Erik William Brom, 62, died unexpectedly December 23, 2021, at home.
He was born February 16, 1959, in Rochester, Minnesota, the son of Leo J. T. Brom and Dorothy Margaret (Gardner) Brom. Erik graduated from Cotter High School, class of 1977. After graduation, he attended Saint Mary’s University, and graduated from the University of Minnesota Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Computer Science in 1981. In 1982, Erik started his own company, Brom Micro Systems, which he was actively involved with until his passing. On February 26, 1983, he married Jodi Ann Matejka at the Chapel of St. Mary of the Angels in Winona and built a house in Goodview where they made their home.
In December of 1983, he started at Lake Center Industries (currently named BCS) and spent 38 years cultivating a productive and successful career as a Software Design Engineer. In 2016, he started a second business, Goodview Haven, with his family home as a retreat home and enjoyed creating a welcoming and innovative experience for guests from all over the country and the world. In 2018, he became “Grandpa Choo-choo”, a job that included rides to wave at Amtrak, giving train rides in diesel train engines, explaining how robots work, and being the senior engineer in toy assembly.
Erik had many interests and hobbies. He was always up on his technology and the new gadget in computers. He loved trains and train history in the Winona area and gave many programs about trains in Winona. Beginning in 1993, he began volunteering for the Minnesota Transportation Museum, where he started as a car attendant and eventually earned his license to drive as a diesel train Engineer. He also served as Train Master for the MTM up until his passing.
Erik got his license for Amateur Radio in 1975 (WB0NIU) and belonged to the Winona Amateur Radio Club, where he served on the board as the “Station Custodian” and a standing committee chair for “Voice Repeater.” Throughout the years he enjoyed the Saturday morning breakfasts held by the club, discussing Amateur Radio and beyond. Throughout his entire life, he also had an interest in model railroading, which started when he received his first model train, an American Flyer named Royal Blue, from his grandfather. He also volunteered many hours at the Winona County Historical Society to provide technical support and volunteered and served in various ministries at the Cathedral of Sacred Heart in Winona, including videography, Eucharistic Minister, Handbell Choir member, and moral support to the Lead Decorator (his wife, Jodi).
Erik belonged to many more organizations, including Minnesota Transportation Museum, Minnesota Street Car Museum, Riverside & Great Northern Railway, Chicago and North Western Historical Society, National Association for Amateur Radio, Winona County Historical Society, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and countless other organizations to which he generously donated his innumerable talents.
In addition to his parents, he is predeceased by an infant brother, Peter Henri and an infant sister, Laurie Lee. Surviving in addition to his wife Jodi (Matejka) Brom, are his daughter, Emily (Brom) Smithley and her husband, Philip, of Winona; two grandchildren, Lola and Oliver; one aunt, Jean Gardner of Winona; one mother-in–law, Jeannette Matejka of Rochester, Minnesota; and five furry cats.
The family would like to thank the paramedics, first responders, and Goodview Police Department, especially Officer Bromerick, for their assistance.
Erik will be so missed by his family for his kindness, care, incredible patience, and unending love.
A Mass of Christian burial will be held at the Cathedral of Sacred Heart, 360 Main Street Winona, Minnesota at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 15, 2022. A gathering will take place afterward in Holy Family Hall. Those who wish to remember Erik in a special way may make gifts in his memory to either the Winona Amateur Radio Club Inc. (P.O. Box 1451, Winona, MN, 55987), or the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart (360 Main Street, Winona, MN, 55987).
Online condolences or memories may be left for Erik’s family at www.watkowski-mulyck.com.
Watkowski- Mulyck Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.