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Duane Erikson, 87 - December 16, 2011

Duane Orval Erikson, 87, of rural Arnold passed away Friday, Dec. 16, 2011, at Hilltop Estates in Gothenburg.
Services were conducted at the Evangelical Free Church of Gothenburg on Tuesday, Dec. 20, with the Revs. Rick Rehmert, Victor Krag and Irv Jennings officiating. Burial took place at the Tallin Cemetery at Arnold.
Erikson was born Oct. 8, 1924, on his family farm at Tallin Table south of Arnold to Martin and Hazel (Cole) Erikson, an only child. He grew up farming and ranching.
He attended rural grade school at District 240 and graduated from Arnold High School in 1942 where he was active in music. After high school, he continued working on the family farm and ranch, never wanting to do anything else, according to family members.
On Sept. 1, 1948, he married Norma Oman. Three children were born to this union.
Erikson believed in improving the land and received awards in conservation, Eco farming and grassland management. He respected the land and marveled at God’s creation, said family members.
He enjoyed music and played the saxophone as well as several string instruments, family members said. He participated in various vocal groups continuing on the family tradition of music.
Erikson also liked to read of the pioneers and early history of the West, and enjoyed telling of the old days and of life during the depression when his father saved the farm, said family members.
?He was fond of horses and always had a good horse, family members said. He helped relatives and friends with work and cattle drives. He considered his aunts and uncles as brothers and sisters, spending much time with them on cattle drives. His first cattle drive was at age 4 when his uncle threw him in his saddle.
Erikson had served on the election board for Elim Precinct for 50 years, the school board for over 20 years, church treasurer for 20 years and the ASC board for 10 years. He was also involved as a leader in 4-H groups and active with the youth of the community.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Martin and Hazel.
Survivors include: his wife of 63 years, Norma; sons—Dan of Salinas, CA, and Bruce of Denver, CO; a daughter, Lori (Greg) Sorensen of Lincoln; numerous relatives and friends.
Memorials are suggested to the Tallin Cemetery Fund or to the family for future designation.