Wilhelm “Bill” Erickson
Wilhelm “Bill” Erickson
Wilhelm “Bill” Erickson was born on May 13, 1914, to Carl and Martina (Ukkestad) Erickson in the family farm home of his parents two miles south of Wolford, North Dakota.He died at the age of 97 years on Thursday, July 7, 2011, at the Heart of America Nursing Care Center in Rugby, North Dakota.
Bill attended elementary school in a township school located less than a half mile from his home and completed his education at Wolford High School.Following school he worked on the home place with his family, for area farmers and at the Wolford Farmers Elevator.In January of 1942, Bill was inducted into the U.S. Army and served in the 37th Division, 129th Infantry, Company K in the Asiatic-Pacific Theaters during World War II forthree years, one month and four days, seeing and experiencing the horrors of war before being honorably discharged.Upon his return home, he and his brother, Norman, farmed the home place and other land, which they had purchased together, for the next 25 years.On November 8, 1952, he was united in marriage to Eileen Stewart in a country church in Ramsey County, North Dakota. Following their marriage, the couple made their home and farmed on the Erickson family farm south of Wolford, until October of 2009 when they moved to the Haaland Estates Assisted Living (Manor Apartments) in Rugby, North Dakota.
Bill and Eileen took a very active role in the Wolford community and Wolford Lutheran Church, where Bill was baptized and confirmed.He served as church secretary for many years, sang bass in the church and community choirs, and served on the Wolford Farmer Elevator Board as secretary for many terms.As a young man, he played on a Wolford baseball team and has always been a fan of major-league baseball.One of his hobbies in the past was to restore old stationary gasoline engines.And, as he grew up, he developed a kinship with John Deere and GMC.Bill always had a great sense of humor and a peacekeeper mannerism.Bill and Eileen retired from active farming in 1987.
Survivors include his wife Eileen of Rugby; brothers, Howard of Renton, WA, Vernon “Peanuts” of Minot, and Caroll “Dots” and his wife, Virgie, of Rolette; sisters, Clarrissa Roy of St. John and Bernice Yoder of Renton, WA; a sister-in-law, Myrtle Sagen of Eugene, OR; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by three brothers, Harris, Clifford, and Norman; one sister, Edith Habberstad; and his parents.
Funeral services were held Tuesday, July 12, 2011, at Wolford Lutheran Church in Wolford. Burial with military honors, accorded by the North Dakota Military Funeral Honors Detail with Cole Tibert playing Taps, was in Wolford Community Cemetery.
Reverend Mike Pretzer officiated with Rachel Johnson assisting. Music was provided by Eldon Borgen, soloist, and Barb Lee, organist.
Casketbearers were Newton Erickson, Todd Erickson, Harlan Tibert, Mark Thompson, Lee Miller, and Lee LaBarre.
Arrangements by Anderson Funeral Home, Rugby.
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