Erik Klaus Pietsch, 47, of Pensacola, Florida, passed away unexpectedly on May 25, 2020. Erik was born in Hatboro, PA on August 21, 1972. He went to St John Bosco elementary school and graduated LaSalle high school in 1990. He joined the United States Marine Corps directly out of high school, where he worked as a helicopter mechanic and was honorably discharged as a Corporal in 1995. His love for his Marine brothers was constant and true throughout his life. Erik held a number of Mariner licenses, loved the sea and captaining his sailboat in Hawaii and in Florida. Erik always lived life to the fullest and was well traveled. Known as “The Whaleshark” to his admiring fans, he loved writing stories, singing and playing his guitar, and performing his music throughout the United States. He had an incredible sense of humor and enjoyed fishing, gardening, and many technical projects. In recent years he participated in Muay Thai Boxing in Thailand. Erik is survived by his wife Tracy and her children Abbie and Matt, his mother Karolina Pietsch, and his siblings Annette Pietsch Lindberg and niece Val, brother Mark Pietsch, sister-in-law Jean and nephew Karl, and his sister Emily Campbell, brother- in- law Robert Campbell, nephew Christopher and nieces Sally and Emma. He is preceded in death by his father, Christopher C. Pietsch. A Memorial Mass will be held at St. John Bosco Roman Catholic Church in Hatboro, PA on Saturday, June 27th at noon with Reverend Gary Kramer of St John Bosco officiating. Louis Swift Plunkett Funeral Home will be handling the funeral arrangements. Donations can be made in Erik’s name to The National Center for PTSD, part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Education and Research Association of Northern New England, Inc. (VERANNE). The mission of the National Center for PTSD is to advance the clinical care and social welfare of America's Veterans and others who have experienced trauma, or who suffer from PTSD, through research, education, and training in the science, diagnosis, and treatment of PTSD and stress-related disorders. VERANNE is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation that exists solely to support research and education programs at the White River Junction VA Medical Center. All donations will be tax-deductible as allowable by law. Donations can be mailed directly to: VERANNE, P.O. Box 4655, White River Junction, VT 05001. Please add a note stating that the contributions are intended for use by the National Center for PTSD, but the checks should be made payable to VERANNE. The Pietsch family wishes to extend their gratitude to all who remember Erik with love, laughter and a zest for life.