Fred R. Erickson

KALISPELL - Former Chinook and Great Falls resident Fred R. Erickson, 75, died of congestive heart failure Saturday at a Kalispell nursing home.
Cremation has taken place under the direction of Buffalo Hill Funeral Home, and a memorial service will be held at a later date.
Survivors include stepchildren Keith and Donna Mortensen-McKinney of Marysville, Wash., John and Opal Mortensen of Shoshone, Idaho, F.R. "Rick" Erickson and Audrey McGinnis of Lolo and Kalispell and Daniel Erickson and his wife Yeardley Smith of Pacific Palisades, Calif.; two sisters, Lorraine Steinmetz of Cheyenne, Wyo., and Irma Jean Tweedy and husband Bill of Cut Bank; a brother, J.R. "Roger" and wife Bea Erickson of Havre; three grandchildren, Zachary Erickson and Donovan and April McKinney; and several nieces and nephews.
Fred was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Donald Erickson of Chinook.
Fred was born Oct. 2, 1931, in Rolla, N.D., to Fred L. and Hertha (Banse) Erickson. The family moved to Chinook in 1944, and Fred graduated from Chinook High School in 1950. While in high school, Fred joined the National Guard, and later graduated from Officers Training School with the rank of lieutenant.
He attended Northern Montana College in Havre and Kinman Business School in Spokane, Wash. In 1950, Fred went to work for the Continental Insurance Co. in the crop insurance division. He later joined Crop Hail Management in Great Falls and in Kalispell, and traveled in 22 states. In 1981, Fred formed his own company, Western Crop Insurance, in Great Falls.
Fred and Billie Noyes Mortensen were married in Great Falls in 1959. They later divorced but got back together; Billie was a caregiver for Fred during his illnesses (congestive heart failure, diabetes and non-Hodgkins lymphoma).
Fred and his family enjoyed camping and fishing, touring Montana's old mining camps and panning for sapphires. One of Fred's joys was cooking, and he loved to fix the big meals on holidays, when he would make pecan pies and homemade rolls from his mother's recipe. Fred and Billie made candy for the Christmas season for many years. All the family looked forward to enjoying that.
Condolences may be sent online to

Published in Great Falls Tribune on Nov. 8, 2006