The South Lyon-area community is remembering the legacy of a longtime community leader who recently passed away.

Edward Erwin, the second generation owner of Erwin Orchards in Lyon Township, died last Friday after a bout with pneumonia, brought on by myelodysplastic syndrome, a blood cancer that impaired his immune system. Erwin was 95.

According to his obituary posted by the Phillips Funeral Home in South Lyon, Erwin took to farming at a young age, a profession that had been in his family since the Erwin Family began farming in Oakland County in 1842 after emigrating from Northern Ireland. After serving during World War Two as a 1st Lieutenant and Weather Officer in the Army Air Corps, he returned home in 1946 and formed a fruit-growing partnership with his father and brother that would later become Erwin Farms. In 1953 they expanded from Novi, acquiring a 240-acre farm on Silver Lake Road in Lyon Township, creating Erwin Orchards, which is today run by his nephew Bill Erwin with his wife Linda.

Over the years, Edward served as a delegate and president of the Oakland County Farm Bureau and as a member of the Michigan State Horticultural Society Board of Directors. He served on the Novi School Board at the time that Orchard Hills Elementary School was built and on the Lyon Township Board of Review.

The family is asking that memorial contributions be made to the New Hudson United Methodist Church, where services will be held for Erwin on Saturday at 11am. (JK)