Monday, June 27, 2022

Ervin Deaver, 86, had the self-reliance and independent spirit of a pioneer

Ervin Deaver

WILMINGTON — Ervin Deaver, 86, went to his eternal home with his Savior, Jesus Christ, Saturday, Aug. 8, 2020. He is reunited now with his loving wife of 64 years, Jerri, who passed away April 15.

He was born July 21, 1934, the son of Dexter and Polly Ann White Deaver in Bladen County. Ervin was only 14 when his father died. With his older brothers already off on their own, Ervin had to become the man of the house. He quit school and took over the farm work with his younger siblings, using a mule and a plow to grow tobacco and peanuts.

At about age 18, Ervin went to work at Newport News Shipbuilding as a welder on Navy ships so large you could get lost in them. Next he headed to Atlanta, where he worked for Piedmont Welding. It was there that he met the love of his life, Jurline “Jerri” Mundy, on a blind date. They tied the knot Feb. 3, 1956, and had barely settled into married life when Ervin was drafted into the Army. For two years, he served his country in the missile defense of Washington, D.C., and during this time, he completed the school years he missed.

Ervin returned to Piedmont Welding after his service, and he and Jerri were blessed with two daughters, Denise and Diane, while living in Marietta, Georgia. When GE opened a plant in Wilmington in 1968, Ervin jumped at the chance to return to southeastern North Carolina. For 28 years, he fashioned precision parts for nuclear reactors and aircraft engines at GE. He was on the 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. shift, and that allowed him to spend his mornings doing what he enjoyed: working in his yard and garden.

Ervin was a loving husband, father, father-in-law and grandfather. Through his hard work and frugality, he provided a comfortable home for his family and opportunities for his daughters that he did not have. He was humble, shy and soft-spoken, but guided his daughters with wise advice and his example.

Ervin had the self-reliance and independent spirit of the pioneers who built our country. He could have survived on the frontier because he knew how to do everything from digging a well to growing food to building a house. He had a tool for every job, and he used them to help his family and neighbors. He was a faithful member of Sunset Park Baptist Church for 52 years and built wheelchair ramps at the homes of many fellow members.

Left to cherish Ervin’s memory are his daughters, Denise Holden (Jay) and Diane Francis (Scott); and granddaughters, Rebecca Holden and Alexandria Francis. Also surviving are his sisters, Gracie Taylor (Charles) and Dorothy Barnes (Harvey); sisters-in-law, Mazelle Deaver, Virginia Deaver, Jean McClure, Sue Thompson, Joyce Dunn and Sally Mundy; brother-in-law, Lou Mundy (Carolyn); and many nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, Ervin was preceded in death by his brothers, Ethell Deaver, Ernest Deaver, Norris Deaver and Graham Deaver; sisters, Bell Cain and Bettie Alford; sisters-in-law, Mable Deaver and Janet Deaver; and brothers-in-law, Clarence Cain, Andy Daniel, Wes Alford, Frank Mundy and Delmas Mundy.

Ervin’s family is deeply grateful to the caregivers who provided loving care for him over the past several years during his declining health. A special thanks to Deanna Gazaway, Serenity Lambe, Ruby Baughman, Sandie Gorst, Tonya Boulware, Linda Els, Charlene Burbee and Lauren Hopper. Also, thanks to Anne Rostan for her help during the time that Home Instead provided care.

Due to COVID-19, there will be a graveside service led by the Rev. Chris Wroten for immediate family only.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Sunset Park Baptist Church, 231 Central Blvd., Wilmington, NC 28401; or to Lower Cape Fear LifeCare, 1414 Physicians Drive, Wilmington, NC 28401.

Share online condolences with the family at Andrews Mortuary & Crematory.

Related Articles