Posted 12/15/10 (Wed)
Della Erickson, 71, of Watford City, N.D., passed away after a short illness at the McKenzie County Memorial Hospital, with her family at her side Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010. Funeral services were held at 2:00 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, 2010, at First Lutheran Church in Watford City. Pastor Chris Montgomery and Intern Pastor Rob Favorite officiated, and interment followed at Clear Creek Cemetery. Friends may share memories and condolences with the family online at www.fulkersons.com.
Della Mae (Olson) Erickson was born in Richardton, N.D., to Lela (Mount) and Helmer Olson on Jan. 14, 1939, the second of three children. She was raised in the Lutheran faith and confirmed at Clear Creek Lutheran, Keene, N.D.
She grew up near Keene and attended school in Watford City. Della Mae graduated from Watford City High School in 1957, and went on to attend Concordia College and Minot Teacher College.
On Nov. 17, 1961, Della Mae married Duane Daryl “Swede” Erickson at First Lutheran in Watford City. To this union, three children were born: Leann, Lori and Dean. During their marriage together, they lived in the following towns in North Dakota: Watford City, Tioga, and Westhope. Then, in 1969, the family moved to Cut Bank, Mont.; in 1974, to Havre, Mont.; and in 1981, to Gillette, Wyo. Daryl and Della Mae retired in 2006, and moved back to Watford City.
During her life, Della Mae held many jobs. She worked as a kindergarten teacher at First Lutheran Church in Williston, at the Havre Day Activity Center with mentally handicapped adults in Havre, Mont., a job coach with BOESES in Gillette, Wyo., and as an aide in special education at Paintbrush Elementary School in Gillette. She enjoyed being a Girl Scout Leader and 4-H Leader while living in Montana. She was a member of the Blue Blade Homemakers in Gillette, Wyo.
She was always there for her family and friends. Della Mae would travel many miles to attend weddings, funerals, music concerts, basketball, football, hockey games, and figure skating competitions of family members. She enjoyed helping out on the Olson farm. During harvest, spring planting, or any other time she would be there to bring a tasty meal or run for parts.
Della Mae was a caregiver and could often be found taking care of her great-nieces and great-nephews. Her greatest joy was traveling back to Gillette to take care of her great-granddaughter, Kiera.
Della Mae was never one to be found sitting still unless reading a book. She was a member of the book club and participated in quilting at First Lutheran Church. She delivered Meals on Wheels and played Pinochle. She spent her summers at Hart Ranch near Rapid City, S.D., camping and playing card games with her friends. She was there to help her daughters and grandchildren whenever needed.
She was always ready to take pictures of family, friends and scenery. Her artistic talents were not limited to photography. Della Mae could paint, quilt, embroidery, rosemaling, cross stitch, and holiday cooking. She was always looking for a new craft to learn and share. She was never one to give up.
Della Mae is survived by her husband, Daryl, of Watford City; two daughters, Leann Erickson of Watford City and Lori (George) Cooper of Gillette, Wyo.; three grandchildren, Jake Cooper and Jason Cooper, both of Gillette, and Krystle Folland of Albuquerque, N.M.; great-granddaughter, Kiera Cooper of Gillette; sister, Elaine (Gene) Fedorenko of Watford City; sister-in-law, Charlene Olson of Keene; nieces, Teri (Tim) Taylor of Watford City and Julie Fedorenko of Phoenix, Ariz.; and nephews, Jim (Lori) Fedorenko of Grand Forks, N.D., Wayne (Rita) Olson of Watford City, Doug (Annette) Olson of Keene, Todd (Karla) Olson of Sheridan, Wyo., and Scott (Loni) Olson of Devils Lake, N.D.; three great-nephews and five great-nieces.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Lela and Helmer Olson; one brother, Harley Olson; and a son, Dean Erickson.