Cover photo for Adeline M Erickson's Obituary
Adeline M Erickson Profile Photo
1919 Adeline 2015

Adeline M Erickson

December 19, 1919 — January 17, 2015

ERICKSON, ADELINE Age 95 "I was blind, but now I see...." Adeline was born December 19, 1919 in Fairdale, ND to Halvor and Gina Marie Mortenson. She went home to her Lord on January 17, 2015. She married Chester Erickson on June 25, 1941 in Spokane, WA. Adeline is survived by her children: Clifford (Cynthia) Erickson, Gordon Erickson, Bruce Erickson and Dorothy (Skip) Mitcham. She was blessed with 14 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great-grandchild. She is preceded in death by her husband Chester (1989) and son Richard (1996). The family is extremely thankful for the loving care given to our mother by Autumn Years AFH owner and staff as well as Horizon Hospice. We request any remembrances be given to Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 2715 S Ray St, Spokane, WA 99223. Visitation will be today Wednesday, January 21st and Thursday, January 22nd from 9:00am - 8:00pm at the Funeral Home. Memorial service and Celebration of Adeline’s Life will begin at 1:00pm on Friday January 23, 2015 at Riplinger Funeral Home, 4305 N Division, Spokane, WA. Committal at Riverside Memorial Park and reception at Bethlehem Lutheran Church will follow. The Life of Adeline Erickson “I was blind, but now I see…” Adeline Mortenson Erickson (95) was born December 19, 1919 at the family farm in Cavalier County, Fairdale, ND to Halvor Mortenson and Gina Marie Bakken Mortenson. Adeline was the fourth of seven children following three brothers and the oldest of four sisters. The family was full-blooded Norwegian. Uff da! She was raised in eastern ND and dearly loved the prairies, coulees and rolling landscape. She loved our semi-annual trips to ND to visit family and friends. Adeline moved to Spokane in 1940 with her immediate and extended Mortenson families to find work. She was dating Chester Erickson in ND and he was asked to help drive the families west in his 1934 Chevy. Chester proposed to Adeline once the caravan reached Spokane. They were married June 25, 1941 and were happily married for 48 years. Tragedy struck during their honeymoon when her precious mother was killed in a car accident. Our parents resided in Spokane the rest of their lives, with the exception of World War II years when Dad was drafted into the army. As a young girl Adeline was taught to cook, sew and keep house. She was depended upon to help her mother. At age 12 she started working for other families with daily chores and childcare. Most of her pay went to her parents to help their family. A highlight was being able to purchase a prized camera with part of her earnings. She cooked for thrashing (farm) crews during harvest, serving hot food on time. Adeline loved going to the one-room Tiber School in North Dakota with her siblings on horseback, the horse drawn wagon or buggy. The cutter was used in the winter snow. Her dad taught her to ride horses and she loved their intelligence and the freedom she felt when riding. Her dad would remind her to let the horses rest since they were working horses. She was a tom girl and preferred working with her dad or playing with her brothers on the barn roof, or wherever they challenged her. Yet she was an attentive granddaughter and lovingly read the bible to her blind grandparents. She attended high school in Minot, ND while living with an aunt and uncle. Adeline learned to sew by hand and machine from her mother. Gina Marie had painful legs and taught her to operate the sewing machine foot treadle while she guided the fabric. Adeline sewed clothes and pajamas for herself and her children from new fabric, if available, or salvaged fabric from old clothing. She patched clothing and special items for all of us. She always wished she could have sewn a dress from pretty new fabric for her mother. Her quilts are beautiful and loving treasures cherished by every member of the family, as well as recipients of her donated quilts. She was passionate about quilting! At her 80th birthday she told us she had sewed about 1,000 quilts by then! Adeline loved fabric and sewing and passed that love on to her daughter and granddaughters. She also loved to embroider and with the tiniest stitches completed five embroidered quilts, dresser scarves and many pillow case and sheet sets. She sewed pajamas for her grandsons, matching flannel nightgowns for her granddaughters and their Barbies, potholders by the dozens, stuffed animals and dolls with clothes. In the early 1950’s Mom bought a Pfaff sewing machine in a cabinet that she used every day, until she could not see. She was a founding member in Bethlehem Lutheran Church when the congregation met in the community center building. Church attendance was so