D. Bruce Erickson, 66, of Fargo, ND, died at Bethany Homes on December 23, 2009. He had been ill for 5 years with progressive supranuclear palsy and resided at Bethany for the last 11 months of his life.
Bruce was born on May 6, 1943 in Fargo, ND, to Grace H. (Dahlgren) and Milton F. Erickson. He attended Moorhead Public Schools graduating as salutatorian from Moorhead High School in 1961. He attended Concordia College in Moorhead, graduating cum laude in 1965 with majors in mathematics and physics and a minor in German. He went on to do graduate work at Yale University, New Haven, CT, and earned a Ph.D. in mathematics in 1973.
Bruce married M. Joy Martin of Silver Spring, MD, in 1969. They met while singing in the Yale Bach Society. They lived in New Haven until 1973 then moved to the Fargo-Moorhead community.
Bruce had a passion for teaching. He taught mathematics at Concordia College from 1973-1975. He then was hired by North Dakota State University’s mathematics department to help develop a computer science major. The computer science program went on to be independent and nationally accredited. Bruce retired from NDSU in 2006 for health reasons. Bruce was an avid musician. He learned both piano and organ as a child. He played first cornet in the Moorhead High School and Concordia College bands. He taught himself recorder while in graduate school and was a regular performer at churches and concerts throughout his life. For many years he was a member of Banquetto Musicale, a local Baroque music group. He attended several Baroque instrumental workshops at Oberlin College in Ohio. He later took up the viola and played as an adult in the Fargo-Moorhead Youth Symphony. He then played both the euphonium and tuba, performing with the NDSU Gold Star Band, NDSU Brass Ensemble, Concordia College’s Prairie Winds Brass, Lake Agassiz Concert Band, and the Fargo Moorhead Symphony. He also dabbled with guitar, ukulele, trombone, cello, flute, and various percussion instruments.
Bruce is survived by his wife Joy; his son, Nels (Wendy Harmening) of Carver, MN; his daughter, Amy (Uwe Burghaus) of Fargo; his grandson, Quinn of Fargo; and his sister, Jeanne (Paul) Hoseth of Yelm, WA.
A celebration of Bruce’s life will be held at Boulger Funeral Home on Saturday, January 9, 2010 at 2 PM.
In lieu of flowers, donations are requested to one of the following: NDSU Development Foundation (P.O. Box 5144, Fargo, ND 58105) for either Computer Science Scholarships or the Gold Star Band Endowment, Lake Agassiz Concert Band (P.O. Box 211, Fargo, ND 58107), or the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony (P.O. Box 1753, Fargo, ND 58107).
The family expresses deep appreciation to the staff members of Bethany Homes and Hospice of the Red River Valley for their wonderful care of Bruce during the last months of his life.