Kenneth W. Erick

COUER D’ALENE, Idaho — Kenneth W. Erick of Ivy Court, Couer D’Alene, Idaho, died Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, at his residence. He was born Jan. 19, 1948, in Silver Creek, the second child of Willard and Pauline (Ward) Erick.

Ken had many loves in his youth among them were basketball in the backyards of Forestville, as most small towns at the time didn’t have public courts. He could also be found at Walnut Falls doing what he enjoyed most of his life, trying to lure fish. A good day for Ken was the fishing as opposed to most people just interested in catching. Yes and track, I suppose a lot had to do with the track coach, Mr. Robert Barnett, the high school chemistry teacher. Chemistry, how about that, pharmacy makes sense. Basketball is a team sport and Ken along with other talented youths finished the seasons with their usual trip to Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo for the sectional championships.

Next was college at University at Buffalo, where he played basketball. After two years, he was accepted into the school of pharmacy. But, he was left unprotected that summer and received his draft notice. Pharmacy school would have to wait. Instead, his education took a turn to Fort Sam Houston combat medic training. Added to this military experience was the one year tour of Vietnam, as a combat medic. He didn’t talk much about that experience as many vets. Ken left to restart his life, discarding his uniform in the airport in exchange for civilian attire. But yes as an honorable discharge, he had fulfilled his obligation. When he returned home in 1973, there was no room at the UB School of Pharmacy, but the University of Wyoming had just opened a new school of pharmacy and there was room for him there. He packed up overnight and was off on his adventure. He graduated in 1975 and served his internship at Arnolds Drugs in Detroit, Mich. Here he picked up another love — jazz, especially BB King, who could be found playing the clubs of Motown near Ken’s apartment. Interning doesn’t pay well, so when a job appeared in Phoenix, Ariz., he was off. One drugstore was bought by another and by another, while being in the same physical store, he eventually ended up working for Rite Aid. In the drug store, he became involved with the store manager, Kristen Irvine, who soon became his life partner (wife). They enjoyed traveling to Mexico, deep sea fishing, fresh water fishing, camping and hunting. They raised a granddaughter until she was six.

In 1998, he started to have what they thought was anxiety. Kristen’s daughter and her husband moved to Idaho, so Ken and Kristen followed. Ken continued working for Rite Aid, but now filling in at different stores. The anxiety seemed to get worse, his hands started to have tremors, which was not good for counting pills. So, Ken retired. Retirement in 2014 didn’t go well, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease — Vietnam –Agent Orange and Kristen had her own health issues. In January of 2017, Kristen passed away and Ken, already with one hip replacement, was placed in Ivory Court Nursing Home. Fast forward to 2020, he had another hip replacement, COVID 19, Parkinson’s and room isolation for months on end. We who are left behind will miss you!

A private memorial service will be held and interment will be in Pioneer Cemetery, Forestville.

Arrangements are by Riles & Woolley Funeral Home, Forestville.

To post condolences or memories go to www. rilesandwoolleyfuneral home.com