Don Edward Ervin

May 28, 1945May 4, 2021
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An Honorable War Veteran, Retired Aerospace Engine Line Supervisor, and beloved family man, Don’s strength, resiliency, and unconditional love for his family will forever serve as a benchmark to all those he knew and loved for generations to come. On May 4, 2021, Don peacefully made his transition into eternal life leaving many lessons taught and memories to savor, surrounded by loved ones who will continue to honor his legacy with each and every passing day. Don Edward Ervin was born on May 28, 1945. He was the youngest of seven children, born to the late Walter James and Bernice Williams Ervins of Hazlehurst, Mississippi. Tragically, just over a year into Don’s life, his mother suddenly passed away. Leaving his father, a hard-working farm laborer with no formal education to make the tough decision and ultimate sacrifice, to divide the family. As such, Don was sent to Clarksdale, Mississippi with his Aunt Gertrude Dorsey.

In 1956, Don’s late Aunt Gertrude, who served as a second mother to him, moved their family to Sikeston, Missouri where he graduated from Scott County Central High School in May of 1965. Always leading with his passion for serving others, in June of 1965, Don enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Throughout his years of service in the Marine Corps, Don completed training at the Marine Corps Depot of San Diego, California, and ultimately served in the Vietnam War from November of 1965 through December 1966 where he traveled to Okinawa, Japan, and Bangkok, Thailand.

After returning to the United States, Don continued to serve as a Military Police Officer at the U.S Naval Ammunition Depot in Hawthorne, Nevada where he was Honorably Discharged from the US Military in June of 1968. He then served four more years in the Marine Reserve at USMC Miramar, California.

That same year, during an impromptu visit to San Bernardino, California, he met his soulmate, the love of his life, a beautiful young lady, Mary Livia Alma Rabon. It was love at first sight and just one year later, Don requested her hand in marriage, and they joined in vows and holy matrimony in June of 1968. Throughout the 53 years of their marriage, up until his final breath, she stood faithfully by his side, upholding every vow made on that day. From this union of love, two daughters, his pride and joy, were born, Tamela Maria and Regina Marie Ervin.

Over the years, Don obtained two degrees in Business Management and Industrial Supervision from San Diego City College and San Diego Mesa College. Working from the ground up, he spent 25 years building aircraft components at Rohr Industries beginning as an entry Handfinisher & Polisher and quickly advancing to become the Lead Engine Line Supervisor, earning countless awards and accolades over his career tenure.

More than anything in this world, Don loved spending time with those he loved. Despite every obstacle faced in his lifetime, he was a man of admirable integrity, honor, and perseverance. He remained dedicated to his family and worked hard to build a stable foundation for the life and future of his children, that will continue to carry on for generations to come.

Don was preceded in death and united through eternal life with his parents Walter Sr. and Bernice Ervins, his second mother Aunt Gertrude Dorsey, his siblings: Walter (Bessie) Ervins Jr., Ellean (John) Shavers, and Shirley Jean (Willie, Sr) Rucker – his big sister who was much like a third mother.

Don leaves to carry on his ever-lasting legacy, his loving and dedicated wife, Mary Ervin, Two daughters Tamela (Daniel) Ervin Ikeri and Regina (Wayne Jr) Ervin Hampton of San Diego. Three sisters: Bobbie Jean Ervins, Lee Ethel Mae Hampton, Betty Faye (Jerry) McFall of Chicago, Illinois, and his Aunt Mary Jordan of Chesapeake, Virginia. Seven grandchildren: Brooke Ervin, Tracy (Akemya) Shields, Ryan Shields, Wayne Hampton III, Theodora Ikeri, Benjamin Ikeri and Donovan Hampton. A great-granddaughter Zendaya Zion Coons, two great-grandchildren on the way, whom he was so eager to love, a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and a lifetime of friends who became much like family across the globe.


  • Daniel Ikeri, Pallbearer
  • Wayne Hampton, Jr., Pallbearer
  • Tracy Shields, Pallbearer
  • Ryan Shields, Pallbearer
  • Wayne Hampton, III, Pallbearer
  • Keith Rucker, Sr., Pallbearer
  • Benjamin Ikeri, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Donovan Hampton, Honorary Pallbearer


  • "Celebration of Life"

    Sunday, May 16, 2021



Don Edward Ervin

have a memory or condolence to add?

Charles James

May 16, 2021

Don, a very gracious, caring and loving Brother. To Mary, Tamela and Regina, our thoughts, prayers and love for you during this transition of life for a well respected and deeply loved Brother. God Bless 🙏🏽

Carol and Michael Smallwood

May 16, 2021

Don was a wonderful person. He was such a fantastic family man as a husband, father, grandparent, etc. When we were together as an extended family, it was always joyful. I will never forget the "Iced teas" he would make. God be with him and his family. I know he will be truly missed. With Love, Michael and Carol (Rabon) Smallwood Family.

