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Duane Erickson, 98

Duane Raymond Erickson, 98, Little Falls, formerly of the Twin Cities, passed away Thursday, December 26, 2013 at Diamond Willow Assisted Living Little Falls.

Duane was born September 4, 1915 in Stevens County to Erick and Annie (Klein) Erickson. He was baptized and confirmed at Aeneas Lutheran Church. Duane attended country school and West Central School of Agriculture, graduating in 1933.

Duane married Helen Stark on October 17, 1943. They began their married life on the Erickson family farm in Swan Lake Township, where four daughters were born to them. The family moved to their own farm in 1958.

Duane and Helen moved to Alexandria in 1973 where Duane worked as a carpenter building houses. He also spent many hours in his shop, building furniture and crafting items out of wood.

The couple moved to Little Falls in 1993, where Duane lived until he moved to Brooklyn Park in 2008. He returned to Little Falls in October of 2012.

Duane was a devoted husband and wonderful father with a love for each of his grandchildren that made them feel uniquely special. He enjoyed farming, gardening, lawn work and going for rides to see the countryside.

Duane showed his family and those around him what God's unconditional love means when he took care of Helen in her last years. Who would have known that this man who was a farmer and carpenter would learn how to take care of a home as he became Helen's primary caregiver. He will be remembered for his strength, work ethic and integrity.

Duane is survived by his daughters and sons-in-law, Marilyn and John Gilbert of Brooklyn Park, Ilo and Gary Diehl of Little Falls, Shirley and Ray Gummer of Brooklyn Park, and Lois Erickson of Little Falls; grandchildren, Brad (Kristie) Gilbert, Erica Gilbert, Nathan (Melissa) Diehl, Brenden (Amanda) Diehl, Aaron (Anna) Diehl, Keelan (Rachel) Diehl, Lyssa (Peter) Mooney, Layna Diehl, Sarah (Boris) Morari and Riana (Kevin) Jens; great-grandchildren, Bailey and Dylan Gilbert, Sophi, Bennett, Carter, Landon and Calli Diehl, Isabella, Mia and Samuel Diehl, Emmanuil, Tyler, Conner and Evyn Morari and Ruthann and Edward Jens.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Helen, in 2002; his parents, sister, Jean Barsness and husband Emery; brother, Elton Erickson and wife Mae; brothers-in-law, Chester and wife Rhoda, and Arthur Stark and wife Luella; and sister-in-law, Esther Winter and husband Lloyd.

Blessed be the memory of Duane Raymond Erickson.

Funeral services were held Monday, December 30 at Little Falls Alliance Church in Little Falls with the Rev. Nate Bjorge officiating. Burial was at Aeneas Cemetery near Kensington.

Funeral arrangements are with Shelley Funeral Chapel in Little Falls;