Alvin Wayne Erichsen
Alvin Wayne Erichsen of Sheridan, Wyoming died on October 03, 2023 at Westview Health Care Center.
Alvin was born on November 19, 1930 to Albert and Hattie Erichsen in Altamont, South Dakota. He attended grade school and one year of high school in Altamont and finished high school in Clear Lake, South Dakota. He served in the US Navy from 1951 to 1955 as an Aviation Machinist Mate during the Korean War. Shortly after his discharge from the Navy he was united in marriage to Lucille Engelbrecht at Clear Lake on June 05, 1955. After their marriage he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Agronomy from South Dakota State University in 1959 and a PhD in Genetics and Plant Breeding, from the same institution in 1962.
While in college their daughter, Laurie (1956) and son, David (1957) were born. After earning the doctorate they spent a year with the University of Illinois on a Post Doctoral Fellowship. In 1963 he joined the Great Western Sugar Company in Longmont, Colorado where he participated in developing sugar beet varieties. In 1975 he joined the Holly Sugar Corporation in Tracy , California to develop sugar beet varieties for that state. He was transferred to Sheridan, Wyoming as the director of Sugar Beet Seed Research and Development in 1984 and continued to reside there after his retirement.
While in California in 1983 he discovered a gene for resistance to Rhizomania. The soil borne disease is considered to be the most serious and widespread disease in sugar beets. Rhizomania now occurs in virtually all sugar beet growing areas in the world and the "Holly" gene has been transferred to nearly all existing commercial varieties and breeding material. The gene has been credited with saving much of the sugar beet industry world wide. He was the sixth person to receive the Savitsky Award which is considered to be the highest award in the sugar beet industry.
After retirement in 1993 he prepared income tax returns for seniors and low income people in volunteer programs sponsored by the IRS and AARP. He also worked on delivering forms and updating locations of residences on the 2000 Census.
Alvin was preceded in death by his parents, his beloved wife; Lucille, after 65 years of marriage, their daughter; Laurie Holt and his sister; Helen Bjerke.
Alvin is survived by his son, David of Greenville, Utah; five grandchildren, Aaron Holt, Conner Holt and Jenna Holt of Omaha, Nebraska, Philip Erichsen of Ft. Wayne, Indiana, Danielle DeYoung of Minersville, Utah and nine great grandchildren.
We ask that any memorials be contributed to Immanuel Lutheran Church of Sheridan, WY at 1300 W. 5th St., Sheridan, WY 82801.
A public viewing will be held at 10 am on Friday, October 20, 2023 at Immanuel Lutheran Church. At 10:30 am there will be a celebration of life with Reverend Paul J Cain officiating and Reverend Rene Castillero with Military Honors. A reception will immediately follow the service at the church.
Kane Funeral Home has been entrusted with local arrangements.