Norman K. Erickson, 89, of Bozeman, passed away Sunday, Aug. 22, 2010.
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Born in Parker, S.D., Norm was the fourth of six children born to John and Ulda Erickson. His character was shaped by the love of his family, his faith, devoted teachers, and the hardships of growing up on a small farm during the Great Depression.
In 1943 he enlisted in the Navy and attended Midshipman School at Columbia University before serving 19 months in the South Pacific. During the long months of the war he formed friendships that lasted a lifetime.
After the war, Norm finished his bachelor's degree at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, S.D., where he met his dearly beloved Marjorie. They married in August 1949 and were one week short of marking their 61st anniversary when Norm died. He took great delight and pride in his three children at every stage of their lives.
With his love of kids and joy in their accomplishments, Norm was a natural educator. His career included two years as a teacher and coach in Parkston, S.D., before returning to school for a masters degree from Michigan State University. He had a "practically perfect" career as a teacher and principal in the Glencoe, Ill., school system for 31 years, where he promoted education in art, music, and drama in addition to academic subjects. He had a marvelous gift for remembering names of thousands of students-and their siblings' names-for years.
Following retirement, Norman and Marge enjoyed 25 wonderful years in Flagstaff, Ariz., with new friends they made. In Arizona Norm volunteered many hours gardening for his community, hospice, and his church. His passions also included music (he had a beautiful tenor voice), reading, and sports.
Norman and Marge moved to Bozeman recently to be near family.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brothers Edwin, Clarence, John, and Robert.
Survivors include his wife Marjorie; his sister Dorothy (Robert) Harum; sisters-in-law Elaine Erickson and Eleanor Erickson; children Rev. Steven (Carol) Erickson of Mt. Morris, Ill.; Peg (Brad) Dirckx of Bozeman; and Paul (Karen) Erickson of Mundelein, Ill.; and grandchildren Bethel Ann, Megan, and Claire.
A celebration of life service for Norman will be held Friday, August 27, at 10 a.m. at Hope Lutheran Church in Bozeman, 2151 W. Graf St., Bozeman, MT 59718.
Memorials may be made in his name to Hope Lutheran Church "for landscaping" or to the Hospice c/o at: www.bozemandeaconess.org/foundation/.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.dahlcares.com.
Dahl Funeral Chapel
300 Highland Boulevard
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Aug. 25, 2010