Saturday, April 13, 2024

Virginia Hagen Erhard, 97

| February 25, 2022 7:00 AM

Virginia Hagen Erhard passed away Dec. 13, 2021, at the age of 97, in Pullman, Wash. She was born May 12, 1924, in Cadott, Wisc. She lived the majority of her life in Libby.

Virginia was raised on her grandparents’ dairy farm in Wisconsin. She excelled at school, and was attending university classes in the sciences when World War II interfered. Even though she never returned to formal education, she maintained her interests in history, science, photography, arts and needlecraft all her life.

During the war, Virginia worked in factories around Lake Michigan. After the war, she moved to California. Later, on a trip through Montana, she found and fell in love with Libby. She set her sights on living there and soon landed a job with the J. Neils Lumber Co. She stayed with the mill through its sale to Weyerhaeuser and then to Champion International. After retiring from the mill, she continued working for Karl Erhard Construction and later Erhard Inc.

Upon first moving to Libby, Virginia bought a little house that needed some work. She asked around as to who she should hire to get it done right. All hands pointed to Karl Erhard. Karl was a lover of learning, like Virginia, and they soon were married.

Virginia enjoyed the wonderful friendships of the extended Erhard family, with their varied interests and professions, and she spent many happy weekends visiting with them at Karl’s cabin on Crystal Lake.

Virginia loved travel. Over the course of her life, she saw much of the “lower 48” and beyond — Alaska, Norway, Belize and twice to Australia. As travel wound down in her later years, she spent her time to quilting. Books and magazines about history, archeology, crafting and art were always nearby, along with her perpetual cup of coffee and Yahtzee dice.

Virginia was preceded in death by her husband, Karl Erhard. She is survived by her daughters, Mariel Johnson and KarlaRose (Joseph) Erhard-Hudson; grandchildren, Nicole, Karl Geoffrey and Jamie; and great-granddaughter, Haylee.

We will miss her greatly.

A memorial will be held in late spring or early summer in Libby.

The family would like to express our gratitude to Bishop Place Senior Living in Pullman, Wash., and to Kindred Hospice, for their care and compassion during Virginia’s last three-and-a-half years of life.