Lt. Col. Brent Allen Ehrichs


Born at a very young age, Brent Allen Ehrichs began the adventure of a lifetime on February 10, 1957 in Fargo, ND. As a kid, Brent’s heroes included cowboys, fighter pilots, and of course, his parents Warren and Janice; all of whom would be both influential and ever present throughout his life. With his mom as his den leader, and his brother Kevin at his side, the Boy Scouts of America recognized Brent for his sense of duty, service to others, and preparedness by inducting him into the Order of the Arrow. In his youth, Brent also participated in the Red River Boys Choir, managed lots of mischief in countless adventures with his siblings and cousins, developed a love of sci-fi/fantasy, and a wicked sense of humor.

All joking aside, when Brent knew what he wanted, he committed 100 percent; nothing would deter him and no one would change his mind. While attending a New Year’s Eve party hosted by two of his many, many cousins, at 15-years-old Brent knew that Renai Dahlquist would be his one and only. After several years of dating before graduating from Moorhead High School, and convincing Renai that he was her one and only too, they were married at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Moorhead on May 5th, 1978. Over their 45-year marriage, Brent and Renai would welcome three children, Heather, Benjamen, and Matthew, though many more would also lovingly call them mom and dad.

After the closure of the Ehrichs Manufacturing family business in 1979, Brent enlisted with the 119th Fighter Wing. Though Brent’s vision prohibited him from becoming a pilot, he worked on planes as a weapons systems loader. While on lunch break from classes at Moorhead State University Brent got a call asking him to participate in the 1981 TAC Air Defense Weapons Loading Competition; hopped on his motorcycle and suited up without a second thought. His quick action and dedication to serve at a moment’s notice, earned Brent the opportunity to fulfill his childhood dream of taking to the skies in the back seat in F4 Phantom jets. Beaming with pride as his dad Warren pinned on his wings, Brent became a commissioned Weapons Systems Officer in 1983. Over his 33-year career, Brent would proudly tell many stories including how he got his callsign Hampster (sic), a Germany-based deployment in 1986 offered Renai a delayed honeymoon, and swearing in his sister Valerie and sons Benjamen and Josh Ladwig into the Happy Hooligans family.

Providing for his family is something Brent took very seriously. Acting as his own contractor, Brent built the Ehrichs family home in Moorhead, MN in 1990. Brent valued the pursuit of knowledge in all forms and the opportunities it afforded him to better provide for his family. In his lifetime, Brent would go to many training schools with the military, earn two undergraduate degrees from Moorhead State University in accounting and computer science information and an MBA from NDSU. Brent started college funds for each of his children at the Freedom Community Credit Union where he served as a committee and Board member for over 30 years.

Working hard would always be rewarded with playing hard. Whether it was hitting a hole-in-one, bowling a 299 game during league bowling, trivia, or one of countless games with his family and friends. Brent would always insist “he’d rather be lucky than good,” and “could never win twice in a row.” A true ambivert, Brent also loved his quieter hobbies, including Sudoku, building replica ships, and playing World of Warcraft. Brent’s voracious love of reading would create an expansive library of books he would re-read, finding new depth and detail with every read through. The whopper walleye Brent reeled in at White Earth Lake is proudly displayed in the porch he built family’s lake home at Cedar Crest resort.

With the two newest additions to the Ehrichs family, Christine and Robin included, the trip to Walt Disney World in March would turn out to be Brent’s final adventure. A few weeks after returning to their new home in Bella Vista, AR, Brent began a second battle with cancer. Despite his faith, determination, and warrior’s heart, after successfully defeating leukemia, Brent’s depleted immune system couldn’t fight the combination of pneumonia and COVID. Brent’s parents, his cousin Brian Self, and his in-laws Bob and Ruth Dahlquist, and his stepmother of 28 years Kate Ehrichs, welcomed him to heaven on May 18, 2023. Brent is survived by his loving wife Renai, his daughter Heather, sons Ben (Robin) and Matt (Christine), brother Kevin (Cheryl) and sister Val (Dave) Buchholz adopted son Josh (April) and granddaughters Elizabeth and Allison a large extended family and many close friends. 

Brent’s family is deeply grateful for the exceptional care provided by Mercy Hospital and Highlands Oncology Group. A celebration of life will follow at the Fargo Air Museum in Fargo North Dakota on June 22rd at 1:00 pm. Donated blood products gave Brent’s family precious time with him. In lieu of monetary donations, Brent’s family would love for those who are able to donate blood products at their local blood bank. For those who are not able to donate blood products, Brent’s family would be honored if you would like to join us in donating books to deployed service men and women via the Books for Soldiers program, information is available on

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