Sylvan Tilden Marler

Sylvan Tilden Marler, 90, of Fort Walton Beach, went to be with the Lord Nov. 30, 2013. Sylvan was born on Oct. 17, 1923, in Pensacola, Fla., a son of the late William Lee and Sibyl Lempke Marler of Destin. He attended college at the University of Miami where he was manager of the football team for two years, and remained an avid Hurricanes fan throughout his life.

In 1947, he opened the first local sign shop, Sylvan Signs, and remained in the sign business until his retirement. Creating signs for local businesses was his vocation and well as his avocation.

He was a born again Christian and a member of the Living Word Church of Navarre. His family remembers him as a kind, giving and loving man, devoted to his faith and his family.

He is preceded in death by his loving wife of 56 years, Shirley Elaine Marler, the love of his life; his parents; one brother, Almon Marler; and two sisters, Carmen Lee Davidson and Thelrose Carpenter.

He is survived by two daughters, Jo Elaine Bilby and husband, Ken Bilby, and Mary Mills, and husband, Anthony Mills, all of Fort Walton Beach; three grandsons, and eight great grandchildren, Jonathan Bilby, his wife, Elisabeth, and their children, Lauren, Lucy, Aliza and Audrey of Navarre; David Bilby and his four children, Benjamin, Brantley, Brian, and Annabelle of Highland Park, Ill.; and Michael Bilby and his wife, Amy, of Astoria, N.Y.

The family would like to extend their deep appreciation to the nursing staff involved in his care at Fort Walton Rehab Center, who went the extra mile in giving care, showing concern for his comfort, and extending their friendship in the last months of his life.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Dec. 3 at the Emerald Coast Funeral Home, 113 Racetrack Road NE, Fort Walton Beach. Viewing will precede the service from noon to 1 p.m. Burial will follow at Beal Memorial Cemetery.