Ervin Joel Dodge, 85, Poland, passed away at home surrounded by his family July 30, 2011.
Ervin was born Jan. 31, 1926, in Bemidji, Minn., the son of William and Anna (Aaberg) Dodge.
Upon early graduation from high school at age 17, Ervin enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where he served with the Sea Bees in the South Pacific until the end of World War II.
Ervin was awarded a Purple Heart while stationed in Peleliu.
He then enlisted in the U.S. Paratroopers. A medical condition resulted in an early discharge.
After the way, he fell in love and married Patricia Kathryn Kennedy Oct. 4, 1947. As a young family, they moved to California and eventually settled in Lakewood, where they raised their family of four daughters and one son.
Ervin worked in middle management for Northrop Corporation for 35 years. He was part of the Ranger Space Program, the Flying Wing, and SM-62 SNARK.
A man of many interests and talents, he and Patricia were avid rock hounds, attended lapidary classes, and made jewelry specializing in the lost wax process. Together, they bred and showed champion Chihuahuas across the country.
His craftsmanship as a carpenter ranged from building an addition to the family home in Lakewood, intricate works of art, and unique toys for his three generations of grandchildren.
He was an avid gun collector and restorer, enjoyed hunting and fishing, and as a young adult, he flew hunters and fishermen into the backwoods and lakes of Northern Minnesota.
Ervin and Patricia retired to Indiana where Poland has been home for the past 23 years.
Ervin is preceded in death by his parents, brother Bill Dodge, sisters Helen Zuelow and Leona Morton, and son Joel Patrick Dodge.
Ervin is survived by his wife Patricia, daughters Janis Lyon Bragg and Bonnie Sonnefield, Poland, and sisters Terry Dodge, S.S.L., La Verne, Calif., and Kate Hoag, Brazil. He is survived by grandchildren Micah Lyon, Kathryn Krolik, Donna Sills, Ricky Lyon, Joel Bragg, Dianne Bettis, Angie Withrow, Christopher Russo, Pvt. Stephen Hoag and Lilliana Hoag, 17 great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren.
Memorial services will take place at United Methodist Church in Bowling Green Saturday, Aug. 6, at 6 p.m.