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Devils Lake Journal - Devils Lake, ND
  • OBIT: Curtis R. Erickstad

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  • Curtis R. Erickstad, 84, died on Monday, September 3, 2012 at his home in Devils Lake, ND, in the loving care of his family and Mercy Hospice. Funeral services for Curtis will be held on Saturday, September 8 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Olaf Lutheran Church, Devils Lake, with burial in the Devils Lake Cemetery. Military honors will be accorded by the Neathery-Simensen Post #756, Devils Lake Veterans of Foreign Wars and the North Dakota Military Funeral Honors Team. Visitation will be held at the Gilbertson Funeral Home, Devils Lake, on Friday from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. and visitation on Saturday will be at the church one hour prior to the funeral service. Curtis was born at Devils Lake on June 29, 1928 to Albert and Inga (Siversen) Rushfeldt. His mother, Inga, died of scarlet fever before he was one year old. He was later adopted by Bertha (sister of Albert Rushfeldt) and Gunder Erickstad. Gunder died of encephalitis when Curtis was 13. He grew up on a farm southwest of Starkweather, ND, and in Starkweather, where he graduated from high school in 1946. He enlisted in the US Air Force at Los Angeles, CA in August of 1946 and was honorably discharged July of 1949 with the rank of Sergeant. While stationed at Selfridge Field MI in July of 1948 he served as a crew chief on the first all-jet crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. Operation “Fox Able One” started at Selfridge Field and ended at Furstenfeldbruck, Germany. After leaving the Air Force he returned to Starkweather and began farming in that area. On October 17, 1953 he and Yvonne Marie Hall, daughter of Orrin and Dora Hall, were married at Trinity Lutheran Church in Starkweather. They raised three sons and three daughters. He loved his family and he loved farming. He retired from farming the fall of 1993 and went directly to work for the new Wal-Mart store in Devils Lake helping with the completion of the interior of the store. When the store opened he worked unloading trucks and stocking shelves. He enjoyed working there and especially liked the people he worked with. He was forced to retire from his work there because of failing health in Feb. of 2004. In the mid 70’s Curt and his son Steve took flying lessons from Dan Wakefield, each of them earned their private flying license and Curt joined the Devils Lake Flying Club. He enjoyed hunting and hand loading and after leaving the farm bought a scroll saw and taught himself how to use it. Curtis was an active member of Trinity-Bergen Church at Starkweather serving at different times in the choir, on the church board, as Sunday School Superintendent and on building and maintenance projects. He also helped with the Lutefisk suppers. He sang with a men’s quartet for many funerals and special events at Trinity-Bergen. He also served on the Starkweather School Board and Fire Department Board. He and his wife bought a house in Devils Lake and moved there in March of 1996. At this time they transferred their church membership to St. Olaf. He is survived by his wife, Vonnie; daughters, Joy Jennings, St. Petersburg, FL, Linda Rosselot, West Chester, OH, Cheryl Kopec (Mike) Landenberg, PA; and sons, Paul, Bremerton, WA, Steve (Barb), Bemidji, MN and Todd (Natalie), Devils Lake; grandchildren, Curtis Minette, Erica Panter, Nathan, Danielle, Ben, Michelle and Marcie Erickstad, Morgan, Erin and Lane Rosselot and Tessa Gibson; five great-grandchildren, Felicity, Aubrey and Gage Erickstad, Lena Minette and Bailey Pitmon; and mother in law, Dora Hall, Sequim, WA. He was preceded in death by his parents; three sisters and their husbands, Geraldine and Merle Sande, Genevieve and Mel Meling and Bonnie Jean and Robert McKay; daughter- in-law, Susan Blake and two sons-in-law, Robert Gibson and James Rosselot. Gilbertson Funeral Home, Devils Lake, is in charge of arrangements.

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