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Merle Wayne Tiger, 73, of Cherry Tree, died Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017, at his home surrounded by his family.

The son of Oren Merle and Esther Faye (Travis) Tiger, he was born on Jan. 25, 1944, in Punxsutawney.

Merle was a member of the Pine Grove Church of God, where he was appointed to be a deacon on the church board.

He served in the US Air Force from 1963-1967 during Vietnam. He was a member of the Clymer American Legion Post #222.

Prior to his retirement, Merle had been employed as an over-the-road truck driver with Kephart Trucking. Previous to his career as a truck driver, Merle had worked for 17 years for McCreary Tire and Rubber Company.

Merle loved restoring vehicles of all sorts, but he was especially fond of restoring Crosley vehicles. He was one of the founding members of the Keystone Crosley Club, where he had been actively involved in the club for years. He had also been a member of the national Crosley Club.

He enjoyed camping. Merle was fondly known for sharing popcorn and soft serve ice cream. As the owner of commercial popcorn and ice cream machines, folks looked forward to seeing him dispensing treats, especially at church activities.

Merle married his wife, Marie “Betty” E. (Bullers) Tiger on July 31, 1965. In addition to their own children, they shared their home with foster children for 24 years.

He is survived by his wife, Marie “Betty” of 52 years; his son, Mark W. Tiger and wife, Jeanette of Cookport; his daughter, Dawnette M. Sabol and husband Frank, of Danville; his four grandchildren: David McDermott, Christy Tiger, Mark Tiger Jr. and Paige Sabol; and his great-granddaughter, Lilly McDermott.

Also surviving are his four siblings: Joyce Cochran, of Blairsville; Ellen Bagley, of Cherry Tree; Ralph Tiger and wife Diana, of Cherry Tree; and Dale Tiger and wife Mary, of Cherry Tree.

Merle was preceded in death by his parents and his infant sister, Esther Tiger.

Family and friends will be received from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Rairigh Funeral Home Ltd. in Hillsdale, where immediately following the visitation a 1 p.m. funeral service will be officiated by Pastor Steve Lecorchick. Interment will follow at the Rowley Cemetery in Hillsdale.

At 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday the Clymer American Legion will accord military honors at the funeral home a half hour prior to the funeral service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to the Pine Grove Church of God, c/o 1900 Mulberry Road, Cherry Tree, PA 15724, for use toward the local missions fund.