Ruffsdale delivery driver considered farming more than a hobby
Merle Craig was a farmer back when it wasn’t unusual for people living in rural areas to be farmers.
He raised Black Angus cattle for beef on Indian Hollow Farm in Ruffsdale, named for American Indian artifacts found on the property.
“Growing up the way you did, there were a lot of farmers. He just always seemed to like the cattle,” said his daughter, Liz Erwin.
Although he never had a large herd, Mr. Craig considered farming more than a hobby.
“He cleared a lot of land when he bought the property. His farm was like a park. It was immaculate,” Erwin said.
Merle Glenn Craig of Ruffsdale died Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018, at Excela Health Frick Hospital. He was 86.
Born in Tarrs on April 21, 1932, he was a son of the late Merle and Elsie (Stoner) Craig.
Mr. Craig made a career out of driving a delivery truck for Westland Dairy, a farmer-owned co-op in Greensburg.
But his first love was farming, his daughter said.
“He’d go to work and put a full day’s work in, and then he’d come home and put another day’s work in (on the farm),” said his sister-in-law, Marlene Silk. “He worked hard all his life.”
Erwin remembers growing up on the farm and riding the tractor or hay wagon. “It was a lot of fun,” she said.
He sold the herd after his heart surgery, Silk said.
Mr. Craig also had a garden that was mostly for his family’s use.
“My mother was by his side, doing a lot of stuff,” Erwin said. “She was the best baker in the world, and he loved all her pies.”
Mr. Craig had a strong faith in God and a good sense of humor, she said. He supported numerous charities, including veterans organizations, local fire departments, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, and Jack Van Impe Ministries.
“He was a very big-hearted person,” Silk said.
Mr. Craig is survived by his daughter, Elizabeth Rae Erwin, and her husband, Paul David, of Warren; a brother; three sisters; a granddaughter; and two great-grandchildren.
Friend will be received from 11 a.m. until the time of service at 1 p.m. Wednesday at Brooks Funeral Home, 406 E. Washington St., Mt. Pleasant. Interment will follow in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery.
Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @shuba_trib.