GLORIA Watkins

May 16, 2021

Rest in peace Uncle. To be absent from the body is to be present with the lord. We love you.

Bobbie Shavers

May 16, 2021

To my sweet uncle. You truly will be miss, the conversation s we shared to time we spent during your present here the family reunion telephone calls, your sweet tea😪. Just you in general . I know that you are free from all pain and is with our other family above. Rest on uncle I love you.
Bobbie Jean Shavers you niece.



Don Edward Ervin was blessed with an abundance of leadership qualities. It would be accurate to say that this man was an outstanding luminary and that his natural abilities served him well. He knew with certainty how he wanted to set priorities in all aspects of his life. He struck those who knew him as the kind of person who awoke in the morning with a clear sense of exactly what he expected from his day and how to set about accomplishing those goals. Don was a man who definitely liked order and was most comfortable with an organized and structured lifestyle. When this climate was absent, Don would set about immediately to create it.

      Don was born on May 28, 1945 at home, with a midwife in Hazlehurst, MS. His parents were Walter James Ervins and Bernice Williams Ervins. Don was raised in Hazlehurst, MS, Clarksdale, MS and Sikeston, MO. Don was brought up to be reasonable in his actions and was taught to use his intellect wisely. He was an honest and straightforward child, traits that reinforced his self-confidence. Even at a young age, Don was credited with having a positive influence on those around him.

      The positive atmosphere that Don generated spread to his family. Don was raised with six. He had one older brother, Walter Jr., and five older sisters, Ellean, Shirley, Bobbie, Ethel and Betty. Don served as a catalyst within the family. He often found himself in the role of providing fair solutions to those sibling disputes. In every family activity, Don was able to demonstrate his uncommon logic and skill at building compromise.

      Don's enthusiasm for learning and the personal energy that enthusiasm generated led to his exhibiting leadership qualities early on in his childhood. He liked to see things executed properly and showed a skill for taking control of situations that were drifting out of control. At the same time, he was willing to experiment with different approaches as he worked a plan towards a solution. As a young boy, he basketball. Don's memorable achievements included.

      When it came to academics and school, Don's organizational skills reaped dividends. Don was able to create a system for getting his class work done in a proper and timely manner. With a strong ability to analyze his schoolwork and assignments, he could apply a practical, common sense approach completing his studies. He showed a natural curiosity in the manner in which he tackled new types of problems and would regularly challenge his own reasoning ability in finding solutions. He graduated from Scott County Central High School in 1965. He enjoyed some courses more than others and developed favorite classes and teachers.

      The work habits and approaches to studying that Don utilized in high school also served him well in college. Don always seemed on a quest for knowledge. He was able to generalize, summarize and compile information for his classes, employing a matter-of-fact approach. Don was intuitive and mentally alert, seemed to crave the challenge of solving complex problems. He earned two AA degrees. One in Business Management and one in Industrial Supervision from San Diego City College and Mesa College. Don worked full-time during the day, and attended college in the evening. Don's interest was advancing in the workplace to provide a better life for him and his family.

      In a group of friends and acquaintances, Don was typically the first person to take the initiative to go up and greet someone new. That quality made him very approachable by others throughout his life. This same quality brought Don the reward of many friends. Maintaining loyalty to those friends was a trait that came naturally to Don. He believed that he should treat others in a fair manner, in the same way he wanted to be treated. Don also showed a great deal of appreciation for the accomplishments of his friends. While growing up, some of his best friends were Jill, Phil, Ernestine, George, Harry, ML. Later in life, he became friends with Melvin, McDuffy, Georgia and Andy, Carl and Jean, Al, Marti, Jim and Kathy.

      As Don knew in other aspects of his life, he had a clear vision of what he sought in a relationship and worked hard to achieve it. On June 2, 1968 Don exchanged wedding vows with Mary Livia Alma Rabon at Little Cupid of Las Vegas, Nevada. Mary was a significant part of his life, and it wasn’t necessary for Don to be overly sentimental or expressive about it for others to be aware of their mutual devotion. Don's secret to success was that he always kept the lines of communication open in the marriage and applied the important skill of being a good listener.

