Brent Tyler, business executive, political pollster
and community activist, dies at 79

RENO, Nev., (8-26-2007) — Longtime Nevada business executive and community activist Brent Tyler passed away at Renown Medical Center in Reno on August 15. He was 79.


Brent Eugene Tyler was born in Thatcher, Ariz., on May 29, 1928.

He served in the U.S. Navy and was stationed in Hawaii as an air traffic controller from 1946 to 1948.

In 1950, Brent and the former Anne Higley eloped to Reno, Nevada. They had been college sweethearts.

He earned a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Nevada in 1953.

He had a 30-year career as the top-producing sales executive of Young Electric Sign Company (YESCO) which built the current downtown Reno Arch among many other neon landmarks.

In the late 1950's, Brent co-owned the Minden Drag Strip. His passion for building and racing dragsters landed him a feature article in Hot Rod magazine as one of the original promoters of the sport.

Brent ran for the Reno City Council in 1967. He advanced through the primary but was defeated by Claude Hunter in the general election, 6125 to 5303 (54%-46%).

While he was not successful in his bid for public office, he never got politics or public service out of his blood. Over a 30-year period, he helped countless Northern Nevada candidates and organizations.

His lifelong interest in the political arena led him to establish Trendtab, a marketing research firm which he operated for three decades. He conducted extensive polling for both commercial and political clients.

He was a longtime member of the Wells Avenue Gang, which was established by and for longtime residents of old central Reno. The organization hosted annual reunions at Pickett Park located across the street from Washoe Medical Center (now known as Renown).

Upon retiring from YESCO and after the passing of his beloved wife of nearly 50 years, he turned his focus to public service, volunteering for a wide range of community organizations.

Tyler served for several years as a full-time VISTA volunteer with the Washoe County Senior Law Project.

He spearheaded the effort to establish Yori Park.

He chaired the statewide Nevada Renter’s Hotline, a non-profit, non-governmental organization which advocates for renters' rights and consumer issues.

Brent took great pride in joining his son, Joe, in his work to help the mentally ill thru the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Northern Nevada. Brent and Joe produced and appeared on a half-hour television program on mental health issues which ran on Reno-Sparks Community Access Television channels.

Along with his son Bret, he helped incorporate a low income, non-profit mobile home park in Lockwood, Nev., east of Sparks-Reno.

Brent is survived by his sons, Joe (wife, Bunchie) of Reno and Bret (wife, Faith) of Lockwood; daughter, former State. Sen. Stephanie Tyler-Jackson, R-Reno (husband, James Jackson of Las Vegas), and grandchildren Ryan and Nicole Tyler (son, Nathan).

All of Brent's children were influenced by their father's love of public service and politics.

A memorial service is planned for 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2007, at Rancho San Rafael in northwest Reno. .

Remembrances and photos may be e-mailed to Andrew Barbano and will be permanently posted at

His family will send any donations in his name to the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Northern Nevada, an organization he co-founded. Checks may be mailed to 14 Eagle Chase Ct., Henderson, NV 89052.

Before the Tuesday, Sept. 3, memorial, flowers may be delivered to 1240 Curti Dr., Reno, NV 89502, in care of Mrs. Poe. The family will transport them to Rancho San Rafael for the Tuesday remembrance.

For further details, please contact Bret Tyler at (775) 342-2930.

Brent touched many people with a heart that grew larger with every passing year.

He leaves behind a legacy of caring for those who could not advocate for themselves.

Memories of the man, his wife and his life

A lifelong love affair
Erin Breen/Reno Gazette-Journal 9-3-2007 + Family Photos

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

Brent Tyler Photo Galleria
All submissions most welcome




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

We especially want "Brentisms" so that we may perpetuate his voice.
Click here for some examples.

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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