Many of you were helped at one time or another by Erv Stokhamer, a significant member of our staff since 1996. Erv passed away August 14th. He was 84 years old.
We invite you to join us at a memorial service we're holding at this Sunday at the request of Erv's family. Meet his wife Sally, daughters Jody and Ami and grand-daughter Camille. Swap stories and memories of a wonderful guy who just plain loved being here and helping people.
Erv called the first day Diana and I became the Proprietors. He was anxious to volunteer in the store—and from then on was seen about these parts one or two days every week. Now don't get me wrong—he didn't come cheap. Erv tallied his hours from time to time and directed us to draw a check to a charity of his choice. We learned a lot about Erv from the variety of organizations he chose to support ... and his passion in describing what they did.
You see, basically Erv just loved tinkering and solving problems. If you came on a day he was here he delighted in taking you around to the nuts and bolts and tools and other supplies you might need to get what you needed done and done right. If you were lucky he'd share one of his countless funny stories he could conjure up on the spur of the moment.
At home Erv accumulated every tool and interesting device known to mankind. He loved taking on impossible repair projects for clients involving welding, soldering, casting, turning and every-other-ing necessary. And when you paid him for his shop work—guess what—you supported a charity Erv was passionate about.
For me Erv was a surrogate father. My Dad didn't know what end of a screwdriver to hold. Erv, on the other hand, gave me every encouragement and seemed to have an endless capacity to let me vent my troubles and challenges offering up just the right ideas or reflection. And he was just as interested in philosophical, political and other thoughtful discourse ... often employing his trademark sense of irony and wry wit.
Erv just cared a lot about people. You'd never know from his outward gruffness. "What do you want ..." he'd bark at a customer—but because he was Erv—he'd get away with it. Anyone who came under his wing knew he was a rare breed.
Anyhow—its time to pay our respects and remember Erv and all the ways in which he touched our lives. We invite you to join us this Sunday—come as you are and come as you can. We'll start our remembrance at two o'clock.
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