Donald Robert Erdman, 75, of Hamilton passed away Thursday, December 24, 2020 at his home. He was born August 28, 1945 in Plainview, Texas the son of John Robert (Bob) Erdman and Jesse Maxine Skipworth.
Don was raised in North Dakota in Golden Valley until his family moved to Mott, North Dakota in 1961. This is where he met the love of his life Janice Marthaller. Don and Janice were married August 26, 1967. He attended Dickinson State College where he received his Bachelors Degree . Don got a job at the Dickinson Job Corps. In 1969 the Job Corps closed, and he was transferred to Darby, Montana.
Don loved Montana and especially his passions of elk hunting, fishing and firefighting. It was his goal to fight fire in all 50 states. In 1998 he took a three-month assignment in Philadelphia. One of his other passions was traveling so while in Pennsylvania, he and Janice took the opportunity to see that part of the country. In November of 1998 he was transferred to Dallas, Texas. They also did a lot of traveling and sightseeing while in Dallas. They moved back to Hamilton where Don retired from Job Corp in 2001.
Being retired did not suit Don too well so he got a job working for Bitterroot Interagency Recovery Team (BIRT). Since BIRT was seasonal he also got a job as a substitute bus driver for Darby Schools. Later he worked as a bus driver for Head Start where he loved getting to know the little kids. He would take them on his super secret route and would point out points of interest such as osprey nests. He was an avid historian and volunteer at the Daly Mansion. His tours always ran over the hour because he had much to tell. When his health would not allow him to continue giving tours, he remained a faithful member of the History Mystery team at the Mansion. He loved to tell his children and grandchildren stories of the Daly Family.
He was preceded in death by his parents Bob and Maxine and his brother Karan (Skip). Don is survived by his wife Janice of Hamilton; two daughters, Donja of Pinehurst, Idaho and Hamilton, Montana and Cherelle with husband John Jay Moran of Hamilton; three granddaughters Kody, Rylie and Taylor and a grandson, Chase. He is also survived by his sister Zan and husband David Severson of Reno, Nevada, and brother Daryl and his wife Debi of Yakima, Washington and numerous nieces, nephews and grand nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held Wednesday, December 30, 2020 from 3 to 5 pm at the Daly-Leach Chapel in Hamilton. Graveside service will be held Thursday, December 31, 2020 at 2pm at the Riverview Cemetery in Hamilton. Honorary Pallbearers include Jay Moran, Chase Moran, Christopher Friez, Dave Salo, Robert Erdman and Ethan Severson. The services will be live streamed for those unable to attend in person.
The family suggests that memorials be made to Daly Mansion, PO Box 223, Hamilton, MT 59840.
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