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Vernon Ardell Erickson
September 6, 1920 ~ September 21, 2023 (age 103) 103 Years Old
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MSG Vernon A Erickson (retired) died peacefully in his sleep on the morning of September 21, 2023 at 103 years old. Just days before his departure he was still walking every day and flashing that million dollar smile and shaking the hands of people he met. Vernon was born on September 6, 1920 to Iver and Olive Gjevre in Hoople, North Dakota. He was proud of his Norwegian roots and the Norwegian farming community he grew up in. Through the end of his life he would say the way he grew up, and those were not easy times and the climate could be very harsh, was the best ever.
Duty and patriotism called for Vernon and he quickly joined the Army once WWII was underway. That was much to the regret of International Harvester who offered him 3 deferments so he would stay.He was a decorated war veteran who served in the European theater of WWII from Sep 1942 until February 1945 and he also served two tours in Vietnam, 1968 and 1970.He truly loved the leadership, discipline, camaraderie, resilience, adaptability, life-long friendships and the travel all afforded by a long military career.
At his last duty station he began preparing for his 2nd career which was a return to his first love, the love of the land, by buying land. Over the next 50 years he raised beef cows (at its peak he had a herd of 100) and Arabian horses.
Graveside services with full military honors will be held Friday, September 29, 2023 at 1:30 pm ET at Ft. Mitchell National Cemetery, Ft. Mitchell, Alabama.
He was predeceased by his parents Iver and Olive Gjevre and his brothers Leo Bernie Erickson (Medford, OR) and Orlin Leroy Erickson (Santa Clara, CA).
He is survived by his loving wife of 72 years, Dollie Hayes Erickson. Two daughters Sharon Erickson Tims of Leesville, LA and Angela Erickson Allen (Daniel) of Martinez, GA. Two grandsons Ryan Duff of Augusta, GA and Rhett Allen (Alexis) of Machida, Japan. One great-grandson Nero Allen of Machida, Japan
A final tidbit, my dad remained active throughout his life and always kept his weight in check. Wait for it…….the Golden Corral in Dothan, Alabama provided their main meal for nearly 20 solid years once they hit their vintage years!
In lieu of flowers, only limited flowers are allowed at the national cemetery and then they are quickly removed since the deer wreck havoc with them once the national cemetery closes, nothing would please him more than to have you commit to a short exercise plan in his memory. He always wanted to get people moving and he’d say you can wear out or rust out he preferred to wear out and he did! If not, a modest donation to one of the many good charities supporting our military veterans would be a good choice.