Mona Erickson passed away Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2011, at Marquis Suites in Butte, Mont., from natural causes at the age of 94.
A memorial service will be held at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Butte at 10:30 a. m., Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011, with Father Toles officiating. Wayrynen-Richards Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Mona was born April 22, 1917, in Bolton Lancashire, England, to John and Alice Lomax. Her father was away in the Army during World War I at the time of her birth. Mona and her brother, Jack, were raised when times were hard in England between the world wars and during the Depression. Her mother worked long hours in the cotton mill and money was tight, but her Grandfather Peter used to give her a penny every Saturday to attend the picture show. In 1939, when she was in her 20s, a friend asked her to go to the little town of Radcliffe to a party that would provide teas and food, which was a treat. It was at that party that she met Leonard Arthur Erickson, who was with the American Air Force officers. During World War II, it was common to be in service or work in some war-related job, so Mona did her service in an airplane factory in Blackpool. Leonard had stayed in touch with her during this time and while he was stateside on leave in Butte. She was surprised to learn that he was back flying and was stationed at Watton, England, and this was the beginning of a lifelong romance. After the atom bomb was dropped and the war was over, Mona got a letter from Leonard in Florida asking if she would move to America and be his wife. She left England with one suitcase and boarded a plane eventually bound for Butte where Leonard’s family was waiting for her.
Mona and Leonard were married on June 2, 1946, at the Congregational Church on Floral Park Boulevard in Butte. Leonard had bought the Courthouse Grocery on Granite Street in 1945, and they lived upstairs for the first few years of their marriage. Leonard and Mona sold the Courthouse Grocery in 1947 and purchased Len’s Foods at 1101 Utah St., Butte. They had three children. Leonard and Mona owned and operated that business for 33 years until Leonard’s retirement in 1980. Occasionally Mona worked as a clerk and was often referred to as the “English lady. ” They lived at 2263 West Drive until 1967 when they moved to 3434 Quincy and then to Aspen Way in 1997.
Mona is survived by her husband of 66 years, Leonard of Butte; her son. Max (Cindy) Erickson of Havre; her daughter, Leslie (Bob) Whalen of Billings; and her daughter, Laurel (Bill) Egan of Butte. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Benjamin and Michael Erickson, Matthew (Nicole) Whalen, Amy (Ryan) Helgeson, Katie Whalen, Ryan (Erin) Egan, Haley Egan and Allison Egan; and one great-grandchild Parker Whalen.
Mona was preceded in death by her parents, John and Alice; and her brother, Jack.
Mona was a member of British Wives, P.E. O., Butte Country Club and was a member of St. John’s Episcopal Church for more than 50 years. She enjoyed her children and grandchildren’s activities and sporting events.
Memorials can be sent to the Butte YMCA or to the charity of one’s choice.