Randy Ludlow The Columbus Dispatch
Warren Tyler wore a number of hats during his life — and they all fit him well.
Director of the Ohio Department of Commerce. First African-American director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency. Banker. Affordable housing advocate. Civic leader.
“All those many hats and the many roles that he played impacted people‘s lives — impacted the city and state,” said former Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman, who considered “W.T.” a valued mentor.
Tyler, 73, who served as commerce director (1983 to 1985) and Ohio EPA director (1985 to 1987) under then-Gov. Richard F. Celeste, died Wednesday of lung cancer.
The one-time senor vice president of State Savings Bank was perhaps best known, Coleman said, for his contributions in securing safe and affordable housing for low-income city residents.
He was founding chairman of the Columbus Urban Growth Corp. and a founder of the Columbus & Franklin County Housing Trust.
“He was a renaissance man. He was brilliant in so many ways. He was so instrumental in so many things that impacted the community from housing to commercial development to education,” Coleman said.
The list of causes to which Tyler contributed were many, including the board of the Mount Carmel Health System and the finance committees of the Columbus Foundation and United Way of Franklin County.
“He was really passionate about community development and affordable housing,” said his widow, Marty Anderson.”He was very generous with his time and information. He was a really generous mentor to a lot of his colleagues and younger professionals.”
Tyler also is survived by a daughter, Dawn Tyler Lee, and a son, Kevin Tyler, both of Columbus.
Service are pending at Diehl-Whittaker Funeral Service.