N. N. “Gus” Erickson Maj USAF (Ret)

N. N. “Gus” Erickson Maj USAF (Ret)

Age 88

The Lord called His good and faithful servant, Norris Norman “Gus” Erickson, home on May 30, 2021.

Born on June 1, 1932, Norris was the son of Albert Calmar Erickson and Florence Price Erickson of Burr Oak Iowa. He joined his sister, Shirley Ruth on the family farm in Hesper Township, Winneshiek County near Burr Oak. Norris began his education in a one room schoolhouse, Hesper Township #4, just outside of Burr Oak. Due to the distance from the farm to the high school in Decorah, Norris lived with locals in Decorah during the week and returned home to the farm on the weekends giving him a vast experience with both country and city living. Continuing his education at Iowa State University, Norris acquired the nickname “Gus”, which was how he was known by friends from then on. Gus joined ROTC and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Education in 1954.

ROTC led Gus to his 20+ years of military service beginning with his active duty with the US Air Force several months after graduation at Lockbourne Air Force Base in Columbus, Ohio.  Anticipating a four year deployment to Europe, Gus Erickson and Linda J. Drake were married December 27, 1958. Gus was stationed in Wiesbaden, Germany, where daughter, Wendy Lynn was born in 1961. Having returned stateside, daughter, Tracy Lynn (1964), and son, Todd Albert (1967) joined the family. After several other deployments Gus was deployed to Vietnam in 1968-69. He served as an intelligence officer throughout his career and after Vietnam returned to Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue, Nebraska, serving as a Protocol Officer until he retired from the USAF in 1975. As a civilian, Gus became a broker for Lincoln National Life Insurance Company. Gus and Linda divorced in 1987.

Gus’ devotion to community service began early with his involvement with 4H. As an adult Gus reignited that same passion serving as a board member on the Sarpy County Extension Board. He also assisted with the creation of the Sarpy County Extension Foundation helping to support 4-H activities for young people across the county. Continuing his community service Gus was elected to the Bellevue City Council and served from 2000-2008, including two years as council president. Following his service to the Bellevue City Council Gus was elected to serve as a commissioner with the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District where he worked to protect and enhance Nebraska’s natural resources. In 2009-2013, Gus joined the Bellevue Mayor’s Drug and Alcohol Prevention Commission as a member and served as president. He also participated as a board member and an ambassador for the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce continuously promoting the community he loved.

Gus Erickson’s association with Kiwanis became a devotion to improve the lives of the children of the world. Through Kiwanis, Gus made lifelong friends and it was through Kiwanis that he met the woman who brought a new joy into his life and a sparkle to his eyes. Having been introduced by a mutual friend at a Kiwanis International Convention, the life of Gus and Jane would be forever connected. Norris ‘Gus’ Erickson and Jane M. Andrews (Moritz) were joined in marriage December 7, 1996, in Bellevue NE. Gus’ family and his love instantly grew to include two step daughters, Erica Marie and Sarah Ann. Soon the family grew even more with in laws: Dan (Tracy) Rynders, Eric (Erica Moritz) Loerts, Mark (Sarah Moritz) Schau, Kristie (Todd) Erickson, and grandchildren Josh and Nate Rynders, Alex, Sam and Zachary Loerts, and Gavin and Maya Schau.

Gus’ life was full of activity and adventure. He enjoyed beginning his day by feeding and watering their backyard birds (especially their favorite cardinals), grabbing a cup of coffee and two cookies and chatting with Jane, then sitting quietly and reading every word of the newspaper. After that he enjoyed working on his find-a-word puzzles, reading fact-filled magazines, especially those related to patriotism, country living, farm life, tractors, and Iowa. Gus was eager to watch ball games of any kind, especially Todd’s baseball games and later, the baseball, soccer, basketball, and softball games of grandchildren Gavin and Maya. Gus always said he taught Jane many things while watching sports during their 27 years together.

Gus was a major fan of the Kansas City Chiefs Football and Kansas City Royals baseball, Nebraska football and volleyball, and was a decade’s long season ticket holder for the men’s NCAA College World Series baseball delighting in sharing those experiences with Jane, family and friends. He never backed down during spirited conversations about any of his teams and supported each team no matter the circumstances.

