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Eric Donald Spurgeon

Eric Donald Spurgeon, 21, Buffalo, N.D., died Thursday, Aug. 19, 2010, from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident in El Paso, Texas.

Eric was stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas, at the time of his death.

Eric was born March 20, 1989, in Fargo, N.D. He graduated from Maple Valley High School, Tower City, N.D. in 2007.

During his school years, he participated in competition shooting including a trip to the BB Gun National Championship held in Colorado Springs, Colo., at the Olympic Training Complex. Eric played football for the Maple Valley Raiders and the Maple Valley Enderlin Falcons.

Eric enlisted in the Army and entered basic training in July 2007. He trained at Fort Jackson, S.C., and Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Md., and was stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas. He spent a year stationed in Doha, Qatar, and returned to Texas in March of this year. He was a top mechanic in the motor pool. The friendships Eric made while in the Army reached around the world.

Eric was known for his contagious smile, his sense of humor, mischievouness, and deep love of family and friends. He also had an insatiable appetite for ice cream, so when you eat it, please think about him.

Working on cars, especially anything Mopar with dad was one of his favorite things to do, encouraging him to follow that path in the military. Eric was a knowledgeable mechanic and took pride in his work for the Army.

Eric's favorite place to be was on the Shell River near Menagha, at Grandpa Yoder's place. Fishing, swimming and learning everything from bird trivia to railroad history were deeply rooted in his love for Grandpa Don.

Eric had a deep love and respect for family and friends. Honoring his parent's wishes (most of the time) and showing respect to deserving people were very important to him. His faith in God helped him in his months overseas and every aspect of his life.

Eric's most prized possession was the purple 1973 Dodge Charger he bought one month before leaving for basic training.

Eric is survived by his parents, Lori and James Cookman, Buffalo, N.D., and Duke Spurgeon, Grove, Okla.; grandparents, Donald and Dolly Yoder, Menagha and Virginia Spurgeon, Miami, Okla.; brothers, Tyler Spurgeon, Buffalo; N.D.; Jeremiah Spurgeon, Carthage, Okla.; special sister, Kari (Shortcake) Stripling, Miami, Okla.; aunts and uncles, Nancy (Jim) Yoder-Bidwell, Patricia Cheney, Sheila (Steve) Gower, Joe Dotterich, Sheldon (Ruby) Spurgeon, Carol (Jim White) Johnson, Bob Cookman, Tom Cookman, Sharon Vissness, Frank (Bobbie) Kurtyka; many cousins and four nieces. Eric also leaves behind his absolute soul mate, Eileen Grieger; girlfriend, Tiffy Darnell; his classmates, many friends, favorite "church ladies," fellow soldiers and his much loved and spoiled dogs, Toby and Cuda.

Eric was preceded in death by his great-grandparents, Albert and Eleonora Ackerson; grand-parents, Dorothy Yoder, Elaine Yoder, Orville Spurgeon, Esther and David Cookman; aunts, Sherry Dotterick, Margaret Kurtyka, Naomi Henry; uncle, James Yoder and cousin, Josh Spurgeon.

Memorials preferred to SADD and organizations assisting returning Gulf War veterans.

Visitation: Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. with a prayer service at 7 p.m. in Buffalo Lutheran Church, Buffalo, N.D.

Funeral Service: Saturday, Aug. 28, at 10 a.m. in Buffalo Lutheran Church.

Burial: Buffalo Cemetery, Buffalo, N.D.

Condolences may be sent online