Gail Ervin was born Margaret Gail Shillcutt on October 22, 1937, and died on October 10, 2023, in North Little Rock Arkansas.
She was the daughter of Mildred Ringer Shillcutt and Raymond Everett Shillcutt, Sr., wife and widow of Charles Dexter Ervin, Sr.
She was also preceded in death by her son Charles Jr.; brother, Raymond Jr.; and sister, Joyce Merritt.
She is survived by her brother, Larry Shillcutt; son, Scott (Melissa) Ervin; daughter, Lynda Englehart; granddaughter, Jaclyn (Scott) Bowman; and great grandchildren, Helen Margaret Gwin and Finn Archer Bowman. She is also survived by her sister-in-law, Mertle Ervin O’Cain, of Lonoke, Arkansas; brother-in-law, Bob Merritt, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, their children; and other cherished family members.
She was a lifelong Presbyterian. Gail enjoyed fishing, car rides, horse races, lottery tickets, crossword puzzles and other tile and logic-based games. She liked westerns, old movies, TV re-runs, and country music, especially Johnny Cash, who she saw perform at the Grand Ole Opry. Her claim to fame was that they brushed shoulders and made eye contact after a performance there. Gail enjoyed working and began her career straight out of high school. She was a skilled typist. She was a typesetter for several businesses including the Southern Unit Publications that owned and operated the Arkansas Farmer, the Southern Farmer, and many regional farm magazines.
While living in Nashville, Tennessee, she worked for a published author and American Independent Party Presidential candidate in a role that included editing his political column. Back in Arkansas, she worked for the publishers of the Daily Record and the Legislative Digest, where she reported bill progress from the State Senate that was then typeset largely by her; printed and delivered.
She typeset several notable books including Time Bomb, Conway County – Our Land, Our Home, Our People, and Down from the Hills, and worked with and knew many local politicians and political insiders. She was present on the night the senate bill clerk announced “Mr. President, we’re out of journal pages” and the senator said, “It’s worse than that, we’re out of ice!” She was quick-witted and spontaneous. Gail retired at age 60 to spend time with her husband and granddaughter. She came out of retirement and cared for Leah and Kate Chavis, who were like grandchildren to her. During the pandemic, she guided Helen through virtual kindergarten and first grade.
Gail was kind and generous, a wonderful family historical resource, smart and peaceable. She loved living and family. Smith North Little Rock Funeral Home will handle arrangements for private services. The family would like to thank Baptist Health Hospice for their guidance, care, and kindness.
Cremation arrangements by Smith North Little Rock Funeral Home, 1921 Main St, North Little Rock, AR 72114, 501-758-1170.--