John Retherford Ervin, 88, of Indianapolis, passed away June 15, 2017. He was born Dec. 10, 1928, in Rockcreek Township, Bartholomew County, Indiana, to the late Ernest E. and Mattie P. Retherford Ervin.
John graduated from Columbus High School, Class of 1946. He farmed for a short time and then attended one year at Purdue University. John served in the U. S. Army Signal Corps from 1951 to 1953. He then attended Indiana University, graduating in 1957. It was there that he met his future wife, Martha Jean Hutchinson, of Cambridge City, Indiana.
John taught English in Hagerstown, Indiana, from 1957 to 1964 until he was convinced by the principal of Thomas Carr Howe High School in Indianapolis to come for an interview. He then taught there until his retirement in 1990. John was chairman of the English department for his last 14 years at Howe.
John was a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church, first at Grammer, Indiana, and then at First Presbyterian Church in Shelbyville, Indiana, where he served as both deacon and elder. He was a 50-year mason at Alert, Indiana, then Elizabethtown, Indiana, after they merged. He also was a member of the Scottish Rite in Indianapolis, where he was tour guide for a number of years. John was an avid and knowledgeable collector and restorer of antiques.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday, June 19, 2017, and from 9 a.m. until time of services at 10 a.m. on Tuesday at Shirley Brothers Washington Memorial Chapel, 9606 E. Washington St., Indianapolis.
John is survived by his devoted daughter, Mattie Marie Krautheim; son-in-law, M. Stephen Krautheim; and two grandsons, Nathaniel Ervin Krautheim and Isaac Stephen Krautheim. He is also survived by his best friends and surrogate children, Butch and Barbara King.
His loving wife of 57 years, Martha J. Ervin, preceded him in death June 23, 2014.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to the Diabetes Youth Foundation of Indiana, 817 S. Tibbs Ave., Indianapolis, Indiana 46241, because his grandson, Isaac, suffers from Type 1 diabetes.