Walter Marion Tyler
Walter Marion Tyler
  • April 9, 1939 - December 28, 2016
  • Fairhaven, Massachusetts

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On Wednesday, December 28, 2016 Walter Marion Tyler, beloved husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and friend peacefully departed this life at the age of 77 attended by the loving care of his family.

He was born in Amory, Mississippi on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939, the 4th and youngest child of Marion Caroline Sanders and Walter Lester Tyler. A life of adventure would eventually lead him to join the US Navy in 1959 where he sailed the world's oceans on the USS Beatty, Pine Island and Hissem. His naval service extended over 10 years during which time he served as a radarman, Chief Petty Officer.

While a sailor he met his bride to be and eternal companion, Carolyn Whittier. It was love at first sight. While Carolyn served a two year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Brazil, Walter embarked on naval service which would take him to another distant part of the globe, Vietnam.

Upon their respective returns Walter and Carolyn resumed their courtship and were soon married for time and all eternity in the Manti, Utah temple on February 3, 1968. Amongst their greatest treasures were the stories they shared in life together. One priceless memory occurred while Walter was attempting to cross several lanes of busy traffic. With a sparkle of her New England humor, Carolyn looked over to him from the passenger seat and said, "You know Walter, you never did ask me to marry you." Drawing from his ability of always having a golden answer, Walter paused, put his hand on his sweetheart's knee and said, "Don't worry honey, you made the right decision."

They became the proud parents of 11 children, 4 daughters and 7 sons, who were the recipients of their every devotion and sacrifice. Children could not have asked for more loving parents. Over the years, Walter and Carolyn would establish their homes in various locations throughout the country, eventually settling in New England. Many of his fondest memories were spent with his sweet wife and family in the hills and countryside of Bristol, New Hampshire. His children loved hearing him tell stories of his boyhood adventures where he camped around and explored his hometown woods of Winona, Mississippi, always with his 1903 Springfield rifle and Buster, his Jack Russel Terrier, at his side.

As a young father Walter enrolled as a student at Brigham Young University, graduating in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science in Geography. He also received honors as a distinguished military graduate from the Army ROTC program. He received a commission with the US Army in June of 1972, relocating his family to Greece while stationed with his field artillery unit. He continued his service with the Massachusetts Army National Guard, completing his career as a Site Contractor and Facilities Engineer at Camp Edwards in Bourne, Massachusetts. Additionally, he had a strong desire to improve the quality of life for many youth, serving as Director of the Big Brothers Big Sisters program of the New Bedford Child and Family Service as well as a volunteer leader in the Old Colony Boy Scout Council. His life was devoted to serving his country and community, eventually retiring honorably with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. He was a patriot at heart, always championing the military service of others.

He was a devout member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, dedicating his life to sharing the truths of the restored gospel. He volunteered as a Group Leader with the Addiction Recovery Program, was a counselor to the Bishop and also served as Bishop of the local congregation for several years. Walter was an active member of the George H. Taber Masonic Lodge in Fairhaven where he cherished the comradery of his neighbors.

Following his retirement Walter took up the hobby of wood carving. He had a keen interest in New Bedford whaling history, producing numerous whale boats, whales and walking sticks, most of which became treasured gifts to friends and family. Another unique gift of Walter's was his creative storytelling which accompanied by his golden voice brought to life his deep wisdom and humor drawn from extensive life experiences. Just as he found beauty and potential in every piece of wood, so too did he appreciate the inherent worth of all those he encountered.

He is survived by his wife Carolyn of 48 years, 4 daughters, 4 sons, 21 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren, namely Rebecca of Fairhaven and her children Joseph (and his daughter Morgan) and Jessica (and her son Levi); Rachel of Spring Hill, TN. and her children Christopher and Benjamin; Jeremiah and his wife Kari of Fairhaven and their daughter Weslee; Benjamin and his wife Kristine of Lehi, UT. and their children Amelia, Ethan, Eliza, Anya, Eva, and Audrey; Samuel and his wife Evelyn of Fairhaven and their children Nathaniel and Annabelle; Sarah and her husband Quinn Watkins of Salt Lake City, UT. and their children Samuel, Elizabeth, Kathryn, Henry and Gregory; Caroline and her husband John Devonald of Spring Hill, TN. and their children Jack, Nicholas and Cecilia; and Nephi of Salt Lake City, UT.. He was preceded in death and now enjoys the embrace of his 3 sons, Peter, Joshua and Walter, along with his mother, father, and siblings John Ed Tyler, Joan Mott and Sarah Spencer. Knowing that the family unit can be eternal in nature, Walter made a lifelong pursuit of researching and recording the details of his ancestor's lives, which brought great meaning and significance to his own.

Calling hours with the family will be held from 5pm - 7pm on Monday, January 2, 2017 at the Waring-Sullivan Fairlawn Mortuary located at 180 Washington Street, Fairhaven, Massachusetts.

The funeral service will be held at 10am on Tuesday, January 3, 2017 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon) located at 400 Cross Road, North Dartmouth, Massachusetts.