Thomas G. Erickson, 67, of Miles City died on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, at his home in Miles City.
Mr. Erickson was born on Feb. 26, 1946, in Norfolk, Va., the son of Thomas and Francis Goff Erickson. He attended Norview Elementary School and Princess Ann High School in Norfolk. Before graduating he quit high school and hitchhiked to California.
He joined the Air Force in 1965. His first order from his Sergeant was to get his GED or dig ditches for the rest of his tour. He got his GED. Mr. Erickson served his country proudly for four years, one year in Germany and one year in Vietnam until he was honorably discharged as a Sergeant at Hamilton Air Force Base in July of 1969.
He and Kathleen Shunk were married on Jan. 1, 1966, at Hamilton Air Force Base. His children, Angela and Tommy, were born while he was still in the service.
Following his discharge, Mr. Erickson tried several fields of employment including furniture mover and insurance salesman. He found his dream job with Greyhound Bus Lines as a driver for 18 years. During that time he established enduring friendships with many drivers that lasted his whole life.
After Kathleen and Tom Erickson divorced in 1972 he transferred to Greyhound in Salt Lake City, Utah.
On Nov. 26, 1973, he and Janet Schied were married in Miles City. His children, Thad and Leigh, were born while they lived in Salt Lake City. The family made the move to Miles City in 1981. Mr. Erickson retired from driving bus for Greyhound in 1988 due to a back injury.
He worked for the United States Department of Veterans Affairs as a driver transporting veterans across the state from 1989 until his second retirement in 1999. During his time with the VA a co-worker convinced him to become a reserve deputy for the Sheriff’s Department. After completing training he got to carry a gun and a badge and drive real fast without worrying who was chasing him.
Mr. Erickson enjoyed driving because he got to be the boss as long as he was in the driver’s seat. He loved cruising, deciding that was the only way to truly vacation. He enjoyed a drink of Jack Daniel’s with a cigarette; and fortunately found the strength to quit both. He never thought he would live long enough to have grandchildren so loved spending time with Ka’tLynn and Joseph whenever possible.
He is survived by his wife: Janet Erickson of Miles City; his two sons: Thomas Michael Erickson of Redding, Calif., and Thad (Naomi) Erickson of Alexandria, Va.; his two daughters: Angela Marie Erickson of Cottonwood, Calif., and Leigh Jennifer Erickson of Miles City; and two grandchildren.
Mr. Erickson was preceded in death by his parents; and his grandparents: Hallie and Thomas Erickson and Eva and John Goff.
Visitation will be Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014, with the family receiving friends from 4 to 6 p.m. at Stevenson and Sons Funeral Home in Miles City. Funeral services will be Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, at 11 a.m. in the First Lutheran Church in Miles City. Interment will be in the Eastern Montana State Veterans Cemetery with full military honors.
Should friends desire, memorials may be made to the Custer County Sheriff’s Department.
Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting: www.stevensonandsons.com.