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Laurence Erickson


RYEGATE — Laurence passed away suddenly at the age of 90 on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2010, of a heart attack at Billings Clinic Emergency Care.

Laurence was the eighth of nine children born to Andrew and Clara Erickson on April 4, 1920, south of Barber on the ranch where his parents had homesteaded in 1910. He attended Cavill School, Ryegate High School, graduating in 1937, and Montana School of Mines at Butte. He went back to Michigan after attending college and worked for Ozalid Products Division. He was enlisted into the military and served in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He attended air mechanics school in Biloxi, Miss. While in the Air Corps, he married Mary Patricia “Pat” Goetz. He was discharged in 1943 during the war to return to the ranch south of Barber to help his ailing father. He later took over the ranch and ran that farming and ranching operation until moving to Ryegate in 2006, where they resided until present.

Laurence and Pat were divorced in 1952. Laurence raised his two daughters, Lynn Erickson Webber and Carol Erickson Lammers, as a single parent. He married Clara Wagner (Esp) in 1968, who had been raised on a ranch 18 miles south of Shawmut and had lived in the community most of her life.

Laurence was active in the community. He served on the Cavill School and Ryegate High School school Boards. He was a member of the Masons. He served as a Golden Valley County commissioner. He was very supportive of his community and did what he could to make it a better place.

He is survived by his two daughters, Lynn Webber of Ryegate and Carol Lammers of Brookline, Mass.; and one grandson, Eric Lammers and (Jenn) of Boston; and their two children, Leland John (LJ) and Ruby Elynn Lammers.

Laurence is survived by one sister, Marion (Erickson) Veraldi in Billings; one brother-in-law, Dallas McElrath of Alamogordo, N.M.; a sister-in-law, Zella (Gordon) Erickson, of Greenough. Laurence has numerous nieces and nephews.

A celebration of life service will be held in the Ryegate School gym on Friday, Nov. 12, at 11 a.m. Everyone is invited to a reception lunch following the service at the Ryegate Sr. Center.

Memorial donations can be sent to the Ryegate EMTs at Golden Valley Ambulance Service, PO Box 55, Ryegate, MT 59074 or to the Ryegate Senior Center.

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