David Henry (Skip) Erickson, 67, of Glasgow, Montana, died at home after a tenacious but adventure-filled four-year battle with cancer. His was a life well lived.
Skip was born on May 2, 1948, in Glasgow, Montana, to Douglas and Winnetta Erickson. He grew up in Nashua, Montana, with his parents and four younger sisters. From his early childhood, Skip developed a deep attachment to wildlife and nature.
Skip’s teammates selected him as the captain of the Nashua High School basketball team. He graduated in 1966 as class valedictorian.
Skip enrolled at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, New York, in the summer of 1966, after nomination by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield. As part of his education, Skip spent one year at sea transporting commercial and military cargos to Vietnam and other Asian countries. In 1970, Skip graduated with his bachelor’s degree and as a Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve. Following graduation, Skip sailed the world for three years, ultimately retiring from his maritime career as a ship’s captain.
Skip married Marion Daley in 1968 and they had two children, Rachel and Robert. Skip married Lorinda Carleton in 1988. Throughout his life, Skip was a caring son, brother, husband, father and grandfather.
Skip’s affection for his family and the outdoors brought him back to Glasgow in 1973. For 40 years, Skip was a well-respected insurance and real estate agent at United Insurance and Realty, ultimately becoming an owner of the company.
Skip enjoyed distinguished involvement with his community. Among many other things, at different times Skip acted as the presidents of the Valley County Sportsmen’s Club, Two Rivers Economic Development, the Glasgow/Valley County Planning Board, the Glasgow Rural Development Program, and the Francis Mahon Deaconess Hospital Foundation. In 1994, Governor Marc Racicot appointed Skip as an original member of Montana’s Private Land/Public Wildlife Council. Skip was a 40-year member of the Glasgow Kiwanis Club, arranging countless presentations to the community, which frequently included his own ubiquitous hunting and travel slide shows. In 2015, the Chamber of Commerce presented Skip with its President’s Award.
An avid sportsman, Skip explored and hunted on six continents, but always maintained an affinity for eastern Montana. Throughout his travels, Skip collected a remarkable array of wildlife, photographs, and memories. Skip was a student ““ and later a master teacher ““ of hunting ethics and tactics. Just as he lived his life, Skip consistently hunted the “right” way.
Over the last few years, Skip developed the World Wildlife Experience portion of the Children’s Museum of Northeast Montana, which highlights some of Skip’s more interesting wildlife specimens. More than 130 mammals, fish and reptiles are on display. Skip conducted tours to students and adults, imparting his knowledge of the world’s wildlife and culture.
Skip was a leader for his family, friends and community. He was a talented and entertaining storyteller. Skip created consensus through his wisdom, quick wit and humor. The many people that Skip touched respected and admired him. He lived and died with unsurpassed character.
Skip’s parents preceded him in death. Skip is survived by his wife of 27 years, Lin Erickson; daughter Rachel Erickson (Jeff Larson) of Glasgow; son Rob Erickson (Casey) of Missoula; grandchildren Ryan Larson of Salt Lake City, and Cooper Larson and Sophia Larson of Glasgow; sisters Jacalyn Pippin of Lewistown, Kerry Kittleson of Miles City, Sherry Yager of Wayzata, Minnesota, and Shelly Sommers of Lake City, Minnesota; and nephews and nieces Jennifer McAllister, Chas Zimdars, Josh Kittleson, Kortney Esper, Mataya Yager, and Takira Yager. Skip’s family and friends will sorely miss him.
Skip’s funeral service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 21, 2015, at the Evangelical Church, immediately followed by burial at the Nashua Cemetery with a reception thereafter at the Glasgow Elks Club. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Children’s Museum of Northeast Montana at P.O. Box 369, Glasgow, Montana, 59230, or at nemtchildrensmuseum.org.