Donald R. Erickson

January 17, 1927

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December 17, 2020

Donald R. Erickson

January 17, 1927

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December 17, 2020

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.

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16 thoughts on “Donald R. Erickson”

  1. Our families have crossed paths so many times, in church, the community, organizations kuds in school, and Mission Ridge. We mourned the loss of Don’s woderful wife, Jeanne, and now we jointly mourn the loss of ~ our two patriarch Dons. May they meet once more in heaven. Love from our family yo yours. Marilyn Floberg

  2. Our families have intertwined in many ways, church, community, children in school, and when Don and Jeanne both moved to Mission Ridge, where we lived. Our entire family sends love to your family as we both celebrate our Patriarch Dons.

  3. Very sorry to hear of your dad’s passing, Donna and Kurt. I remember him growing up as a great guy. He had a wonderful life, career, and family.

  4. Marilyn and family,
    Thank you for your kind words and remembrances of our Don. They were both good men and can enjoy each other’s friendship in heaven. Their lives paralled each other in many ways. God bless their memories.

  5. Peggy Christensen

    Steve & Jane and to your entire family, please know that you and yours are in my thoughts and prayers. Particulalry in this season of love and light. May our God tenderly hold you in His arms and give you strength and peace as you traverse this difficult time.

    1. Steven D Erickson and Jane T Erickson

      Thank you, Peggy, for your kind words. We know Dad is in a better place. He was so unhappy the last couple of years.
      Steve and Jane

  6. Steve, Jane and Family, Don was a wonderful guy who always had a smile. I always enjoyed working with him. I know that you have many great memories of him, and that he made this world a better place. May God give you peace and comfort.

    1. Steven D Erickson and Jane T Erickson

      Thank you, Allan, for your kind words. Dad was ready to leave the limitations of his mind and body behind. We know he’s happier now.

      Steve and Jane E

  7. Steve, Jane & Families,
    Fond memories of Don. Reading his life story – so agree with how much he dedicated to dentistry & time and energy to the community. Sending sympathy & love, Chris & Marlene

    1. Steven Erickson

      Thank you Marlene and Chris for your note to us. Dad will be missed but we know he’ll be joking around with his golfing buddies up in heaven!

      Steve and Jane E

    1. Steven Erickson

      Thank you for your note to us. We appreciate all the memories with our folks. They left us a great legacy.

      Steve and Jane E

  8. Lorraine & Marlen Anderson

    Steve and Jane, So sorry to hear of Don’s passing. We almost feel like members of the family because of the many years I worked for Don and subsequent memories of Steve as our family dentist. It is a blessed thought that Jeanne and Don are together at last with their Lord. You are all in our prayers. Blessings, Lorraine & Marlen

    1. Steven Erickson

      Thank you Lorraine and Marlen for your kind words. You were important to Dad’s life as well as ours for so many years. Dad outlived his dignity but not his sense of humor for which we will remember him best.

      Steve and Jane E

  9. Sorry to see of your dad’s passing! Besides growing up with Linda, I used to deliver dental supplies to Dr. Erickson back in the late 60’s. Peace to the family!

    1. Steven Erickson

      Thank you for your thoughts to us. There are so many people that Dad touched with his life that we never knew. We know he’s in a better place.

      Steve and Jane E

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