Don Ervin

If the world seems quieter and darker today, it’s most likely because one of its brightest lights has been extinguished.  I am grieved to announce the death of WAAM’s beloved Don Ervin.  He was returning from lunch with a friend in Manhattan on Tuesday, driving up Sawkill Road from Poughkeepsie, when he lost control of his Mini Cooper and drove into a ditch.  He was flown to Albany Medical Center for surgery, but his head injuries were severe and he passed away on Wednesday afternoon.  His family is gathered at his home on Zena Road, and they would probably appreciate condolences, food, or anything his friends might have to offer. Cremation is on Friday, and a memorial event will be planned in a month or so.  (I hesitate to post Don’s address and phone number here, but those who are interested should be able to find it easily in the phone book.)  We have started a Facebook page for Don, where you may want to post remembrances or read those of others – just type his name in the search box to become a friend. You can also write about Don as a comment on this blog.  Don was a most joyful and generous man, and he will be badly missed.  He was always happy to help wherever needed, and worked hard as a member of the Exhibition Committee. Rest in peace, Don.



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6 replies

  1. The man was a joy. We were lucky.

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  2. (I am re posting this comment which was left on another page):

    I am grateful to the writer of the story of my brother Don. You have been great friends to him and made his life in Woodstock fulfilling. I look forward to meeting many of you at the gathering later on. In the meantime heartfelt thanks for being so fine and I am content to know that you will be there for the family. It is hard to be apart at this time. With gratitude, Don’s “Sister Sue”

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  3. I first met Don in 1983, when he was creative director of Siegel+Gale, the firm that updated the corporate identity of my company, Time Inc. Our top executives, a WASPy Ivy League crew, never met anyone like Don–short, a bushy beard, outfitted by Goodwill Industries. But he disarmed and won them over with his low-key, highly informed presentations; his humor and authentic candor. Thus I was the go-between the Company and the Vendor for many months. Our friendship was sealed through visits with Don and his equally talented wife, Wilma, in their rambling New Canaan, CT, home, not far from where we lived. They were respected members of the Silvermine Guild Arts Center, where my wife Joan and I learned ceramics, painting and sculpture. Don deservedly became a legend in Corporate Identity, where commerce and art intersect. He was responsible for developing enduring, effective design systems for 3M, TRW and Mellon Bank, among many. I choose to remember him for his art, his Rube Goldberg sculptures and ironic paintings; for his empathy and devotion to Wilma and to family. We tend to forget he was tough, too, an ex-Marine. For all those values, real and ineffable, I will cherish his memory. Yours, Lou Slovinsky, Katonah, NY

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  4. Don raised me from a “pup” in my early years at Siegel & Gale. His generous and orginal spirit created extraordinary corporate identities, guided a generation of designers, and fostered countless friendships.

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  5. I was saddened to hear of the passing of my Uncle Don. Many fond memories with him and Aunt Wilma and my cousins. It was always such a great adventure to visit them, always a fun time. My condolences.

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  6. Don has been a role model and guiding force in my life. When I graduated from Yale Design School Don gave me my first design job at George Nelson & Co. in 1973. Three years later he gave me my second design job at Siegel+Gale where I worked for seventeen years until 1990. Don was responsible for jump-starting a large number of design careers and we all will be forever grateful for his encouragement and generous spirit. His modesty in the face of his extraordinary talent and accomplishments has truly been an important lesson for me.

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