Erickson, Colonel Loren Thomas, USMC (Ret.), passed away on June 17, 2013 at the age of 87.
"Tony" was born in Brainerd, MN to Anna and Harold Erickson.
Predeceased by his wife of 56 years, Lee Erickson in 2004.
He is survived by three daughters, Terry (Larry Brown), Vickee Erickson and Loree (Roy Nakaue); and grandson, Joseph Erickson (Sallyanne).
Tony graduated from Brainerd High School (Honorary Society; Honor Graduate) in 1944. Appointed Midshipman, USNR in September 1946, transferring as a student to the Marine Corps in 1948. Graduated from Iowa State College (NROTC; Honor Societies) in 1948 with a B.S. in Science. Later attended Central Michigan Teachers College (Navy; Honor Fraternities). Commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in 1948, graduating from Marine Corps Schools Fifth Basic Class in June 1949.
Colonel Erickson became a Marine Corps pilot in 1952. He flew fixed-wing fighter/attack planes and helicopters. In 1953 he served in the Korean War as a Sky Raider attack pilot. As a helicopter pilot stationed in Quantico, VA, he was selected as one of the Sikorsky helicopter pilots for Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy, receiving the White House Service Certificate for Honorable Service in the White House. In 1957 he observed the detonation of two nuclear bombs, Diablo and Priscilla, at Camp Desert Rock, NV. He was later classified an "Atomic Veteran". In 1966-69 be served in Norway as Assistant Naval Attache for the American Embassy in Oslo. In 1969-70 he served with the 3rd Marine Air Wing in Vietnam as Wing Inspector and Intelligence Officer, as well as a helicopter pilot, in Da Nang.
Colonel Erickson received numerous Marine Corps awards including the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star (Combat "V"), Meritorious Service Medal, 13 Air Medals (over 260 combat sorties), Joint Service Commendation Medal, American Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal, Occupational Service Medal-Asia, National Defense Medal Honorable, Korean Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal-Korea, and Vietnam Campaign Medal.
In 1975 he received a Master of Science Degree in Administration from George Washington University, Washington D.C. He retired from the military in 1976 after serving 30 years. As a civilian he was employed by State Compensation Insurance Fund as Fraud Investigator, and then as the Judge's Liaison for Workers Compensation Appeals Board, retiring in September 1989.
Tony was a member of the Mensa Society, the Lions Club (Sec/Vice Pres), Alhambran Shriners, Chattanooga Scottish Rite 32° (Vice Pres), Garden Grove Masonic Lodge 351, and the Tustin Masonic Lodge 241.
Graveside services will be held on Wednesday, July 10, 2013 at 3:00 PM at Evergreen Cemetery in Brainerd. Tony will be laid to rest with military honors. Visitation with the family will begin at 2:30 PM at Halvorson-Johnson Funeral Home in Brainerd, followed by procession to the cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, "The Colonel" requested donations be made to Common Ground Church, 14051 Newport Ave, Ste H, Tustin, CA 92780.