Cover photo for Lila C. Erickson's Obituary
Lila C. Erickson Profile Photo
1936 Lila 2024

Lila C. Erickson

September 3, 1936 — April 16, 2024

Lila C. Erickson, age 87, a homemaker and resident of Terra Bella, California, passed away on Tuesday, April 16, 2024.

A Celebration of life for family and friends will be held at her home on Saturday May 25, 2024 from 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM.

A second Celebration of life will be held at the Free Church Cemetery in Wilton, North Dakota on Saturday, June 22, 2024 at 11:30 AM, followed by lunch at the Free Church in Wilton, North Dakota.

Lila is survived by her husband John Erickson of 67 years, her daughter Marie Erickson, Porterville CA, daughter-in-law Janell Erickson, Shepherd MT and their four grandchildren, Erin, Evan, Erika and Ellery and her grandson Brandon Erickson, her brother Merrill (Connie) Piepkorn, Fargo, North Dakota, her sister Lenora (Bill) Weinerth, Ventura, California, and sister Janet Hayes, Riverton, Wyoming.

She is preceded in death by her brothers Don Piepkorn, Clarence Piepkorn, and Leroy Piepkorn. She grieved the loss of her two sons Elwood Erickson and Marshall Erickson.


The following memories were written by Lila herself on December 2017

I have been writing some of my life memories down and found it very difficult to do. I heard recently that everyone should do this even if no one reads it, so this is my excuse for doing what I have just finished.

Love, Lila

Memories By and of Lila Corrine Erickson

I was born in the farm house five or so miles South West of Stanley, North Dakota on September 3, 1936. I was the fourth child born to Herman and Olga Hoaas Piepkorn and the first daughter followed by two little sisters and a brother which completed our family of seven. (Don, Clarence, LeRoy, Lila, Janet, Lenora and Merrill.)

Mrs. Tweet helped deliver me. She also baby sat for mom and dad and I recall the smell of her cupboard when I was creeping on her kitchen floor. One day, when I was about five, dad and I were in her yard in our model A car. The door sprung open and I fell out. Both dad and Mrs. Tweet were worried but I was unscathed.

Growing up in rural North Dakota was a happy and busy time. Mom and dad kept us involved in church,4-H, school activities, YCL, and for me, piano lessons for seven years. My Piano teacher, Sybill McDonald, had me sing sometimes. Janet and Lenora just reminded me that I won a talent contest in Stanley once by singing Detour there's a muddy road ahead at the outdoor band stand in downtown Stanley.

When in high school I played piano for the first church service every Sunday morning and sang in the choir at the second service. At five o'clock every other week we had Luther League and went to the movies afterwards.

In the winter we would take our sleds and slide down this one steep hill in Stanley. After school many evenings I would play on the monkey bars. I loved swinging, hanging and twisting on them.

My bucket list was not very long but what I did was rather awesome when I think about it. I climbed to the top of the highest mountain in the continental USA two times. The first time we did it in one day. This usually takes at least two days and more often than not, three.

Marie signed me up for this adventure plus giving me a month long trip to Sumatra where we both sang at a wedding reception in Sumatra. We body surfed in the South China Sea, went snorkeling in the Indian

Ocean and saw the New Year celebration in Singapore. We rode a truly rickety train to Malaysia, where much of our floor tiles are made. I saw smaller tiles being made in Mexico which were truly beautiful.

John lined up a trip to Ireland one year and we love that country. We saw where they make the Waterford crystal, herding sheep up the narrow roads, castles and pubs.

I have been to Norway and Sweden twice and saw Grandma Hoaas's house in an outdoor museum in Trondheim, Norway.

Hiking to the top of Mount Sinai on a day when it snowed for the first time in ten years was for sure memorable. We started out in the dark so we could see the sun rise. They put us on camels and after an hour ride, made us dismount because they said it was too dangerous for the animals. I wrote out the Ten Commandments and left them on top just for the fun of it. We have been to Egypt twice and Israel three times. The first time on our way into Egypt from Israel John and I had armed guards in our van with jeeps in front and back of us plus a helicopter overhead. I would not do that again. The second time we flew into Cairo with a tour group. While in Jordan we toured Petra, the hidden city and one of the Seven Wonders of the World. This is truly an awesome place. Before going to Israel the first time I brought my hiking boots and walked to the top of Masada, while the rest took a gondola. From the top you can look down on the Dead Sea, which we took a float in. (You can't sink in that salt water) When Marie went with us one time to Israel she hiked both up and down Masada in record time.

One thing I wanted to do was hike across Liechtenstein which is between Germany and Sweden. Janet, Lenora and I did that on a very hot day in June the 29, 2010.

John was our water guy. I heard it was the smallest country in the world but that is not so.

Janet, Lenora, John and I took in the Passion Play in Oberammergau which is presented every ten years. We hiked up to the Neuschwanstein castle built by King Ludvig II, a rather insane ruler, who drown in his lake accidentally,(never proved) before he could further bankrupt Germany by building another castle. I have visited Germany a couple of times. Our grandfather Robert Piepkorn immigrated from northern Germany. Yes, I have been to many places, hiked many roads, ridden my horses many miles, won a few endurance races on Dreamer and of all places I say there is no place like home for the holidays or any day. There is no place like family and some things most enjoyable sharing in the lives of our three children, Marie, Elwood and Marshall, five grandchildren and learning to know our five great grandchildren.

I like working outside with the planting of trees and flowers, feeling the warm California sunshine-making awesome friends in church and this community. We enjoy spending winters in CA. Being with Marie, and Brandon, Dana, Troy and Logan, not too far from Lenora and Janet, being able to stop in Billings at Elwood and Janell's, keeping in touch with Erika, Ellery, Evan and Erin and family.

John and I owned a grade A dairy, put up many bales of hay each summer and managed a beef herd and grain farm. John took flying lessons and we owned two air planes. We took many trips around the USA with them. John handed over the controls to me once on our way to New Orleans. All you have to do is keep up your altitude and speed, right? He took a nap with one eye open. I liked to bike too so did a 150 mile bike trip to Stanley from Wilton one September to visit Dad in the Stanley nursing home. John flew up, we put the bike in the plane so I had a easy ride home. I have had a good life and just wanted my descendants to know a little about Grandma Lila. I wish that I knew more about my grandparents.

For me to live is Christ and to die is gain: Phil 1:22

Another verse I like is, Let this mind be in you which is in Christ Jesus. Phil 2:5

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