Cover photo for Merle A. Graves's Obituary
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1932 Merle 2017

Merle A. Graves

January 13, 1932 — December 4, 2017

Merle A. Graves         “beloved husband, father and papa”

SHINGLEHOUSE---Merle A. Graves, 85, of Shinglehouse, passed away with his loving family by his side on Monday, December 4, 2017, in Cole Memorial Hospital, Coudersport, after a short illness.

Born on January 13, 1932 in Shinglehouse, he was a son of R. Lyle and Ada Ford Graves.  On September 21, 1957 in the Frayser Baptist Church in Memphis, TN, he married the love of his life, Carolyn J. Crain, who survives.

Merle graduated from Shinglehouse High School, Class of 1949.  He was a U.S. Army veteran.  He then attended Bryant & Stratton Business School in Buffalo and the National Hardwood and Lumber Association’s School of Hardwood Lumber Inspection in Memphis, TN.  He was employed at various lumber mills and in 1970 he began a career in insurance sales, retiring in August of 2017.  Along with his family, Merle was a maple syrup producer.

Merle was a member of the Shinglehouse United Methodist Church, having served in several capacities within the church.  He enjoyed supporting his favorite baseball team, the NY Yankees and was an avid bowler, golfer, gardener and hunter.  He and his wife enjoyed square dancing with the Grand Squares.  He enjoyed listening to gospel quartet music and also enjoyed singing bass in his church choir and as a member of the gospel group, Witness.  Merle was the longtime secretary/treasurer of the Maple Grove Cemetery Association in Shinglehouse.  He had previously served on the Shinglehouse Borough Council.  He was a loving husband and devoted father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.

Surviving besides his wife are five children, Sharon Elaine (Richard) Simon of Portville, N.Y., Donna (Leo) Higley of Eldred, John (Catherine) Graves of Warren, Gary (Patricia) Graves of West Point, VA, and Richard (Leah) Graves of Olean, N.Y.; several grandchildren; several great-grandchildren; a sister, Lucille (Charles) Hastings of Newtown; and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, Merle was predeceased by his loving stepmother, Reba Woodard Graves; a brother, Lewis Graves; and a sister, Mareta Smith.

Friends may call from 2 to 4pm and 6 to 8pm on Thursday at the Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home, 118 South Union Street, Shinglehouse. Funeral services will be held at 11am on Friday, December 8, 2017 at the Shinglehouse United Methodist Church, with the Revs. Robert M. and Sandra D. Howles, pastors, officiating.  Burial will be in Maple Grove Cemetery, Shinglehouse.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Shinglehouse United Methodist Church, PO Box 296, Shinglehouse, PA 16748; to the Potter County Hospice, Main Street, Coudersport, PA 16915; or to Explosive Ordinance Device Warrior Foundation at

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, December 7, 2017

2:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

North Eulalia Baptist Church

683 State Rte 49, Coudersport, PA 16915

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