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Eric C. Lorentzen

February 13, 1946 March 22, 2021
Eric C. Lorentzen
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Obituary for Eric C. Lorentzen

Eric Lorentzen, a lifelong resident of Royal Oak and Rochester, died in his sleep early Monday morning, March 22, 2021. He was 75 years old. Born February 13, 1946, he was the son of Carl and Ruth (nee Thompson) Lorentzen, who preceded him in death. A 1965 graduate of Royal Oak Kimball High School, he went on to graduate from Oakland University in Rochester where he made lifelong friendships, met his first wife, and studied political science.

He then went to work at General Motors, and made plans to travel, except that he was arrested in November of 1969 for “an unlawful sale of marijuana.” He was sentenced to Jackson Prison for twenty years and was incarcerated there until 1972 when his conviction was appealed to Michigan’s Supreme Court and he was released. Eric’s adventures with Michigan’s judiciary set a new standard for judicial review of cruel and unusual punishment and accounted for the release of many long incarcerated inmates for non-violent crimes involving marijuana. As public policy and community norms changed over the next fifty years, Eric took pride in being “ahead of his time,” and was especially pleased that many minority inmates had been released because of his own steadfast pursuit of justice.

And though he won that skirmish in the war on drugs, in his personal habits he would eventually recognize that he was powerless over drugs and alcohol. He spent the last thirty-one years of his life taking a day at a time as a grateful member of a fellowship that held that the spiritual life is not a theory, it must be lived.

And live it Eric did. Proud of his Danish heritage, and larger than life at 6’5” and bearded, he had the aspect of a gentle, giant, kindly Viking. He was well known to fellow recovering pilgrims in the area and in areas he visited, in northern Michigan and elsewhere he travelled, around the nation and the globe. He enjoyed playing cards, collecting rare coins and precious metals and attended coin club meetings throughout the metro Detroit area.

Eric was married and divorced twice, remaining friends with his former spouses and assuming that there was something about him that made true partnerships impossible. When asked how he was doing, he would often reply, “I’m happy, joyous, and relationship free!” That said, he was much loved by a wide circle of friends who found in Eric Lorentzen a loyal pal, honest in every aspect, full of fun and good stories and eager to show up, pitch in and do his part for the welfare of friends and strangers alike.

He worked until the day he died as a sales rep for Induction Services, a full-service supplier of induction heat treatment services to the automotive, appliance, marine, agricultural, military and aerospace industries. He loved his colleagues at the office and though his pals often pestered him to retire, he regarded his job as more than a living; it was a way of life. For a childless man who lived alone, the company of co-workers, card-players, coin collectors and fellow pilgrims in recovery made Eric feel attached to the larger and loving family of fellow humans, for which he always seemed unabashedly grateful.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Kay Mueller, who made her home in Bloomington, Indiana. He is survived by his dear nephew, Carl Mueller and a wide circle of diverse friends, saddened by Eric’s unexpected passing but grateful for the many years he was among them as an exemplar of good company, good cheer, and hard-won sobriety.

Friends may visit at Lynch & Sons Funeral Home, 1368 N. Crooks Rd, Clawson, Sunday, March 28th, 1-6pm.

Following cremation, Eric’s remains will be buried with his family in Wisconsin.

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1:00 PM 3/28/2021 1:00:00 PM - 6:00 PM 3/28/2021 6:00:00 PM
Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors - Clawson

1368 N. Crooks Road
Clawson, MI 48017

Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors - Clawson
1368 N. Crooks Road Clawson 48017 MI
United States

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