Vernon Erickson

Vernon L. Erickson

Wednesday, January 29th, 2020
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Vernon Lyle Erickson passed away peacefully on January 29th from multiple myeloma.

Born and raised in Missoula, Vern lived life to the fullest and all who knew him benefitted by his love of life, family and friends. When diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2003, he embraced the gift of life and challenge with hope and a positive attitude providing inspiration to all who had the good fortune to know him. He was the best husband, dad, grandpa and friend, always present with quick wit and laughter. His grandchildren wrote their college entrance essays about his incredible inspiration.

Vern was a quiet leader, never seeking attention or limelight. In addition to being a Missoula firefighter, retiring as Battalion Chief, he served 30 years as a lobbyist for Montana Paid Firefighters. Highlights included co-authoring their pension plan. Vern took great pride in his ability to work effectively with all and gained respect from legislators throughout the State. He was instrumental in passing legislation to change the medical statutes to enable a Foreign Medical Graduate of Eminence to practice within their subspecialty. This enabled world-renowned cardiac surgeon, Carlos M.G. Duran, MD, PhD to be licensed and to establish in Missoula The International Heart Institute of Montana Foundation (a University of Montana and Saint Patrick Hospital venture).

Vern was a humble and gifted individual with the ability to work with his hands and create masterful projects; his artful remodel of the family’s Lindbergh Lake cabin was but one example. He loved to cook and his spaghetti, meatloaf and chili will be missed! Vern had a genuine passion for the outdoors, hunting and fishing. He loved music, travel and most of all, spending time with his family.

Vern was preceded in death by his parents Roy and Irene Erickson.

He is survived by Carole, wife of 59 years; three children: Brent Erickson (Kristine), Kari Paul (Mike) and Karen Bellaire (David); 5 loving grandchildren: Christopher Bellaire (Genevieve), Laura Bellaire (Dan), Alec Erickson, Madison and Sydnee Paul; Sisters Vivian and Diane Erickson; brother Ron Erickson and countless friends worldwide.

Vern was the wind beneath our wings and guiding light always encouraging us to reach for our dreams.

Our family extends heartfelt gratitude to Drs. Stephen Speckart, Alan Thomas , Kevin Sheehan and the Montana Cancer Center oncology team for their many years of loving care and support as well as Saint Patrick Hospital 5 North nurses and Silver Team.

A Celebration of Life will be held for Vern at the Garden City Funeral Home on April 25th at 11:00am. A reception will immediately follow. A private family burial will take place thereafter.

The family requests memorials be made to the Montana Cancer Center to assist patients in need of financial support in their fight against cancer (c/o Providence Montana Health Foundation, PO Box 4587, Missoula, MT 59806) or to a charity of the donor’s choosing.
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Service Details

  • Service

    Saturday, April 25th, 2020 | 11:00am
    Saturday, April 25th, 2020 11:00am
    Garden City Funeral Home & Crematory
    1705 West Broadway
    MISSOULA, MT 59808
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
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