Kiwanis activities provided an opportunity for Gus to work on behalf of Nebraska and Iowa children and communities as he served in each leadership capacity from the Bellevue-Offutt club level all the way to the district level. He served as Governor of NE-IA Kiwanis in 1995-96. In 2001-02 Gus moved into a very different and challenging role as the First Gent of NE-IA Kiwanis while wife Jane served as Governor. Unaccustomed to attending events with the majority being women he soon became very adept at making himself the center of attention and tying groups together with his phenomenal sense of humor, caring and love of life. That was good experience for Gus as Jane moved up into the international leadership roles. Gus served as First Gent of the Kiwanis International Foundation (now called the Kiwanis Children’s Fund) in 2007-08 and of Kiwanis International in 2016-17. Not only was Gus an anomaly serving in these First Gent roles as a male he was the only spouse of an international president in the organization’s 100+ history to have also served as a district governor. Gus was as comfortable in the leadership role as he was in the supportive leadership role and excelled at both. Jane states often she was as successful as she was due to Gus being by her side. Gus and Jane shared their love for each other, their faith, family and love of helping children on a worldwide platform and each said they are better people because of it. They worked together always to energize their dream that every child would be happy, healthy, safe and loved. Never seeing one without the other, they served as a testimony of what can happen when we work together to make life a better place for all of us.

Gus leaves an extensive legacy of positive handprints and love to his family and worldwide friends and service to his faith, his community, and to the world’s children. Gus believed that life is to be made full, to have fun, and to help others. He found good in each person and in each day, bringing light and love to everything he touched.  Gus lived his own father’s advice, “Leave every place you go a little better than you found it.”

Gus is preceded in death by his parents Albert C. and Florence Erickson; sister Shirley R. Benson Greenslade; in-laws Wayne and Bernie Andrews and Ralph Greenslade. Cherishing his memory and continuing his passion for helping others are Jane, his beloved wife of 24+ years; children Wendy Erickson, Tracy (Dan) Rynders, and Todd (Kristie) Erickson; step-daughters Erica (Eric) Loerts and Sarah (Mark) Schau; grandchildren Josh, Nate, Alex, Sam, Zachary, Gavin, and Maya; dear in-laws; treasured nieces and nephews; and devoted friends around the world.

Visitation: Sunday, June 6, 4:00-6:00 pm, at Bellevue Memorial Chapel.

Funeral Service: Monday, June 7, 10:30 am, at Avery Presbyterian, 1910 Avery Rd. E., Bellevue.

To view video of the service, click the link below:


Interment: Monday, June 7, 2:00 pm, at Omaha National Cemetery.

Military Honors:  Offutt AFB Honor Guard, American Legion Post 331, and VFW Post 10785.

In honor of Gus and his service to children around the world, memorial donations may be made in the name of Gus Erickson to the Kiwanis Children’s Fund. Contributions may be made online at www.kiwanis.org/give or mailed to Kiwanis Children’s Fund at 3636 Woodview Trace, Indianapolis, IN 46268.

In honor of Gus and his service to children in Nebraska and Iowa, memorial donations may be made in the name of Gus Erickson to the NE-IA Kiwanis District Foundation, c/o Lonnie Shumate, 13258 S 38th St, Bellevue, NE 68123.


  • Roger Jespersen Posted June 1, 2021 12:38 am

    Dear Jane and family, Susan and I keep you in our prayers. May God’s peace be with you. Gus was a wonderful member of Dream Team 102 and we will miss him at our gatherings. God bless you.

  • David J Foster Posted June 1, 2021 8:42 am

    Jane, Sending love thru tears. You will be in our thoughts and prayers forever. Hugs and deepest sympathy to you and the family. David & Mercia

  • Karen Buchholz Posted June 1, 2021 4:12 pm

    Jane and family, I am so saddened to hear this. May God’s arms surround you and hold you in your days ahead.
    Share your memories often of a GREAT guy!!

  • Tracey Domgard Posted June 2, 2021 9:00 am

    Hearts and prayers, Jane. We all have so many special memories with Gus and will cherish them always.

  • Dennis Cleaver Posted June 2, 2021 2:20 pm

    Gus was certainly one of a kind. He will be missed by many. Prayers for you and your family.

  • Tim and Pegi Cavanaugh Posted June 2, 2021 3:11 pm

    Jane,,,,,so sorry your heart is broken yet again. You have been through some very tough times lately. Praying you can find some solace and peace in your heart soon. Hugs from home.

  • Aaron Jones Posted June 3, 2021 11:23 am

    Jane, You and Gus have been such an inspiration over the last 25 years or so. Your becoming Lt. Gov. That year has changed a LOT of lives. God Bless you as you courageously continue! WILL be so strange going solo, but you will NEVER really be SOLO. You have the whole Kiwanis organization standing with you. We ALL have loved both You AND Gus.. WHAT A TEAM!!!

  • Joanne Fregeau Posted June 3, 2021 12:29 pm

    Jane, I am so sorry for your loss. Sending hugs and prayers and hope you find peace as you reminisce the memories that you shared. Please know that I am thinking of you and your family. God Bless!

