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December 1, 1927 - April 7, 2020
Robert Wayne “Bob” Erlandson died of natural causes at the Monument Senior Living facility in Sturgis, South Dakota on April 7, 2020 at the age of 92. He was born December 1, 1927, in Miller, South Dakota, the only child of Ursula (Pusey) Erlandson and Rudolph Erlandson.
Robert attended Miller public schools. He enlisted in the US Army and was stationed at Ft. Carson, Colorado where his duties included packing mules into the Rocky Mountains. Following his military service, Robert began a lifelong career in electrical construction, beginning as a pole climber and working his way up to superintendent for power line and substation construction.
A life passion of his was aviation and he owned several small airplanes throughout the years, flying for recreation and as a means to travel to distant work locations. Robert’s entrepreneurial skills were put in action when he started his own business, Miller Spraying Service, taking on the challenge of being an Ag pilot. One of his proudest moments was being inducted into the South Dakota Aviators Hall Of Fame in 2007. Robert met Shirley Bertrand early in 1950 in a small-town cafe where she claimed to have baked the cherry pie (his favorite) he was eating (she didn’t). They eloped three months later by flying to Missouri in an airplane piloted by the groom. His work required living in several states including South Dakota, Minnesota and North Dakota. As his retirement years were nearing, Robert and Shirley settled in on a beautiful piece of the Black Hills where they enjoyed solitude, wildlife and the company of good neighbors. Robert worked for a few summers with the National Park Service maintenance division and really enjoyed being up on “The Mountain”.
Robert was a Mason and recently received his 50-year pin.
Robert is survived by his wife, Shirley (Bertrand), and four children: Edward Erlandson, Rapid City, SD; Laura Lee-Olson, Rapid City, SD; Barbara Erlandson-Pflaum (Michael), Hancock, MI and Badlands National Park; and Donald Erlandson (Toni), Ka pa’a, Hawaii.
Robert’s surviving grandchildren are Michael Rosemore, Ian Erlandson (Jaime), Nathan Erlandson (Jillian), Sonya Erlandson (Patrick), Emily Pflaum, Katherine Pflaum, Meghan Olson (John) and one great-grandchild, Jocelyn Hiney. He was preceded in death by his parents and one grandchild, Andrew Pflaum.
The family extends their deepest gratitude to the entire staff at Monument Senior Living in Sturgis, South Dakota for five years of compassionate caring for our dad-husband-grandfather.
Fly high, Dad!