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Merle Everrett McGraw

Merle Everrett McGraw

Merle Everett McGraw died at his home in Eagle Point, Ore., on Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at the age of 85. He was born in Medford, Ore., on March 17, 1922, the second child of Thomas E. and Blanche McCay McGraw. He attended Medford Schools.

In 1940 he married Jessie Elise and they had three children, Lana McGraw Boldt (Darrell), Wendy Lee McGraw (Michael Cowan), and Michael Alan McGraw. They have four grandchildren, Katrina Meister, Kirsten Boldt, Brandon McGraw, Ryan McGraw and two great-grandchildren, Christopher and Anabella Meister.

Merle worked in all aspects of the Oregon lumber industry his entire life. Most notably he was a general manager for the Steve Wilson Lumber Company for over 25 years.

During World War II, he served in the Air Force as a B-17 and B-25 Pilot and Flight Instructor. He retired as a Captain in the Air Force Reserves. He continued his love of flying through the rest of his life, serving as a pilot for Steve Wilson Lumber and later flying his own Cherokee.

Merle's myriad interests centered around his family, his native Oregon and all the Pacific Northwest. He loved presiding over huge family holiday gatherings at his ranch in Eagle Point. His many avocations included hunting, fishing, bird-watching, studying Native American culture, Oregon and Alaska history and wandering his beloved Oregon forests, high deserts and wildlands. His encyclopedic knowledge of Oregon and all wildlife made him a valued resource for many, including Oregon Fish and Wildlife and Oregon State University.

He was an active volunteer with the Civil Air Patrol, participated on many committees for the Eagle Point School District and the Eagle Point High School Boosters Club. He was also a major fund raiser for the original Rogue Valley Memorial Hospital Building Fund.

Merle is predeceased by his parents and brother, Elmo, and is survived by Jessie, his beloved wife of 67 years; his three children; four grandchildren; two great-grandchildren, his sister, Leilla McGraw-Sparks; one niece; four nephews and many loving cousins and friends.

At Merle's request there will be no service. The family prefers that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in his name to Malheur Wildlife Associates, c/o Alice Elshoff, Boardchair, Steens Mountain Road, French Glen, OR 97736. For more information, see www.malheurfriends.org.

Merle Everrett McGraw