John Richard "Dick" Erlandson slipped the surly bonds of earth for the last time, touched the face of God, and came into the presence of his precious Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Monday, September 5th, 2022. Dick was born February 4th, 1930 in Gary, Indiana, the second of five children where he learned from Arnold and Helen to put FAMILY first; he worked in his Dad's dairy in Miller, where he regularly drank the cream from the top of the milk bottles on any given day, then headed out to Lake Michigan to tear the beach up in his brother Charlie's custom dune buggy. He worked in the steel mills in high school; hitchhiked to Gustavus Adolphus College for two years, then attended CU Boulder graduating with a degree in Pharmacy.
The call to adventure came, and Dick joined the U.S. Navy as a carrier pilot, flying the AD Skyraider off the deck of the U.S.S. Hornet patrolling the Sea of Japan in the 1950s. He found himself based in Quonset Point, RI, where on leave one weekend, he met the beautiful Babsie Cartwright from Englewood, NJ, his wife of 66 years. His flying career brought him and Babs to Northwest Airlines where he flew the Red Tails for 31 years, flying the world over in DC-10s and the "Jumbo Jet" 747s.
In the midst of his flying career Dick worked at a friend's pharmacy during the NWA strike years, bought a couple of horse farms over two decades and was known as "Farmer Dick," as well as the Captain. He was devoted to his family and his church, Normandale Lutheran, where he began to grow his family spiritually in 1959, and never leaving until now, to finally see Jesus face to face. Dick was beloved by his wife, children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and literally everyone he ever met. He was involved in the following: airplane building, hang-gliding, scuba diving, hunting, smelting, golfing, sailing, snowmobiling, skiing, mountain climbing, choir singing, cooking, baking, gardening, carpentry, mechanic guy, secret shopper guy, apple-cider presser every fall, and all-around shenanigan instigator. With all of the above, getting a child involved, any child, was best.
Dick is survived by Barb "Babs" Erlandson, son Jim, daughter Lynn (Russ) Pauly, daughter Susan (Paul) Breckner, son John (Romy), twelve grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Funeral service 11 AM Friday (9/16) at Normandale Lutheran Church, 6100 Normandale Road, Edina. Visitation 5-7 PM Thursday at Huber Funeral Home, 16394 Glory Lane, Eden Prairie and one hour prior to service at CHURCH. Interment Lakewood Cemetery. The service will be live streamed at the church website https://normluth.org/livestream/
Huber Funeral & Cremation Services
Eden Prairie Chapel 952-949-4970