Erkkila, B.J.

Passed: March 22, 2011


Barbara “B.J.” Jean Erkkila passed away on March 22, 2011, at the age of 59 after a lengthy battle with cancer.

 She is survived by her loving husband of 31 years, Neil Erkkila; son, Doug Erkkila; daughter-in-law Kristie (Walivaara) Erkkila; sister, Virginia “Ginny” Arwine; brother, Dean Maute; and numerous other close family members and friends.

 B.J. was born in Phoenix, AZ., on November 16, 1951, a daughter of Carolyn (Harman) and Harold Maute. She married Neil and raised their son, Doug, while traveling around the world for Neil’s Navy career.

 She enjoyed woodworking, craft shows, teddy bears, and being surrounded by friends and family. She was a strong woman who left her mark on everyone she met. Her friends at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America remember her as a woman who always had a smile on her face and a supportive voice to others, despite her own battle with cancer.

 In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to Stand Up To Cancer at

 A memorial service for B.J. will be held at Thompson’s Valley West Funeral Chapel in Goodyear, AZ. on Saturday, April 2. Visitation will be from 10am to Noon, with the service starting at Noon.  A reception for friends and family to celebrate B.J.’s life will follow at the Desert Hills Baptist Church in Buckeye, AZ.

 Please join the family for a reception at 2pm following the services at Jasinski Elementary School at 4280 S. 246th Ave., Buckeye, AZ.

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Thompson Funeral Chapel