  • Joe Medakovich Posted June 3, 2021 4:08 pm

    Needless to say I was shocked to learn of Gus’s passing. What a great guy to have lunch with at our weekly Kiwani’s meetings. I’ll miss seeing him at the Lied Center for his morning workouts, and his always cheerful greeting when we spoke.

  • Mary Elks Posted June 4, 2021 2:12 pm

    Tracy and family, my thoughts are with you. Your Dad was always so nice and fun. My deepest condolences.

  • Harold & Barbara Haney Posted June 4, 2021 4:07 pm

    Jane, we will keep you and family in our prayers. Barb and I were devastated in hearing the news of Gus’ passing. We will surely miss Gus. Trust in the Lord and accept that he’s in good hands.

  • Clark Marshall Posted June 4, 2021 5:50 pm

    My thoughts go out to Gus’s family members at this time. I had the privilege of serving as one of Gus’s lt. governors the year he was governor of the Nebraska-Iowa Kiwanis district, and it was the most enjoyable and rewarding year of my Kiwanis experience. Gus was funny, he could be serious, and he was a kind and generous man who provided great leadership.

  • Sue Petrisin Posted June 4, 2021 6:17 pm

    Jane, there are few words that do Gus justice. Unrivaled and inspirational, he was one of the best and we are so fortunate to have had him in our lives. He will forever be remembered in the highest regard. With heartfelt sympathies to you, your family and friends.

  • Lenora and Milford Posted June 4, 2021 6:22 pm

    Lots of hugs and love at this time. Gus was one of a kind and was loved by all.

  • Marty Moore Posted June 5, 2021 2:45 pm

    Wendy, I am so sorry for your loss. Now is the time to hold family members close. And always remember the good times with your Dad.

  • Ron and Daawn Feucht Posted June 7, 2021 5:31 am

    Jane and Family we our so sorry for you loss. He was a special man and always had a hug for us! Always willing to help others. Our deepest sympathy and a HUG to you! May God wrap his arms around you and your family to find peace and comfort.

  • Norma Beaver Posted June 7, 2021 9:52 am

    What a joy Gus was! So, may all your memories of him help to sustain you all through the days ahead. Take time to read Epitaph by Merrit Malloy. May it give you some peace, and may God’s arms always comfort you.

  • Dennis and Darlene Baugh Posted June 7, 2021 10:46 am

    So sorry to you and the family Jane. I viewed the service and it was a great send off for Gus to join his other family!

  • Scott Wellman Posted June 8, 2021 10:28 am

    So sorry to hear of Gus’s passing. I enjoyed being his neighbor growing up and have fond memories of him. Praying for peace and comfort for the family.

  • Cathy and Lenny Simmons Posted June 8, 2021 8:46 pm

    Jane, we are holding you and your family in our hearts and prayers, during this most difficult time. Gus was truly a loving Kiwanian, who served with a servant heart. He will be missed! Hugs, God Bless!

  • Robert Moore and Jan Moore Posted June 8, 2021 9:24 pm

    I just read the Kiwanis dateline and saw of Gus’ passing. He was one of my favorite friends. He was a great Kiwanian with a real servants heart. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jane and the family. We will miss seeing his smile at International conventions and meetings. The obituary captured Gus.

  • Ron Smithfield Posted June 9, 2021 10:21 am

    It is obvious that you were married to a amazing and unique person in Gus. From the Kiwanis Club of Clarksville, TN and me please accept or condolences. Your impact on me at the KY-TN Convention when you were KI President is a good memory. Later you honored WWII veteran Frank Willard who will be 104 this Friday, June 11. Thanks for all you and Gus accomplished together.

  • sarah manning Posted June 11, 2021 11:39 am

    So sorry to hear about GUS. He was such a funny person and i could see the love for you he had everytime i saw you both together.. my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time.All my love to you..Sure wish i could have been there but being in Indiana kind of made it impossible.Sure had some good times and alot of good memories with you both in Kiwanis for several years.

  • Arva Herman Posted June 22, 2021 3:24 pm

    I just learned of Gus’ passing and am so sorry. One of the blessings of serving as Administrative Secretary for the Downtown Omaha Kiwanis Club was getting to know so many wonderful, caring people such as Gus and Jane. Another blessing was that my club allowed and encouraged me to do a lot of secretarial work for Gus when he served as N-I District Governor. Jane, my sincere condolences to you and all family members. You are loved! Gus was loved…..God rest his soul.

  • Barbara and Paul jansen Posted July 8, 2021 12:23 pm

    Gus was always so supportive of us even after his term on the Bellevue City Council ended. Always a warm friendly greeting when our paths would cross. Will remember him quite fondly and our deepest sympathy to you Jane and family. Was a great honest person.

Add Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *