Former Kenai Peninsula resident Ronald Wayne "Preacher" Elerick died Sunday, Jan. 12, 2003, in Boise, Idaho. He was 58.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. today at Cloverdale Church of God in Boise. Pastor Tom Dougherty will officiate. A viewing will be held at 9 a.m. today at the church. Interment will take place at a later date. Services are under the direction of the Riverside Funeral Home in Boise.
A memorial service will take place on the peninsula during the Bike Blessing scheduled for May 4, which is usually held in Kenai.
Mr. Elerick was born to Delbert and Lula May Shaw Elerick on Dec. 16, 1944, in Glendale, Calif. His father worked in construction and the family moved several times while he was in grammar school. He completed high school in Oroville, Calif., in 1962. He was active in youth groups and served in the choir at the Christian church.
Upon completion of high school, Mr. Elerick went to San Jose Christian College, where he met Arlene Evans. They were married in June 1964.
Mr. Elerick had a yearning for Alaska and in the early part of 1967, he and his wife moved to the peninsula. Mr. Elerick became an Alaska State Trooper stationed in Kenai and later in other areas of the state. During that time he had a conviction to go back to Bible college and finish his ministerial career. In 1971 he enrolled in Midwest Christian College in Oklahoma City, Okla. Then he and Arlene took their three daughters and went into the mission field in Malawi, Africa. After six months in Africa, Arlene died. He and his girls returned first to California and then to Oklahoma. There he married Cynthia Bushnell in June 1976. They returned to the mission field in South Africa, where they stayed until the fall of 1983
Mr. Elerick had a love for Harley Davidson motorcycles. He bought one and began a motorcycle ministry in Montana. From Montana, the family moved to Alaska , living in Homer and Kenai. Mr. Elerick took his motorcycle ministry, known as "Circuit Riders Ministry," with him. He rode many miles on the Alaska Highway. In 1999, he moved to Boise, bringing his ministry with him.
Mr. Elerick checked into his background and discovered he was of Scottish heritage, dating back to the 1800s. He became a kilt wearer and made many friends with the Scottish people in the area, who affectionately knew him as the "Vicar." He performed many Scottish weddings and funerals. He had a love for the bagpipes and was learning to play them. He was a member of the Sleekit Beasties Pipe Band.
"Ron, his smile and blue eyes will be missed by all who knew him. We will just say so long for now Ron, until we meet you again in the golden shores upon which you now tread," his family said.
Mr. Elerick was preceded in death by his father; daughter, Susan; both sets of grandparents; and his father-in-law, Bill Bushnell.
He is survived by his wife, Cindi of Boise; four children, Rhonda Schmude and her husband Dan of Alabama, Wendy Becker of Montana, Summer Standridge of Tennessee, and Nathan Elerick and his wife Melissa of Washington; mother, Polly Orcutt of Boise; six grandchildren; and his brother, Harold Elerick of Washington.
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