WEST CORNWALL, Conn. — Neva Jean Tyler, 91, a longtime resident of Fort Atkinson, Wis., died at her daughter’s Connecticut home on May 30, 2019.
She was born Aug. 19, 1927, in LaPorte City, Iowa, the second of five children, to Leslie E. and Mary A. (Draegert) Craft.
After graduating from Illinois State Normal University in 1950, she married David T. Tyler and together they settled in Fort Atkinson to raise their family.
Jean is remembered as an innovative teacher, an outdoors enthusiast, a prolific water-colorist and craftswoman and an involved community member. She taught fifth grade at Barrie Elementary School, trained Girl Scout leaders in camping skills, and served as Sunday School superintendent at the First Congregational United Church of Christ.
She also was a charter member of the local branch of the 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, Conn., 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.
Jean became an actively supportive member of the board of directors of Motherhouse, Debra’s non-profit, and 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, Conn.; grandson, Zachary Tyler, his wife Gina and their sons, Everett and Quentin, all of Greenwich, Conn.; 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, Wis., this fall. Please visit www.CremationCT.com for updates.
Donations in Jean’s name may be made to the Hoard Historical Museum at 401 Whitewater Ave., Fort Atkinson, WI 53538 or to Motherhouse, P.O. Box 184, Cornwall, CT 06753.