April 11, 1945-Dec. 15, 2003

WALLA WALLA - Verdie B. Erickson, 58, a retired commercial airline pilot, of Walla Walla, died Monday, Dec. 15, 2003, as the result of an experimental airplane crash near Helix.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday in the chapel at Herring Funeral Home, 315 W. Alder, in Walla Walla.

Mr. Erickson was born April 11, 1945, at Bisbee, N.D., to Verdie and Ethel Grande Erickson. He grew up at Bisbee, graduated from Bisbee High School and from North Dakota University at Fargo, N.D.

He served with the Air Force for 11 years including a tour of duty as a pilot in Vietnam. He was employed as a commercial airline pilot with Continental Airlines and in the Walla Walla area with Cascade Airlines. He retired from Continental in 1990.

He moved to the Walla Walla area in 1991 and on May 11, 1991, married Jimmye Angell at Milton-Freewater.

His passions were family and friends, flying, organic gardening, gourmet cooking, and helping people. He was a master craftsman and volunteered his talents and time with Blue Mountain Action Council building homes for those needing shelter.

He was a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association.

Survivors include his wife, Jimmye Angell Erickson at the home; daughters, Darcie Nelson and husband, Craig, and Erin Swanson and husband, Jim, all of Boise; a stepdaughter, Jennifer Winters of Seattle; sisters, Gloria Fix of Brunswick, Ga., Norma Robinson of Seattle, and Betty Neameyer of Fargo, N.D.; grandchildren, Tea Lee Nelson, Kimber Ann Nelson, Renna Skye Nelson, and Elaina Swanson; several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents.

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