Greta Ericson, St. Helena’s first female mayor and a key figure in the founding of the Rianda House Senior Activity Center, died Saturday at the age of 98.
A native of Hoboken who grew up in New York’s Hudson River Valley, Ericson moved to St. Helena in 1965 and served as mayor from 1974 to 1976 and as city councilmember from 1976 to 1978. The St. Helena Chamber of Commerce named her Citizen of the Year in 2000.
She was active in the PTA, Chamber of Commerce and Soroptimists. After her close friend Jean Rianda died, Ericson was instrumental in the founding of Rianda House in a former residence bequeathed by Rianda.
Ericson also served on the Napa County Grand Jury, Napa County Board of Education, and Metropolitan Transportation Commission. She founded the MTC’s awards program, and the commission’s Distinguished Service Award is named after her.
Ericson operated a store in downtown St. Helena called Wine Country Clothes. She also sold real estate until the age of 84.
Ericson and her husband Richard had four children together and adopted three more girls, who had lost their parents in a car accident.
See Thursday’s Star for a deeper look back at Ericson’s life.