Cover photo for Gerald Erickson's Obituary
Gerald Erickson Profile Photo
1936 Gerald 2009

Gerald Erickson

November 2, 1936 — October 28, 2009

Gerald #8220;Jerry#8221; Ivar Erickson passed away at home with his family at his side on Wednesday, October 28, 2009, after a year long battle with cancer. He leaves his wife, Sharon Henderson Erickson; his children, Arthur, Amanda (Thom) and Eric; and his brother, Richard. Jerry started out this life in Seattle, Washington, born on November 2, 1936, to Arthur and Ellen Erickson. He attended Seattle University on a music scholarship (was 1st trumpet in the Seattle Civic Symphony at age 17) and studied art and philosophy, focusing on painting and drawing. He graduated cum laude in 1958. After school and a stint working as an illustrator, he took his steady hand and applied to medical school. He met his wife, Sharon, at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, Oregon, where he was a resident and she a Registered Nurse. After receiving a degree in Ophthalmology, he was in private practice for 5 years in Bremerton, WA, and then went into the military where there was a great need for good surgeons and where he could fulfill his dream to fly. He became a Flight Surgeon for Air Rescue and Recovery Services, USAF, and flew regularly which he loved. He rose through the ranks to full Colonel and ultimately became Medical Group Commander at Columbus AFB, Mississippi, and RAF Upper Heyford, England. The military enabled him and his family to travel and make lifelong friends all over the world. Upon retirement, Jerry and Sharon and Eric settled in Sharon#8217;s hometown of Bozeman, Montana. He enjoyed the Montana outdoors and took on leadership in Eric#8217;s boy scout troop acting as Scout Master of Troop 676 and receiving the Order of the Arrow for his contributions of time and energy. He was also a Dad advisor to the Ross C. Jensen Chapter of Demolay and a member of the Bozeman Noon Rotary. In 2008, Jerry went on a mission to Mexico, helping underserved populations get eye exams and fitted with donated eyeglasses. Jerry kept fit and young at the Ash#8217;s Okinawan Karate dojo where he was Inspirational Adult Student of the Year and was working toward his green belt. The dojo recently awarded Jerry an honorary black belt. Jerry was a very active member of Masonic Gallatin Lodge #6 and was recently installed as Worshipful Master. He loved singing in the choir at Christ the King Lutheran Church where he is member. Jerry loved reading and politics and a good debate. He enjoyed contributing memorable letters to the editor that appeared in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. He had a deep love for this country and took pride in his service. He continued painting and drawing his whole life which was a great outlet for a very creative mind. He was a loving husband and father with a wry sense of humor that will be sorely missed. He is preceded in death by his parents and his in-laws, Carroll and Vera Henderson. Funeral services will be held at Christ the King Lutheran Church, 4383 Durston Rd in Bozeman, at 11 AM on Saturday, October 31 with visitation before the service from 10:00 am to 10:45 am; internment will be at Sunset Hills Cemetery with military and Masonic rites. A memorial reception at the church will follow. Donations may be made in his name to the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge, 411 2nd St NW, Rochester, MN, 55901 and to Christ the King Lutheran Church.

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