      Family and children were important to Don, even if he didn’t always show it. Don was blessed with two children, two daughters, Tamela and Regina. They were also blessed with seven grandchildren, Brooke, Tracy, Ryan, Wayne III, Theodora, Benjamin and Donovan - 1 great granddaughter Zendaya. Don was able to keep order in the family by using the same efficient and straightforward methods with the family as he did at work. Don rarely made a scene when it came to discipline. Instead, he was subtle and patient in his dealings when teaching the children right from wrong.

      At work Don was viewed as a natural leader. He could marshal all of the available resources, including personnel and materials, in order to meet virtually any objective. He was great at developing strategies and made maximum progress with little wasted effort. Don was also adept at uncovering new and more efficient ways of getting things done. He was able to establish and meet objectives and schedules through long range planning and was always able to keep the big picture clearly in sight. Although Don might have been described by some as an overachiever, he was without question a dedicated and diligent employee. His primary occupation was engine line supervisor. He was employed for 25 years by Rohr Industries, receiving many awards and accolades.

      Don was a Marine veteran. He joined the Marine Corps. In June of 65. He went through base training at San Diego Marine Corps Depot and Camp Pendleton, Oceanside. While in the Marines, he traveled to Okinawa, Japan, Vietnam and Bangkok, Thailand. After returning to the states, he served one year and six months at U. S. Naval Ammunition Depot, in Hawthorne, Nevada as a military police. After being honorably discharged from regular service in June of 68, he served another four years in the Reserve at USMC Miramar. Don saw action from Nov. 65 - Dec. 66 during the Vietnam War. Through his dedication and hard work, he achieved the rank of Corporal E-4. He received several awards including Purple Heart. Don's fellow soldiers knew that he worked well within the system, understanding the importance of rules and striving to follow them. Don's life approach was all about order.

      Not only did Don find pleasure in pursuing his various hobbies, he also enjoyed the discovery and research involved in learning about them. His skill at problem solving had a positive influence on these activities as well. His favorite pursuits were going to the gym, tennis, basketball, swimming.

      No matter what the activity was, Don had the ability to motivate others. This talent influenced his participation in sports, too. He sought out the possibilities in a competitive situation, and he stayed cool and calm under pressure. He relished the stimulation of the action and energy associated with sports. In high school, Don played basketball. Recreational sports included tennis. He was also something of a sports fan and enjoyed following his favorite events whenever he got the opportunity. Tops on his list were football, basketball, baseball, golf.

      Don's ability to motivate, direct and organize others made him a valuable asset to the organizations to which he contributed during his lifetime. Don was one who could be counted on to work hard to implement goals and required little to begin work on a specific task. Once a project was begun, Don had a definite methodology for seeing it through to completion. Throughout his later years, Don was an active member of the Neighborhood Watch, Homeowners Association, Family Reunion Committee.

      Don was a man who took pride in upholding his beliefs. When he became active in community affairs, he did so in the same determined and forthright manner that he applied to other aspects of his life, serving on committees for the neighborhood. Anything that involved improving and beautifying the neighborhood, he was involved in. Politically, Don was a Democrat. He would financially support any candidate he got behind.

      Traveling, especially vacations, was another way for Don to apply his exceptional leadership and organizational skills. He liked exploring different places but also enjoyed designing and scheduling the trips in advance. He had real talent for developing the perfect itineraries. Favorite vacations included visiting his family in Chicago, IL, Indianola, MS, Sikeston, MO, Lafayette, LA, and all the various places he went for family reunions.

      When Don's retirement finally came in 1993, he was well prepared. He had worked out all of the details well in advance and knew exactly what he was going to do. San Diego, CA. In retirement, he found new pleasure in taking care of grandchildren, renovating his home, spending weeks at a time with his sisters, neighborhood landscape projects. Always a well-informed person, Don enjoyed adding to his wealth of knowledge. Retirement afforded him the time to enjoy that experience and provided one more opportunity to look ahead at what life might offer him.

      Don passed away on May 4, 2021 at Pacifica House in Carlsbad, CA. Don fought a brave battle against many ailments, but ultimately it was an infection that caused his demise. He is survived by wife, Mary; his children, Tamela and Regina; his grandchildren Brooke, Tracy, Ryan, Wayne III, Theodora, Benjamin, Donovan; his great granddaughter, Zendaya; his sisters Bobbie, Ethel and Betty. Services were held at Little Chapel of the Roses at Glen Abbey. Don was laid to rest in Miramar National Cemetery in San Diego, CA.

      Don Edward Ervin knew what he wanted from life and never hesitated in going after it. He could be characterized as a driven individual, someone who understood the importance of achievement. Don was decisive and outspoken at times but was also positive and upbeat about most things. He was a leader, both intentionally and sometimes by default. If he saw that something needed to be done, he was always ready to step up and actualize, organize and implement a plan.