yearning for, fighting through chemo and pain in her final months, and missing out on the promises her illness stole from her (but mostly missing the series finale of This Is Us), Erin was steadfast and clear-eyed. She held solace in that she’d join her daughter soon and could trust the rest of us to carry on and honor her memory. She held much more indignation at someone not knowing a Beatles song than she ever did that her life was ending.
Immutable in her belief that things could change and things could go your way, Erin passed away on the morning of Saturday, April 23rd after her battle with cancer. In her passing, Erin leaves her friends and family with a lifetime of memories to cherish and a directive to go on finding the joy in the mundane, to find peace with who you are, and, if you can, to hold on for one more day.
MEMORIAL SERVICE: Thursday, April 28th at 6pm at the West Center Chapel. Memorials will be directed by the family.