J. Willis Ervin was born in Frontier County, Neb., on Sept. 2, 1923, to Elmer and Clara Ervin. He passed away peacefully on Feb. 23, 2014, in Golden. He was 90 years old.
Willis attended a one-room schoolhouse in Frontier County, Neb., and graduated from the State of Nebraska School for Agriculture in Curtis. He went to the University of Nebraska for three semesters before being called to active duty in World War II. After his discharge from the U.S. Army, he returned to the university to complete his education. He graduated in 1948 with a bachelor of science degree in agronomy. Afterward, he went to work for the Bureau of Reclamation, retiring after 34 years of service. He received the bureau's Distinguished Service Award. After his retirement he enjoyed traveling, especially to see family, working on projects, gardening and genealogy.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Georgianna Ervin of Golden; three children, Bethene Ervin of Odenton, Md., Luanne Todd of Golden, and Roger Ervin of Beaverton, Ore.; three grandchildren; and two great-grandsons. He was preceded in death by his two sisters, Lois Boson and Verda Ervin, and three brothers, Lloyd, Ernest and Carl.
Services will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 5, at Applewood Valley United Methodist Church, 2035 Ellis St. in Golden.