Wendell Erickson

Wendell Erickson, 93, Hills, died Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018, at Avera McKennan Hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

A funeral service will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 18, at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Hills. Burial will follow at Flowerfield Cemetery in Hills. Visitation will be from 3-8 p.m. with family present from 5-8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 17, at the Jurrens Funeral Home in Hills. In lieu of flowers memorials may be designated to the Wendell and Kathryn Erickson Scholarship Fund at 105 N. Water Ave., Hills, MN 56138.

Wendell Oliver Erickson was born June 17, 1925, to  Raymond and Helen (Anderson) Erickson at Stanchfield. He graduated from Braham High School in 1943. Wendell joined the U.S. Army Infantry in 1944 and served in the Pacific theater. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Minnesota in 1951.

In 1953 he married Kathryn Ann Thorsgard. He taught vocational agriculture and adult farm management for the Hills school district, later Hills-Beaver Creek, for many years. He also served as FFA adviser, 4-H leader, and as a volunteer for the Rock County Fair. He later joined the adjunct faculty at Southwest Minnesota State University in the political science department and taught classes in state and local government for 10 years.

Wendell was elected to the Minnesota State House of Representatives in 1964 and served 11 two-year terms, representing Rock County as well as parts of Lincoln, Lyon, Murray, Nobles, and Pipestone counties at various times as the district changed.

During his 22 years in the legislature he was always on agriculture and education-related committees, along with a variety of others. He served as chair of several House committees, including Education, Higher Education, and the Education Division of Appropriations.  After his time in the legislature, he was elected to the Hills-Beaver Creek School Board, and later served as a Rock County commissioner.

Wendell was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, then Bethlehem Lutheran Church, for decades and was active in the congregation throughout his life. He taught Sunday school for many years and served on the church council.

He is survived by his wife, Kathryn; five children, Margaret, Kirsten (Patrick Anderson), Charles (Naomi Erickson), Anna (Michael Gilman), and Hans (Susan Green), four grandsons and four granddaughters; and his brother Charles.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Kenneth Erickson, and his sister Ramona Nelson.

Arrangements were provided by Jurrens Funeral Home of Hills, jurrensfuneralhome.com.

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