• Obituaries

 Johansen, Erling
Born: 07/31/1930
Died: 09/25/2014
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Johansen, Erling

 On Thursday September 25, 2014 Erling Johansen, known to many as IDV, Irving De Viking, laid down his sword and set sail for Valhalla, Viking heaven. Erling’s love for everything Norwegian started from birth. He spoke only Norwegian until his dad, Ole, and mother, Marie, New York City superintendents and immigrants from Norway, sent him to an English-only speaking kindergarten.  He grew up eating gjetost cheese and herring, a taste for which he never lost.

At 15, Erling met his childhood sweetheart, Joan McCarthy, and after wooing her by carrying her books from school, married her on December 6, 1952. 

Joan and Erling’s first two years of marriage were spent in Augusta, Georgia, where Erling served in the army at Camp Gordan.  Their first child, Laura, “their Georgia peach”, was born on base. Even with a colicky baby at home, Erling rose in the ranks, and was honorably discharged as a 1st Lieutenant. 

Once back in New York, Erling did a short stint at General Foods before joining the NYPD. He spent the next 20 years protecting the city in a variety of roles –motorcycle, accident division photographer and Vera Institute field representative, and retired Lieutenant Johansen. 

Somewhere between protecting New York and helping to raise three children (Randi – his true Norwegian daughter  and Erling Jr. – his “Chip” off the old block -  came along shortly after Laura), Erling managed to graduate from John Jay College. While in the NYPD he started the Viking Association which was the best club ever – no meetings, no members (everyone was appointed as a Vice President), and 37 cents life membership. From its humble begins of two, the association has grown to 200 strong. Marching in the Norwegian Independence Day parade with the mayor of New York down 5th Avenue in Brooklyn, serving as the color guard when King Olaf of Norway visited the Big Apple, and having Dik Browne, the creator of Hagar the Horrible, draw a personalized cartoon with Hagar dressed in his finest police blues, are just a few of Erling’s, President Emeritus, Viking Association memories.

One retirement wasn’t good enough for Erling. He did another 10 year stint at National Bank of Sussex (now Lakeland Bank) in Branchville where he was well known for giving everyone nicknames.  George you know who you are.

Erling had a life-long love affair with music which started at Carnegie hall where he worked as an usher in his teenage years. He played many instruments – guitar, flute, clarinet, accordion, and organ – to name just a few. Music could be heard all day long in every room of his home through the intricate, convoluted speaker system he managed to install. Erling had a fondness for Bugs Bunny, the color orange, the number 13, and collecting pins from around the world. These things are displayed proudly on his work bench, hung in his clothes closet, embossed on key chains and strategically placed on caps and hats respectively.  

No matter the time of day Erling greeted everyone with a hardy “good morning” and always appreciated when people followed suit.  You can come wish him a final “good morning” at Iliff-Ruggiero Funeral Home 156 Main Street (Rt. 206), Newton, New Jersey on Monday September 29, 2014 from 2-4 and 7-9 PM.  A short, intimate funeral service will be held the following morning at 11:00 AM immediately followed by interment in the Branchville Cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice #99 Sparta Ave. Newton, NJ 07860. 

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Here are some special memories shared by family and friends.
Dear Randi and family, So sorry to hear about your Dad. He obviously Lived a very full life and I know no words can make you feel better; please know we are thinking of you all. With lots of love and hugs. Love, Elaine & Rich
Elaine & Rich Bauer
I've known Erling since I was 11 years old.He was my best and oldest friend.
bruno Bellinfante,MD
I was assigned to Chief Eisendorf's O.C.C.B. office on the 13th floor of Police Headquarters. As I'm sitting at my desk up walks this Viking Warrior who introduce's himself as Erling Johansen, President of the NYPD Viking Association. He asks "Your name is Odin and your desendant from Norwegian Vikings?" I say, "Aye, I am." "Good" says he and thus I became Vice President number 71 holding Associatiion Card #72. Rest in peace dear Erling till I join you in our father Odin's grand hall Valhalla where we will feast forever together on Mesd and Boars Meat. My condolances to all of Erling's family, friends and aquaitences. Ret. NYPD Officer Frank A. Odin
Frank A. Odin
Joan (mom) my life began 39 year's ago when your daughter randi brought me home to meet you and dad. WOW, you and dad have been the best mother in law and father in law one could ever ask for. Supportive, careing, and most of all truly loving. Thank you mom, To DAD thank you for being the MAN in my life who thought me how to measure twice and cut once. Thought me how to take pride in what a person does in life,thanks also for being their in my down times. Love always your son gerald. To Laura and Erling (chip) Thanks for being my brother and sister,your are great friends, and you should be proud that you took great care of your dad. And the love you return back to him, in the love in gave you both. To my wife randi you put your head on my shoulder the day dad left us, and said I lost my daddy. I felt your pain, but one thing you will always be with your dad from this day forward, memeries never leave us. You were loveing daughter to you dad the best. Love always Gerald. To mom, randi, Laura, Erling, Dad will always be in my prayes.
Gerald c lovert
I am "George" that Erling refers to in the Obituary. We worked together for many years at NBSC. One stressful day Erling entered my office and I told him I was going to change my name because everyone was calling out to me all day long. Erling announced that I would now be known as "George". From that point forward people called me "George". When I left the bank the banner at my party read "Good luck George" On a daily basis Erling and Jay Bacco kept us laughing. Now Erling joins his best buddy Jay in heaven where they are probably reciting lines out of old movies like a normal day at NBSC. Irving DeViking was a class act and I have been laughing all morning with fond memories. Erling, I bid you "Good Morning" Tammy Case
Tammy Case aka George
Erling ; WE have missed your Viking likeness and humor for a while. So until we meet again, Keep the Blue side " UP " "Old Lloyd"
Lloyd Staats
I've known Erling and the Johansen Family my entire life, so with that being said, obviously I too would have a few nicknames that Erling bestowed upon me. Throughout the years I was LeeSee and "Sos" and of course the all time favorite was "Sparks" when I had braces during my adolescence. I loved these names and will always cherish the happy memories from up at the lake. Erling will always live on in these memories and will never be forgotten. My heart felt condolences. Lisa, "Sos", "LeeSee", "Sparks", Cowperthwait
Lisa Cowperthwait
I first met Erling & Joan on the eve of my daughter Betty's marriage to their first grandson, Brendan Lovett at the Mohonk House in upstate New York. The Johansen's were so very warm and genuinely welcomed Betty into their family. As fellow Norwegians we had much in common (the other side of my family came from Ireland, so I got along well with the Lovett's too!) Every time we get together, I hear great stories from Brendan & Betty about Grandpa & Grandma Johansen, and their wonderful family. With many memories to cherish, may God's love and light be with you today - I'm sure that Erling's love is with you now and always.
Pauline Osnes
After reading the impressive obituary on Mr. Johansen, I wish that I could have had the opportunity to have met him during his lifetime. He must have been an interesting person to share time. He certainly lived life to the fullest and with pleasure! My condolences to his loved ones.
A Friend You Never Met
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