Leon Tyler, Jr.
Leon “John” Thaddeus Tyler Jr. passed away peacefully in Dover, N.H., on Jan. 10, 2013 after a lengthy illness. John was 78 years old. His last few days were surrounded by family and friends, playing cards and swapping stories.
John Tyler was born in Gorham, N.H., on Dec. 25, 1934 to Stella and Leon Tyler Sr. After graduating from Gorham High School, John joined the Army, serving honorably in Germany as an airplane mechanic. After the Army, John returned to Gilead, Maine, and fell in love and married Betty Jane Bennett, of Bethel, Maine, on May 24, 1958.
John had a successful 30-year career at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (Shop 56) in Kittery, Maine, including periodic assignments at bases in California, Connecticut, Scotland and the Philippines. After his retirement, John worked several years in the mail room at Liberty Mutual in Dover, N.H., before landing his dream job for the last 12 years as a handy-man and starter at The Links at Outlook Golf Course in South Berwick, Maine. John also worked part time for many years at Safeway Storage in Portsmouth, N.H. In semi-retirement, John and Betty spent a number of years RV'ing around the country, exploring the United States, and visiting their grandchildren.
John and Betty raised their family in Eliot, Maine, with children Raeleen, Randy, and Rusty. Much of family life centered around sports and camping, with summers spent camping throughout New England, and sports being played, watched, or coached year round. John never passed up an opportunity to shoot hoops, toss the football, throw a Frisbee, or hit some fly balls to the neighborhood kids. John was a volunteer coach for his children's youth basketball and baseball teams for many years, and continued to do so for his grandchildren. For his work in youth sports, John was awarded the “Fabyan Drake Good Citizen Award” by the town of Eliot. John continued to participate in the things he loved with his children and grandchildren throughout his life.
John was skilled at woodworking, carpentry, plumbing, and just about anything mechanical. In 1991, after buying a book on how to build a house, John and Betty built their own multi-level 4,200 square foot home in South Berwick from the ground up, excluding the foundation. In 1998, they did it again by building another home closer to their grandchildren. This house was also built entirely by hand except for the foundation.
John Tyler will be fondly remembered as an honest, hardworking family man that was a true gentleman and always ready to lend a helping hand.
John leaves behind his devoted wife and friend of 55 years, Betty Tyler, his daughter, Raeleen (Tyler) Lamson and Douglas Lamson of Fulshear, Texas; his son, Randy and Marta Tyler of Portsmouth, N.H., and his son Rusty and Maureen Tyler of Camarillo, Calif. John also leaves behind eight grandchildren: Mandy, Tyler, Colby, Javelynn, Dezarae, Dexter, Baylee and DJ.
A Celebration John Tyler's life will be held on Jan. 26, 2013 starting at 4 p.m. at The Links at Outlook Golf Course in South Berwick, Maine.
In lieu of flowers family requests donations to South Berwick Rescue, P.O. Box 157, South Berwick, ME. 03908.