Dora Erickson

Dora Erickson and Dorothy. Photo by Noelle Olson

Walker Methodist Levande resident Dora Erickson celebrated her 100th birthday Sept. 8 with her family and friends.

“She is a Southern belle,” said Dorothy, whom Erickson considers her daughter. “She was born in Texas and eventually moved to Arkansas.”

Erickson is a veteran of the Army and was stationed at Fort Sill in Oklahoma, where she met her first husband Elmer, and they moved to Minnesota. She has been active at Cambridge Lutheran Church and considers Dorothy and her husband Jim her adopted children.

After her husband passed away, she met and married Verl Rippe, who was the mayor of Cambridge, and the couple were married for 42 years. Erickson worked at the courthouse as a legal secretary under Judge Olson for approximately 25 years.

Erickson’s love for horseback riding found her joining a group called the Rum River Ramblers.

“They would square dance on horseback,” Dorothy said. “They would go to the Minnesota State Fair and compete. They took first place three years.”

Erickson has been a resident at Walker Methodist Levande in Cambridge a little over a year since the senior assisted facility opened. Every month the staff celebrates the birthdays of their residents with a party, cake, ice cream and music.

For the September birthdays, the celebration took place Sept. 17, and Erickson was played a special song for her 100th birthday performed by the duo CODA.

“We were blessed to share in Dora Erickson turning 100 years young,” resident services manager Julie Hickerson at Walker Methodist Levande said. “We honored her by singing ‘What a Wonderful World,’ which fits her perfectly.”

Grant Hickerson said Erickson is a special friend to many at Levande, and they are honored to be a part of her life.

“Dora is exquisitely dressed each day and ready to share a hug with everyone she meets,” director of life enrichment Shay Grant said. “She is truly a special lady with a beautiful, loving heart.”

When asked what her secret is for living a long life, Erickson said, “I’ve always tried to live a good life and remember my heavenly Father.”

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