Dale Bruce Erickson, 91
November 23, 1929-October 9, 2021
Dale Bruce Erickson, 91, of Sidney, Montana left his family and friends on Saturday morning, Oct. 9, 2021 to be greeted by family and friends who had gone before him and were eagerly awaiting his arrival on the other side. His family will miss him.
Dale was born on a farm near Mohall, North Dakota on Nov. 23, 1929 to Luverna (Porter) and Louis Richard Erickson. His sister, Hazel, who was 6 years old at the time, was sure the doctor brought him in that black bag he carried.
He grew up on the farm, attending school in Mohall through the eighth grade. He opted out of high school to “get on with his life”.
He worked for various farmers in the area, eventually getting a job working for a water weller. It was then that he discovered his love for drilling.
On Dec. 10, 1951 Dale entered the United States Army. He served as lead gunner on the 98th Parallel (front line) on a 155mm Howitzer. He said the barrel of the gun was 22 feet long and could shoot up to 20 miles. It was one of only 11 in existence at that time. He fought in Korea until cease fire was called on July 27, 1953. He was honorably discharged on Dec. 24, 1953. He earned several medals and was even sent a medal from the President of South Korea, thanking him for doing his part in liberating and saving the country of South Korea from communism. Dale had nightmares about Korea until the very end.
Upon returning from Korea, he worked seismograph then went to Seattle to work for Boeing Air as a forklift and crane operator. City life was just not “his can of beer”. He jumped at the chance to come back to the oil field and never regretted his decision.
On Memorial Day of 1959, he met Susan Jane (Susie) Ferch in Circle, Montana. They were married on July 6, 1959 in Greybull, Wyoming. They tolerated each other for the next 62 plus years. Maybe less, as Dale worked away from home...a lot!
Their first seven years were spent traveling with an oil company. In 1962, they welcomed daughter, Darla Dale, born in Sidney and in 1963 son, Guy, (Darol Bruce) was born in New Castle, Wyoming. In 1966 the family increased by three when Susie’s parents died and Dale and Susie were happily granted guardianship of her younger siblings Lawrie Jo Fritz, Ronald Lee Fritz and Robin Ray Fritz. They fit into the family like they had always been there. Later two more babies completed the family, Danny James in 1967 and Kristal Dawn in 1971.
In 1968 the family moved to Sidney and it has been home ever since. Dale and Susie started their own drilling company in the early 70s.
During his life he had many best friends, too many to mention by name. But Melvin Stamp and Dennis Swenson were the closest and longest lasting. They were closer than most brothers.
Through the years Dale was plagued by many health problems. He had many heart stents, bypass surgeries and aortic valve replacement. He had prostate cancer, skin cancer, hernias and very bad bunions, terrible arthritis and a pacemaker. Dale was like that “un-named watch”, he took a lickin’ and kept on tickin’. Near the end, he developed a form of dementia but even though he had a hard time with names, he could remember every hole he had ever drilled and where each and every one of them
Dale is survived by his wife, Susan Jane; his children, “Guy” Darol Bruce Erickson, Danny James, Erickson, Robin Ray (Cindy) Fritz, Darla Dale (Daniel) Schiff, Kristal Dawn (Joe) Renders, Lawrie Joe (Robert) Meisner; his grandchildren, Danielle Jo (Schiff) Bousquet (Kyle), Dustin Dale (Jennie) Renders, Bradley Joseph (McKyla) Renders, Shane DeRouen, Carmen (Fritz) Sundheim (Eric), Kayla (Fritz) Bridgewaters (Glen), Lindsy (Fritz) Olson (Chris), Derek Fritz, Robert Meisner, Tony Meisner(Tricia); his great grandchildren, “Gobbler Goo 1” Kayden Bousquet, “Gobbler Goo 2” Braxton Bousquet, “Kubodhi” Bodhi Ray, Kaden Sundheim, Karlee Sundheim, Penny Sue Bridgewaters, “Gobbler 1” Tucker Olson, “Gobbler 2” Asher Olson, Kyle Meisner, Hunter Meisner, Devyn Meisner, Kacie Meisner, Dakota Meisner, Savanah Meisner, Anthony Meisner, Mason Meisner, and Rylee Meisner; his daughter-in-law, Lori Nicodemus Fritz; and his beloved dog, Daisey Mae.
He was preceded in death by.....just about everyone, including: Dale’s son, Ronald Lee Fritz; siblings, Robert (Audrey) Erickson, Roy (Reta) Erickson, Donald (Betty) Erickson, Earl (Raylene) Erickson, Hazel (Olaf) Locken; his beloved pets, Tiger (Goosedog) and Dakota Bird Dawg.
A very special thank you to Dr. Kessler, Marcy, and Jacquie — You know he loved ya. Thanks as well to the entire staff at Sidney Health Center, Sidney Cancer Care Center, and staff at The Clinic Pharmacy and Reynold’s Market — you all held a special place in his heart and we appreciate you all.
A Celebration of Life for Dale will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021 at the Sidney Elks Lodge in Sidney under the care of the Fulkerson-Stevenson Funeral Home of Sidney. Visitation will be on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the funeral home and an hour before services at the Elks Lodge.
Dale had a deep compassion for the less fortunate, so in lieu of flowers, it is suggested that donations be made to your favorite animal rescue, Feed the Children or any charity of your choice, in his memory.Remembrances, condolences and pictures may be shared with the family at www.fulkersons.com.