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Lavern Graber, 82, husband of Ida Mae Mast Graber, of Abbeville, SC died Thursday, February 22, 2018 at his home; his family was with him. He was born in Hartville, OH to the late Joel and Esther Schlabach Graber.
Mr. Graber indeed was a man of varied talents who had a servant’s heart. A woodworking craftsman, he constructed cabinets, restaurant booths and church pews, some of which are presently installed in Whispering Pines Mennonite Church. An accomplished pilot, Mr. Graber was an airplane instructor at the Abbeville Airport and also a helicopter instructor at Carolina Helicopters in Saluda, SC. He flew Medevac missions, did crop dusting, and, in addition, tree cutting and trimming with Aerial Solutions in Tabor City, NC. As a bulldozer operator, Mr. Graber cleared airplane runways. Along with his wife, he owned and operated restaurants throughout the southeast, including the Dutch Oven in Abbeville. Often happy hours were spent on the highway whether by motorcycle or in his pick-up truck. Mr. Graber was a member of New Life Mennonite Church in Springfield, SC.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his daughter, Linda Graber Nisly.
Mr. Graber is survived by his wife, Ida Mae, of the home; a son, Gary Graber (Debbie), of Eureka, NV; a daughter, Sandra Hershberger (Wesley), of Abbeville; a sister, Emma Hostetler (Marion), of Oregon; a son-in-law, Jason Nisly, of Pennsylvania; his grandchildren, Wendell Hershberger (Rose), Heather Horst (Myron), Sherilyn Kemp (Lyle), Gordon Hershberger (Dionne), Hannah Hershberger, Rebekah Hershberger, Abigail Hershberger, Grant Nisly (Jessica), Alyssa Hopkins (Daniel), Mandy Burkey (Hans), Joel Graber (Joanne), Jonathan Graber and Michael Graber; and fifteen great-grandchildren.
The family will receive friends 3:00PM – 5:00PM Sunday, February 25, 2018 at Whispering Pines Mennonite Church, 7085 Highway 20, Honea Path, SC 29654. Funeral services will be 2:00PM Monday, February 26, 2018 in the church. Burial will follow in the church cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests memorials, in memory of Mr. Graber, are sent to Hospice Care of South Carolina, 114 Court Square, Abbeville, SC 29620.
The family is at the home in Abbeville.
A message of condolence may be sent to the family by visiting www.harrisfuneral.com.
Harris Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Abbeville is assisting the Graber family.