A lifelong love affair

by Erin Breen

Reno Gazette-Journal

It was one of the longest nights of my life.

Traveling can take a toll on you. Add in, that this particular trip was across the country and then across the Atlantic and I was traveling with a man I hardly knew, but one who would become a dear friend.

It was hot and muggy in the Miami airport and my companion, who was 75 at the time, was hauling an oxygen tank as I managed the luggage. It was slow going, but he never ran out of humor. Brent Tyler had a thousand jokes, and I think I heard them all on that trip.

We were headed for Brazil. Brent was going for a visit with his longtime friend Joe Conforte. I was after an interview with that famed brothel king. It seemed to work out that we make the trip together.

The jokes subsided as the night wore on, and he told me a wonderful love story.

"I fell in love with my wife the day I saw her, through a window at college," He said. "I saw her standing there with a bright red coat and her bright red hair. I didn't even know her name, but I knew right then that she would be with me for life."

Her name was Anne. The two married and had three children.

Brent made a name for himself with the Young Electric Sign Company, also known as YESCO, and he became friends with Conforte while running political polling in Nevada.

After a nearly 50-year marriage, his beloved wife, Anne, passed away. His affections never strayed. And after her death, he was lost. He gave up smoking, but the damage had been done.

To fill in the time Brent took more often trips to see Joe. They spent many hours talking about old times. Joe Conforte, was never at a loss to match Brent up with Brazilian beauties, but still Brent never wavered.

"I know it sounds funny," he told me. "And I know she's gone, but I still love my wife. I'll go to dinner with Joe's friends, but that's it. I married for life ... hers and mine."

Since that trip in 2003, Brent Tyler and I have spent many lunches talking about old Reno, and his volunteer work with the Washoe Senior Law Project and his work building Yori Park. His heart seemed only to grow larger with age. He said he knew good deeds on earth would lead him back to his dear Anne.

I'm sure that Brent Tyler is looking down from heaven today, smiling to be with her again. He died of health complications in August. A celebration of his life for those he touched will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday at Rancho San Rafael Regional Park.

Brent found and shared the kind of love everyone deserves, yet very few really find here on earth.

Erin Breen is a Reno freelance writer, mother of three and anchor of KTVN's Channel 2 News This Morning.

Write her at the Reno Gazette-Journal
P.O. Box 22000
Reno, NV 89520

or e-mail erinmeehanbreen@sbcglobal.net



He was always cherubic, but never quite angelic.
As an aspiring railroad man all those years ago.
MULTI-TASKER: Chilling out while chaising around.

Brent's Photo Galleria

All submissions welcome

The best damned Republican I ever knew
Andrew Barbano/Daily Sparks Tribune 9-2-2007







Please send remembrances and photos of Brent, Anne
and/or the family to
Andrew Barbano

Thank you.


Map to Rancho San Rafael Park
DIRECTIONS: The memorial service will be held at the ranch house just south of the lake on the south side of the park. The ranch house is visible from both N. McCarran Blvd. and N. Sierra St. You may enter at San Rafael Drive off N. Sierra, as noted by the green arrow, or by driving straight north on Washington St. to the park entrance. Washington intersects Interstate 80 between Keystone and Sierra but there is no direct access from the freeway.


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