Donald Milver Erusha
Donald Milver Erusha, 96 years young, peacefully passed away surrounded by his family on March 14, 2019, after a very short illness.
Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 20, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Solon, where there will be a 3:45 p.m. rosary and a 7 p.m. prayer vigil with an hour of visitation prior to the funeral. Funeral Mass will be 10:30 a.m. Thursday, March 21, at St. Mary's Catholic Church, with Father Tim Sheedy presiding. Burial will be in St. John's Catholic Cemetery in Cedar Rapids. Full military rites will be conducted by the Solon American Legion. Brosh Chapel is in charge of arrangements.
Donald was born Oct. 28, 1922, in Walford, Iowa, the eldest son of Milver and Alma (Schumacher) Erusha. Don served in the U.S. Army 84th Infantry Division, otherwise known as The Railsplitters, during World War II. The division fought in the Battle of the Bulge. During his service, he was awarded the Purple Heart.
When he returned from World War II, he graduated from the University of Iowa with an economics major. Don began his career as a bank examiner for the FDIC in Cherokee. In 1950, he and his father purchased the Chelsea Savings Bank in Chelsea, and later opened a branch in Belle Plaine. In 1964, he bought the Solon State Bank and served as its president until his retirement in 2000 at the age of 77. He served as chairman of the board for both banks until his passing.
Don married the love of his life, Rita Erger, on June 20, 1950, at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Walford. Together, the couple resided in Atlantic, Cherokee and Chelsea, Iowa, before eventually settling in Solon, where they raised their four children. Don was a supportive and dedicated father, and later embraced each of their children's spouses as four more of his own children. Family was paramount to Don, and his siblings and in-laws also played a prominent role in his life.
Don's philanthropy and community service will continue his legacy for years to come. He was co-chairman of the St. Mary building committee and served on the St. Mary finance commission for many years. He was a past president of Iowa Banking Group 8, an early president of the Solon Optimist Club, a member of the Solon American Legion, past president of the Railsplitters Army reunions and established the Solon Area Community Foundation. Don was instrumental in the opening of the Solon Nursing Care Center and served on its board for many years. In 2015, he was named Solon's Senior of the Year and was the grand marshal of the Beef Days parade. Don and his wife established several endowment funds, and he served on the Mercy Hospital Foundation board of directors in Iowa City. Don's faith was a prominent part of his life, and he and Rita are devoted members of St. Mary's Catholic Church in Solon and St. Matthew's in Cedar Rapids.
Donald is survived by his bride of 68 years, Rita; children, Kathryn (Gary) Fattig of Chelsea, Iowa, Karlene (Michael) Lindseth of Eden Prairie, Minn., Michael (Julie) Erusha of Sheridan, Wyo., and D. Neil (Patty) Erusha of Solon, Iowa; grandchildren, Carrie (Josh) Tinkham, Anne (Mitch) Juelsgaard, Jessie (Jason) Becker, Nicole Lindseth, Daniel (Kirstin) Erusha, Robert (Kacie) Fattig, Andrew Erusha, Krista Lindseth, Sarah Trinkle, Angela Erusha and Owen Erusha; as well as five great-grandchildren with two more "greats" on the way. He also is survived by his sisters, Dolores Kaiden and Cordelia "Dilla" (Jack) Cosgrove; his in-laws, Kenny (Ginger) Erger, Mary Erger and Florine (Clair) Rowe; and many nieces and nephews.
Donald was preceded in death by his parents, Milver and Alma Erusha; brother, Robert Erusha; sister-in-law, Arlene Erusha; and brothers-in-law, Gene Kaiden and Robert Erger.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the family in Don's memory to be given to some of his favorite charities.
Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.broshchapel.com.