Oliver Tysver

Oliver “Ollie” Tysver of Cedarburg, Wis., formerly of Flossmoor, Ill., passed away peacefully in the late evening hours of Wednesday, June 28, 2022, after a short hospitalization. He was 91 years old.

Oliver was born to Captain Oliver “Cy” J. and Charlotte “Lottie” M. Tysver on Aug. 25, 1930, in Gloucester, Mass.

Oliver graduated from Gloucester High School in 1949, and in 1996 was inducted into the Gloucester High School Athletics Hall of Fame for hockey.

After high school, Oliver enrolled at Vesper George Fine Art School in Boston while also playing semi-professional hockey for the Lynn Pics and working alongside his father as a commercial fisherman on his father’s boat, the Naomi Bruce.

Oliver’s vivid memories of that era lasted his entire life, and one of his passions in retirement was painting scenes of sailing and fishing boats at sea, with a focus on capturing the magic of the light and water.

His engineering background and desire for absolute mathematical precision inspired him to design and build intricate one-of-a-kind boat models that he posed for his paintings.

While playing for the Lynn Pics, Oliver’s hockey skills caught the attention of the 1952 Olympics and Boston Bruins team recruiters, who were drafting him to play for their teams when another draft cut short his hockey career — serving in the Army during the Korean War. Oliver endured boot camp in sweltering Texas and then served in Iwo Jima, Japan. He remembered his military service as the worst time of his life, and in fact attempted to demonstrate the horror of military cuisine to his kids by making them Spam sandwiches, which, of course, they loved!

After his military discharge, he furthered his education through the GI Bill at Milwaukee School of Engineering, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1958.

After graduation, Ollie took a job in Turkey for General Electric, using his engineering education to monitor missiles from Russia into Eastern and Central Europe. He loved to tell stories about his time in that port town on the Black Sea, including walking through town when the streets were under construction to install a central sewer system and witnessing the excavation of a Roman mosaic panel. Being a lifelong lover of a good meal, Oliver fondly remembered how much better Turkish food was compared to American cuisine at that time.

Oliver’s magical time in Turkey was short-lived. He returned to Milwaukee to marry his college sweetheart, Mary Fitzpatrick, on Feb. 20, 1960.

After their marriage, the couple moved to Rockford, Ill., to start a family. They lived in Rockford for three years, during which time Oliver and Mary’s first child, Jim, and second child, Peg, were born.

The young family soon moved to the south suburbs of Chicago after Oliver took a mechanical engineering position at Continental Can Co. Between 1977 and 1998 at Continental Can, and later at Union Carbide, Oliver earned six patents for his inventions.

Oliver and Mary’s family grew to include Peter and Web. Oliver was an engaged and devoted father to his four children. He coached and cheered them on in every interest they had, and he truly loved to see them grow and flourish. As someone who was both an avid athlete and dedicated artist, he appreciated and celebrated whatever his children wanted to pursue. He was a great listener with an understated sense of humor and soft-spoken demeanor. His sweet, gentle and compassionate nature is what his family will remember most fondly about him.

After his children were grown and had relocated around the country, Oliver and Mary moved in 1998 from Flossmoor, Ill., to Cedarburg, Wis., to be closer to Mary’s sister Eileen Fitzpatrick.

Oliver kept very busy during his retirement years — playing hockey for the Bald Eagles in the Cedarburg Hockey League into his 80s, painting and drawing and continuing to be a lifelong learner with so many interests that it was hard to imagine a topic about which he wouldn’t be able to launch into an intelligent and engaging conversation.

Oliver is survived by his children: daughter Peg Tysver of Seattle, Wash., and his sons Jim Tysver of Cedarburg, Wis., Web Tysver of Miami, Fla., and Peter Tysver of Seattle, Wash., as well as his daughter-in-law Heather Mitchell and granddaughterCharlotte Tysver of Seattle, Wash.

Ollie was preceded in death by his beloved wife Mary, who passed away on Feb. 25, 2022.

The family will not be holding services. Instead, in keeping with Ollie’s wishes, they will be scattering his ashes at sea out of Gloucester Harbor in Massachusetts.

In lieu of cards or flowers, we ask that donations be made to ActBlue in honor of Ollie’s progressive political beliefs.

The family would also like to thank Aurora Medical Center in Grafton for its kind and loving care of Oliver during the last weeks of his life.

Eernisse Funeral Home, Cedarburg, is honored to serve the family.

Online condolences may be left at www.eernissefuneralhome.com.



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


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