by Jennifer Naze
Erickson’s first assignment in France was at Base Hospital No.2 at Mesves Center and later transferred to the Base 10 hospital. Eventually, Ida was transferred to yet another hospital, but she became the chief surgical nurse on January 30, 1919. Her service in France was in the first line zones, where she endured many hardships. She contracted pneumonia and was sent to Southern France to recover. Miss Erickson returned to duty as soon as she recuperated. However, her recovery wasn’t complete and on April 19, 1919 she was forced to give up her work.
Returning stateside, she was sent to Fort Sheridan, IL and later to Denver to recover, but her illness persisted. Ida returned to Marquette in July of 1920 and made her home with friend Mrs. Nellie M. Magnus. Ida Erickson became a member of the Richard M. Jopling American Legion Post.
On February 22, 1922, Ida was admitted to a private sanatorium in Detroit for those with tuberculosis. January 22, 1923, Ida died of heart complications caused by tuberculosis at the age of twenty-eight.
Ida Erickson was the only nurse from Marquette who served overseas. Her body was accompanied by a military escort as far as Mackinaw City, compliments of the commandant at Fort Wayne, who detailed soldiers to serve as body guards.
Ida Leona Erickson was awarded military rites for her burial. Three volleys were fired by men representing her American Legion Post, “Taps” was played by a Boy Scout bugler and a color guard of three ex-sailors paid homage to this brave woman.