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Neva ‘Jean’ Tyler

WEST CORNWALL — Neva “Jean” Tyler, 91, of West Cornwall, died at home on May 30, 2019. 

She was born Aug. 19, 1927, in LaPorte City, Iowa, the second of five children, to Mary A. (Draegert) and Leslie E. Craft. After graduating from Illinois State Normal University in 1950, she married David T. Tyler and together they settled in Fort Atkinson, Wis., to raise their family.

Jean is remembered as an innovative teacher, an outdoors enthusiast, a prolific watercolorist and craftswoman, and an involved community member. She taught fifth grade at Barry Elementary School, trained Girl Scout leaders in camping skills, and served as Sunday School Superintendent at the First Congregational Church. She was also a charter member of the local branch of American Association of University Women, very active in Tuesday (study) Club, and instrumental in founding the Black Hawk Artists.

In 2009, she moved to Geer Village in North Canaan to be closer to her daughter, Debra. She participated in many of the activities offered there and served as a one-person welcoming committee, sending cards and collecting biographies of new residents. At that time, Jean became an actively supportive member of the Board of Directors of Debra’s nonprofit, Motherhouse. She also enjoyed singing in the Cornwall UCC choir with both her daughter and granddaughter. In 2017, Jean moved into Debra’s home.

Jean was preceded in death by her parents, husband and siblings. Remaining family are her daughter, Debra Tyler, and granddaughter, Margaret Hopkins, of West Cornwall; her grandson, Zachary Tyler, his wife, Gina, and their sons, Everett and Quentin, all of Greenwich, Conn.;  her sister-in-law, Analee Craft of New Mexico; and many nieces and nephews.

Celebrations of her life will be held in Cornwall and Fort Atkinson this fall. Go to www.CremationCT.com for updates.

Donations in Jean’s name may be made to the Hoard Historical Museum, 401 Whitewater Ave., Fort Atkinson, WI 53538; or to Motherhouse, P.O. Box 184, Cornwall, CT 06753.