BALLANTINE — Erica Marie Yurian was born on Oct. 12, 1990, to Mark and Paulette Yurian. Erica spent her young years in Gold Creek, Mont., before returning home to Ballantine and excelling in school and sports at Huntley Project.
Erica was a free spirit, to say the least; she was also a fierce protector of those near and dear to her heart. Those of us who were lucky enough to be close to Erica were guarded over by her and held very close to her heart. One of a kind or one in a million does not do justice to the uniqueness of Erica’s presence. She filled a room with her smile and sparkle in her eye. She had a voracious thirst for knowledge of music and God. Her knowledge of the bible is only rivaled by her vast accounts of music knowledge. Her “street smart” crafty ways of getting things done was one of many admirable qualities this beautiful young woman possessed. Her athletic prowess on the volleyball court was truly something to see. She battled through injuries and other difficulties to rise to a top athlete. After graduating from Huntley Project in 2009, she attended MSUB for one year before taking a position as an administrator in the Denny Menholt body shop. Erica was finding her way in life and was one of those rare people who actually lived in the moment and enjoyed each and every day the good Lord gave her.
Erica loved the Yellowstone Valley and, in particular, the Project. She was always quick to point out the joys of each season, like the smell of ditches burning and fresh grass and freshly tilled soil marked spring. The still-crisp clean air of fall that was pierced only by the referee’s whistle at a football game was one of her favorite times as well. She was one of those rare people who would sit and watch a sunset in its entirety with tears streaming down her cheeks at the sheer beauty of it all, or sit and look up at the stars on a clear night in total silence and peace for hours and hours. Erica was a liver of life, splashing in mud puddles, dancing in the rain, making snow angels or twirling in the wind; Erica never let a moment pass. To say she had a huge presence would be remiss, but with those sparkling eyes, gorgeous smile and snarky wit, she was a joy to be around. She always, always, saw the best in everyone and would make the most unlikely friends. She was loved far and wide by many and will be greatly missed.
Whether you called her Squeaks, Duck, My Love, Buddy, Erita or Kitten, Erica always made those around her feel alive. We are all saddened by the sudden and abrupt exit from us. She leaves behind a legacy of appreciation of the moments in life that are so precious. She taught us all what it really means to be in the moment.
She is survived by her mother, Paulette Yurian; father Mark (Becky) Yurian; brother Robert Quanbeck (Justine), their children Gavin and Addison Quanbeck; brother Jacob Yurian; sister Trisha Yurian; aunt and uncle Bobbi and Mike Lorash; their children, Mikeala and Alaini Lorash; grandmother Abbie Quanbeck; grandmother Barbara Yurian. Many, many cousins and extended family along with friends mourn the passing of Erica.
Contributions to Erica’s memorial fund can be made at Stockman Bank in Worden.
Services will be at 1 p.m. Friday, May 31, at Harvest Church Heights Campus, 1235 Wicks Lane W.
Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be made online at www.michelottisawyers.com.