Duane Erickson, 71, of Havre, devoted husband, father and grandfather, died of natural causes Tuesday, May 2, 2006.
No funeral service will be held, but the family requests people to attend the Vets Club of Havre for a memorial luncheon Friday at 1 p.m.
Born on the family farm, near Parshall, N.D., Duane learned independence and self-reliance at an early age. He gave freely and willingly to his country, family and his many friends. He had a love for life, sense of humor and a rare ability to get more out of people than they thought they could give.
As a member of the military, Duane served as a radio operator and a transport driver during the Korean War and was always proud of his service.
Upon return from Korea, Duane met Mary Burchard, and they married in 1956. They settled in Havre and raised their four children. They owned and operated South Gate Texaco and then Duane's Auto Repair.
When Duane was young, he loved to race cars, fish and hunt. Over the years, he taught himself how to play the guitar and harmonica, was an avid reader, and loved to camp with his family and friends. He eventually fulfilled one of his lifelong dreams and received his pilot license and purchased his plane. Duane loved to use his hands and his mind and had a gift for fixing anything that moved. If he didn't have it, he made it.
In 1978, Duane married Skip Whinnen. They survived the many trials, tribulations and celebrations of raising a combined family, and they continued operating Duane's Auto Repair, where he eventually retired. After retirement, Duane and Skip began to winter in Arizona. They were devoted to each other and shared 28 meaningful years together.
Duane was preceded in death by his mother, Gertrude Erickson; father, Erick Erickson; sisters, Helen, Doris and Lee Ella; and brother, Kenneth.
Survivors include his wife, Janice (Skip) Erickson; sisters, Edith Bushore and Deloris Skahill; daughters, Carleen Primm and fiance Tim, Lora (Larry) Enger; stepdaughter, D'Juana (Ken) Cushing; sons, Kelly Erickson and Tom (Diane) Erickson; stepson Ed (Heidi) Hill; 12 grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Bear Paw Hospice, 30 West 13th St., Havre, MT 59501, or to Peace Hospice, 1101 26th St. S., Great Falls, MT 59405.
Services and arrangements were entrusted to Holland & Bonine Funeral Home.