Darrel Lee Erikson, excellent father, loving husband and great friend, died on July 25, 2008, after a long fight with prostate cancer. A celebration of Darrel’s abundant life will be held Tuesday at Butler Community College. Shuttles will be available.


Darrel Lee Erikson, excellent father, loving husband and great friend, died on July 25, 2008, after a long fight with prostate cancer. A celebration of Darrel’s abundant life will be held Tuesday at Butler Community College. Shuttles will be available.

Visitation with family and viewing will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. today at Carlson Funeral Home.  

He was born in Stafford on Sept. 13, 1940 to Wallace and Geneva Erikson. He was raised on the farm of his maternal grandparents, Claude and Nellie Funk, in eastern Kansas near the town of Stark. 

He graduated high school from Grant Rural School in May of 1958. He then enrolled that fall in Pittsburg State University that fall, majoring in business and ROTC. He graduated in 1962 with a bachelor’s of science in business and a commission of second lieutenant, Corps of Engineers, United States Army. The Army sent him to the U.S. Army Depot in Chinon, France, for a three year tour. While stationed in France, Darrel was selected to read the official U.S. announcement over European radio that President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated, and he lead the color guard for the President’s remembrance service in Paris. He returned home in 1965 and again enrolled at Pittsburg State University, where he graduated with a master’s degree in business. He joined the 195th Engineer Group of the Kansas National Guard that same year.  Darrel rose in rank in the National Guard to lieutenant colonel. He commanded the 1st Battalion, 137th Infantry, 69th Infantry Brigade. After graduating from the prestigious U.S. Army War College in 1982, Darrel’s promising military career ended with his medical retirement in 1983.

In addition to military work, Darrel taught at Neosho County Community College for three years and then worked at Beech Aircraft Corporation as a sales representative for two years. In 1969, he began teaching at Butler County Community College as a business administration instructor, where he remained until his retirement in 2002. Darrel had more than 10,000 students during his 36 years as a college professor. He used to say that what was scary was that a couple of his students actually believed him. 

Darrel was an avid Butler County Community College sports fan and rarely missed a game. His family and friends enjoyed his numerous stories, numerous times. Darrel never met a stranger and will be greatly missed.

Survivors include: his wife Susan of the home; a brother, Wayne (Joyce) Erikson of Savonburg, Kan.; sons, Mike (Christa) Erikson of El Dorado, Shawn Jackson of Wichita, Joe (Deb) Studebaker of El Dorado and Marc (Karisti) of El Dorado; daughters, Marci (Brian) Yates of Boulder, Colo., and Shelley Schroeder of Wichita; two nieces; one nephew; granddaughters, Shanna Dorsett of Wichita and Kodie (Aron) Long of Rose Hill; grandsons, Cade and Cash Erikson, and Wyatt, Cooper, Jacob and Colton Studebaker, all of El Dorado; and a great-grandson, Stockton Long of Rose Hill.

Memorials have been established with Butler County Community College’s Endowment Fund in memory of Darrel, as well as Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice.  Carlson Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements and condolences may be left at www.carlsoncolonial.com.