Lt. Col. Ervan's Story
Lt. Col. Ervan Lloyd Amidon, U.S. Air Force, 95, of Traverse City, passed away Friday, March 17, 2017 at French Manor with his friends, Mike and Tricia Mihalic at his side.
Ervan was born on July 17, 1921 in Inland Township, to the late Leslie F. and Lillian M. (Briggs) Amidon. He was the third of seven children. He was educated in the one room schools of that township, graduated from Traverse City Central High School in June 1939 and enlisted as a Private, Air Corps, U.S. Army on Dec. 12, 1939. He served in the Southwest Pacific area for two years and nine months during World War II. During that period he was appointed a 2nd Lt., Army of the United States, having graduated from U.S. Army Officer Candidate School. He served with the 49th Fighter Group and 3rd Bombardment Group, Air Corps, U.S. Army.
On Sept. 11, 1946, he married Elinor Patton, of Leesburg, Ohio at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. He served in Korea during that war in 1952-1953, returning to graduate from Air Command and Staff School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. From July 1961 to May 1963, he served at Hq, Fifth Air Force, Japan.
On Dec. 1, 1963, he retired from active military service following 24 years of service. His awards include the Bronze Star Medal, the Commendation Medal, together with the appropriate Service Medals.
His formal education included a Bachelor of General Education degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a Master of Arts degree from Wayne State University, Detroit. He served as a member of the faculty at Northwestern Michigan College, Traverse City from September 1967 to December 1972, when he resigned as a result of physical disability.
Ever the family historian, he researched, compiled and published an Amidon family history, as well as a Pabst family history. Copies were provided to local libraries and History Centers.
He was especially aware of his patriot ancestors, as well as his loyalist ancestors, who served in the American Revolutionary War, albeit in opposing armies. Moreover, two great grandfathers served in the Union Army, Civil War, one being killed-in-action and the other honorably discharged as physically disabled. He was especially proud of his three brothers and one step-brother who served long, arduous and different months overseas during World War II; all safely returned.
His wife and he traveled extensively during and following active military service.
He was especially interested in and generous with the Military Officers Association of America, where his late wife, Elinor and he, established two undergraduate degree scholarships for the use of children of military parents. These aids have been in continual use. Moreover, he has been responsive in providing funds so that certain family members were able to complete their undergraduate degrees. Also, he contributed regularly to the Traverse Health Clinic and the Cherryland Humane Society.
Realizing that certain deceased of his kin were without proper cemetery headstones he provided these. Also, together with the Department of Veterans Affairs, he provided headstones for 27 honorably discharged veterans of the United States Armed Forces. He was ever aware of the enormous responsibility assumed by each member of the Armed Forces and they were often in his thoughts and conversations. He was prominent in the establishment of the Northern Michigan Chapter, Sons of the American Revolution and served as the first president of that Chapter.
His political efforts were devoted to the cause of Conservative Republicanism. He considered voting a responsibility of citizenship and cast his own ballet at each election from his various duty stations, here as well as overseas. On Dec. 1, 2016 he had been retired from the U.S. Air Force for 53 years.
Surviving Ervan is his sister, Tina M. "Peg" Wagner, of Grawn; nieces and nephews; and many dear friends.
Ervan was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Elinor; and his brothers, Leslie, Leonard, Arthur and Clifford Amidon; and his sister, Tricia F. (Amidon) Blackmore.
Graveside services will take place at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 24, 2017 at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Leesburg, Ohio.
Ervan is being cared for by the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home.
Published on March 21, 2017