Ervin Herman Tyler

WINSLOW – Ervin Herman Tyler, 99, passed from this life on Nov. 17, 2020, from a long battle with COPD.

He was the beloved husband of Audrey (Witham) Tyler for 75 years. Theirs was the strongest of love, and a marriage to emulate. His home was always full of joy and laughter. He teased Audrey endlessly which was a true display of his affection. How he loved his family, it was the “core” of his existence.

Ervin was born in Benton on June 7, 1921, and as a young boy moved to Freedom. During those early years he loved “Gram” Tyler’s cooking, sliding, working on the farm and playing with the family dogs and cats. He went to grammar school in Freedom and graduated from Freedom Academy in 1940. He played on the baseball and track teams. In his adult years, he liked to hunt, fish, garden, mow lawns, go to country fairs, going for rides with the family to see relatives and friends, grocery shopping for and taking family and friends to appointments.

He enjoyed watching sports on television, especially the Boston Red Sox, wrestling and various news channels. He liked discussing current events as well as reminiscing about “the good old days”. His memory was remarkable even at age 99.

For years, he attended the University of Maine’s girls’ basketball games, even at the age of 88. He loved going to his grandson’s swim meets and his great-grand children’s soccer games.

In the 80’s, he enjoyed going to breakfast with his “breakfast group” seeing the folks at Wendy’s and Dunkin Donuts. Ervin met friends at McDonalds in Winslow every Wednesday night for 15 years and they became his “McDonald’s family”. He was very fond of his neighbors who became true friends and so enjoyed visits from them.

Ervin was an active member of the Benton Falls Congregational Church and he loved his Church family. For years, he was an usher and worked on church suppers. He loved serving people and telling them about his church. He was very fond of his ministers, Jack Quigg and Pastor Kim Shrader and looked forward to their visits.

In 1940, Ervin worked in the woods cutting cord wood for $2.00 dollars a day and got a cord a day. In 1941, he worked at the Bryant Mill (Freedom Novely Mill) now known as the Mill at Freedom Falls. He ran a lathe making wooden screwdriver handles for 32 cents an hour. He was the only person who ever worked there that attended the mill open house on June 5, 2013. Two of the handles he made are on display in the mall showcase. Ervin was in a documentary film about the mill which was part of the Camden Film Festival and was shown at the Strand Theater in Rockland on Sept. 29, 2013. At this premier, Tony Grassi, project manager, showed the audience two of the screwdriver handles he made, even at age 92, Ervin was able to attend this premier and was recognized by the audience of over 200 people. In March of 2014, the Freedom Mill documentary was shown at the Environmental Film Festival in Washington, DC.

Ervin had an extremely strong work ethic. He worked for Hollingworth and Whitney and Scott Paper Company for 41 and a half years, retiring in 1983 as a back-tender on #4 paper machine. He only missed a few days of work due to surgery. When the roads were impassable, he would snowshoe or walk the 10 miles to work. After retiring, he worked part time at Poor Bob’s Store.

Ervin is a World War ll Army Veteran entering the service in 1944 and discharged in 1946. He served in the European Theatre and the 15th District Mechanized Constabulary. He took his basic training at camp Joseph T. Robinson in Little Rock, Ark. He had to be a skilled hunter to survive back home in Freedom, and this skill served his well in the Army. Ervin went overseas when the battle of the bulge was nearly over. It took eleven days on a liberty ship to arrive in France. From France, he went to Belgium, Holland and finally Germany. He was the oldest charter member of the Winslow VFW post 8835 and one of the oldest members of the Fairfield American Legion post 14. Yearly, he attended the ceremonies in the Veterans Memorial Park in Winslow, standing for hours, even in the coldest of weather. He was in many Winslow Fourth of July parades. He loved his country and in a show of patriotism only purchased American made products.

At age 97, Ervin needed help with the activities of everyday living and his primary caregiver, from Helping Hands, was Mike Levesque. When Ervin was asked how Mike cared for him, Ervin had one word to describe Mike’s care, “Perfect”. They became good friends and they shared many laughs and stories. He was also very pleased with the work of his part time caregiver, Angela Marie Tracy.

Ervin was a handsome man with a “boyish grin” and loved to tell stories and jokes. He had the “unique” quality of making others feel special. We have been blessed to have him in our lives and to be members of the family he helped to create. His example is an inspiration to us all and he lights a road for us to follow.

He is survived by his daughter, Bonnie Tyler; his grandsons, Mark McCutcheon and his wife Laurie, Michael and his wife Deanna McCutcheon; three great- grandchildren, Justin McCutcheon, Kristi McCutcheon Francey and her husband Dana, and Ian McCutcheon; his great-great children, Madeline and Liam Francey, and Penelope McCutcheon; a brother, Clarence Tyler Jr.; son-in-law, Harold McCutcheon and his partner Sharon Lamb; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was predeceased by his lovely wife, Audrey Witham Tyler; his parents, Clarence and Mattie (Godale) Tyler; his daughter, Nancy Tyler McCutcheon; his brothers, Archie Tyler, Ernest Tyler Jr. and Carroll Tyler, his sister Maxine Gurney, his sister-in- law, Barbara Martin; and special cousin, Alice Alexander.

Ervin’s family would like to thank the entire Helping Hands staff for their cooperation the last two years, his primary care physician, Dr. Knausenberger for his compassionate care and his staff, Dr. Pece, and Dr. Smith and staff for their good care (from Togus VA.), Dr. Theresa Farrington for her good care, the Northern Light Hospice organization and the wonderful nurses they provided, the Lincare Organization, Celeste Currier, specialized care coordinator from Seniors Plus. Friends involved in his care, Diane Durell, Sherry LaLiberty, Melissa Ferris, and Linda Lehrbach.

Also, to Sheila Palmer and Diane Durell for decorating the tree outside of Ervin’s favorite window in red, white and blue lights to honor his love of his Country.

An online guestbook may be signed, and memories shared at http://www.familyfirstfuneralhomes.com

Arrangements are by Lawry Brothers Funeral & Cremation Care, 107 Main St., Fairfield.

There will be a private burial due to the restrictions in place due to Covid -19. A public celebration of Ervin’s life will be held on either June 6, or June 7 of 2021, providing the covid virus is under control. More details will in the Morning Sentinel closer to that time.

Donations may be made to the:

Benton Falls Congregational Church

Attn: treasurer Dawnela Sheehan

274 Bellsqeeze Rd.

Benton, ME 04901

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