important to Mom and she taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. She took her children to church and was proud that we are all confirmed members. She was instrumental in starting the Bethlehen quilt group with her dear church lady friends and enjoyed the weekly meetings immensely. The quilt group met at Mom’s house for many years. Mom continued with the group tying quilts by feel until about 2 years ago. She was a mother helper in Camp Fire Girls and a den mother for Cub Scouts. She taught us and our friends in those groups merit badge requirements and many craft projects. She joined Chester in the Inland Empire Steam and Gas Buffs organization. Together they traveled to antique farm equipment shows around the country.   Adeline treasured family picnics and gatherings for birthdays, holidays or any occasion. She loved to plan, cook, bake and feed everyone while giving fun and practical birthday and Christmas gifts. When our family group got too large to fit in a house she took us all to the buffet meeting room to gather and eat. Everyone in the family loved her delicious potato salad, 3 bean bake and M & M bars. Canning was a necessity with a big family and she produced wonderful fruits, vegetables, jams and jellies. She was an excellent cook and baker and fed us healthy meals like chicken and delicious dumplings. She also made lutefisk and lefse for the holidays. What a treat for us! Adeline went to work as a baker in Spokane Public Schools for over 20 years at Grant and Lincoln Heights elementary schools, retiring in 1982. Adeline was a loving and devoted wife, mother and grandmother. She always gave Chester a goodbye kiss when he left for work and greeted him with a kiss when he returned. They worked together to build a larger house for the family on the Lincoln Heights property purchased in 1946. She was a fair and strong disciplinarian that used a wooden spoon on her children’s behinds when needed. She even broke a few of those spoons on us! She would get upset with the teachers at Adams Elementary when they would compare one Erickson boy to another. She taught her children to think for themselves and be independent. Adeline treasured her grandchildren and enjoyed having them stay with her. She kept them busy baking, sewing, making arts and crafts projects, taking them out for hamburgers and drives to some fun location. Mom had 14 grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren that all received Beanie Babies from her. She got to meet her great-great grandson in 2014. She became playful with him and caressed his little feet and hands. The family is looking forward to another granddaughter arriving in May. Mom loved all the generations of children in our family. Chester taught Adeline to drive the 1952 Dodge and get her driver’s license at 45 years of age. We rode the city bus everywhere prior to 1965. We would take the bus to go shopping or to the dentist down town. The boys got to pick out a matchbox car if they were good. Mom’s driving changed life in the family. No more bus! Every cook needs a rest and because Mom had her license she would drive to Lincoln Heights Artic Circle for ranch burgers and black raspberry shakes once in a while. Adeline’s faith in God and amazing strength and courage throughout life carried her through macular degeneration blindness, colon cancer, heart attack, hearing loss, Alzheimer’s disease and broken hips and ribs. She finished her life journey at Autumn Years Adult Family Home. Our family gives deepest gratitude to the owner and staff at Autumn Years for the family life provided and the tender loving care of our beautiful mother. Horizon Hospice of Spokane was also a wonderful blessing to Mom and our family by taking care of her health and our emotional needs. We appreciate all of the people that touched Mom’s life. Adeline is survived by sons Clifford (Cynthia) of Deer Park, Gordon Erickson and Bruce Erickson of Spokane and daughter Dorothy (Skip) Mitcham of Mead. She also leaves sisters Hazel Foss of Albuquerque, NM, Berneice Haug of Vancouver, WA and sister-in-law Lillian Vigen of Hillsboro, ND and many nieces and nephews. Adeline was preceded in death by beloved husband Chester in 1989; oldest son Richard in 1996; her parents; brothers Theodore, Marvin, Arnold Mortenson and sister Frances Bell. We feel Mom knew her children more than we know ourselves. The most helpful piece of advice we have received is “Our Mothers Never Leave Us. Ever”. Adeline went home to be with her Lord on January 17, 2015 in Spokane WA. Memorial service and celebration of life will be held at Riplinger Funeral Home on January 23, 2015 at 1pm. Committal at Riverside Memorial Park at 2:30 pm. Reception to follow at Bethlehem Lutheran Church. Pastor Steve Wee officiating.
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