Charles Ervin, 83, was described as firm, funny and loving by his niece Marva Laws during a radio interview on the weekly "BPD Case Files" radio segment earlier this week.
Ervin was found dead with signs of blunt trauma in his home in the 3300 block of The Alameda by firefighters who were responding to a fire, which was ruled as arson. Ervin's death on July 18 was ruled a homicide and the investigation is ongoing, police said.
Laws said Ervin was a real estate investor, who owned several properties throughout Baltimore. He served in the Vietnam War and later worked at Bethlehem Steel for decades, she said.
In 1966, Ervin married Frances Ervin in 1966 and together raised two chidlren from Frances' previous marriage. Their life together was a "fairytale," Laws said.
Neighbors said Ervin was active. Betty Butler, 68, said she often waved to him when he was out mowing his lawn. Laws said Ervin was not slowed even after receiving a pacemaker.
"Longevity was what his destiny was supposed to be," she said. "Longevity was what God's will was for him … until a monster decided to interrupt it with their own will."
Police canvassed Ednor-Gardens-Lakeside on July 19 looking for any information related to the case. The investigation is ongoing, police said. Anyone with information is asked to 1-866-7LOCKUP.
Baltimore Sun reporter Tim Prudente contributed to this article.