Orpha Jean Broberg Erickson, 101, of Peoria entered eternal rest and into the loving arms of her Lord and Savior Friday, Feb 5, 2021, at the nursing home unit of Lutheran Hillside Village in Peoria.
Orpha was born August 6,1919 in Madison, Nebraska, the middle of three children, to Adeline and Lawrence Broberg. She married Martin A. Erickson on November 22, 1941, at her home church in rural Newman Grove, Nebraska. Together, they celebrated almost 63 years before he preceded her in death on August 8, 2004.
Surviving her are three sons, Roger (Pamela) Erickson of Modesto California, Paul (Linda) Erickson of Winfield, IL, and Ken (Marianna) Erickson of Peoria, IL, seven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
Orpha grew up on farms in northeast Nebraska, attending rural, one-room schoolhouses through grade 11. She completed grade 12 in the nearby town of Newman Grove. These were depression times and with a scarcity of jobs, Orpha boarded a train west to Pasadena, CA to look for employment. She worked there for about two years before returning to Nebraska. Still not finding work, Orpha headed east to Detroit, MI, where she worked as a bookkeeper.
While living and working in Detroit, Orpha met Martin Erickson, to whom she married. Two weeks after their marriage, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, thrusting our nation into World War II. Orpha and Martin both supported the war effort: Orpha by working for Rolls Royce while Martin engineered tanks and aircraft engines with Chrysler Corporation. During child-rearing years, Orpha was active in her church, teaching Sunday School for 35 years and supporting the Covenant Women organization. She also enjoyed making crafts as a hobby while caring for the many needs of their home.
After her sons grew up and left home, Orpha enjoyed volunteering with her bookkeeper skills at Winning Women, a Christian organization offering support to women. After Martin’s retirement, they took up oil painting together, producing many paintings that grace the walls of hers and her sons' homes.
Martin and Orpha moved from Detroit to Lutheran Hillside Village in Peoria in 1994. They enjoyed their independent living duplex and joined the fellowship of First Covenant church in Peoria. They enjoyed the nearby company of their family and travelling to see distant family and friends. When Martin passed in 2004, Orpha moved into the assisted living facility in Lutheran Hillside Village. She has enjoyed good care and love shown by the staff as well developing good relationships with other assisted living residents. Two years ago, she moved into the nursing home portion of the Lutheran Home.
The family wishes to recognize the outstanding staff and caregivers at Lutheran Hillside Village and their sacrificial efforts during the COVID epidemic. We thank them for their loving, professional care and support for Orpha.
Orpha was a devoted wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, and great-grandmother and remembered for her loving heart and sense of humor.
The visitation and funeral to celebrate her life will take place at Cumerford-Clary Funeral Home, 428 W. McClure, Peoria, on February12, 2021: visitation at 10 am and the funeral at 11 am with the Reverend Kevin Wright officiating. Burial will be at Swan Lake Memorial Gardens in Peoria. Instead of flowers, you may make memorial gifts to either Lutheran Hillside Village Foundation Benevolent Fund, mailing address: 6901 N Galena Road, Peoria, IL 61614 or give online at http://www.LutheranHillsideVillage.org to the Benevolent Fund, or the First Covenant Church of Peoria,3616 N Bigelow, Peoria, IL 61604 or give online at http://www.covchurchgiving.com/c-1273-first-covenant-church-peoria-il.aspx (Select "Memorial Fund" option)
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