Don was born on Jan. 17, 1927, to Eva and Axel R. Erickson in Deer Creek, Minnesota, growing up in Parkers Prairie, Minnesota, and graduating from high school there. His annual from his senior year stated that Don was best known for his corny jokes. If you knew Don, he had a lifetime of corny jokes and witty comebacks. He was drafted into the Army upon reaching 18 years of age and was discharged as a sergeant at the end of WWII. He graduated from Minnesota Dental School in 1951 and entered the U.S. Air Force for two years as a captain in the Dental Corps.
While studying in dental school, he met (in the dental chair!) and soon after married E. Jeanne Brendal. He always said he couldn’t believe he was that lucky! Don and Jeanne were married in the Lutheran Church in St. Paul, Minnesota, with the text, “As for me and my family, we will serve the Lord.” They both were very active in serving others during their lifetimes. His family has been shown the great legacy of their faith. Don’s greatest joys were golfing, family trips, weekend boating and camping, and the cabin on Flathead Lake.
Don had a 42-year career in dentistry, and was especially proud of his efforts to prevent dental disease, emphasizing endodontics and periodontics. He was well liked and respected by his patients and colleagues. He participated as a speaker at local, state and national dental programs, and was president of both the 9th District and Montana State Dental Associations. He was a member of the American as well as the International College of Dentists.
Don was a member in the Lions’ Club and later the Billings Rotary Club. He was a very active member of the American Lutheran Church for almost 70 years, serving as a volunteer in the Stephen’s Ministry, as well as other positions, and attended the Bible Studies with the other men at the church. He was awarded the Lamb Award for his service to Boy Scout Troop 10 and enjoyed his time spent with sons through the program.
Don was preceded in death by his beloved and beautiful wife, Jeanne (whom he missed so much); his two brothers, Leroy and Merle. He is survived by his children, Linda (Terry) Cook, Steve (Jane), Craig (Susan Kery), Donna, Kurt; 11 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
The family wishes to especially thank all the staff and management at St. John’s United for providing such loving care for Dad over the last seven-plus years. We are so grateful for them!
Condolences may be made at www.michelottisawyers.com. Memorials can be given to the Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch or the charity of your choice.
A memorial service will take place at a later date.