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Merle Main

Obituary of Merle Austin Main

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Merle “Austin” Main, 89, of Gerry went to be with his Lord, on Thursday, June 8, 2023 at Heritage Village Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing, in Gerry. Austin was born December 13, 1933 in Jamestown, to Merle Burdette and Ada Marie (Anderson) Main. He lived life to the fullest. He was a man of many talents and passions: a stock car builder and driver, a US Navy Petty Officer First Class, fiddle and upright bass player, artist, pole vaulter, boxer, mink farmer, coffee drinker, mechanic and metal fabricator. He was also strong, funny, creative and very resourceful. He loved helping people, being in the woods, telling stories and working with his hands. He was devoted to loving, protecting, and providing for his family. Austin was a 1951 graduate of Falconer Central School, where he pole vaulted on the track team He joined the Naval Reserves and was activated to full time duty in June 1956 until June 1958. He served on the USS Yosemite based out of Newport, Rhode Island. A gifted musician, he played fiddle, mandolin, guitar, and upright bass. While still in high school, he played with the Happy Valley Boys, and while playing with the Westernaires, they were featured on a weekly nationally aired radio program, and toured parts of Canada and the US. He played with several different bands and other musicians including Jack Dunagin, Sherwood Murphy, and Slim Griffin. His children especially enjoyed his fiddle playing of the Orange Blossom Special, and Black Mountain Rag. At about 16, he started building and racing stock cars, racing on many of the old local tracks. He regularly raced at Stateline and Eriez Speedways. A few years ago, a team of race fans restored his #2 Sportsman racecar which was displayed locally and in Daytona Florida. He was also a talented artist in many different mediums. As a young boy, he drew pencil drawings of wildlife. As a father he drew portraits of his children that hung in his home, and made toys for them, including a cradle, model gas stations, barns, cabinets, and a miniature violin. As a grandfather, his grandchildren enjoyed riding on the riding horses he made. Boxing was another activity in which he participated in matches throughout NYS and while in the US Navy. A strong work ethic was very important to him, which he was able to instill in his children. He often said, “I was made to work.” As a child, he was always looking for ways to make money such as helping his neighbors hay and pick potatoes and trapped muskrats and mink. As a teen, he set pins in the bowling alley. At 16 he was working for Hildom Block Company, worked for a short time at Dahlstroms, and then worked for Hopes Windows for a few years. His main business and passion was raising mink. He put his heart and soul into them. His entire family participated in the mink business. He also, for ten years drove school bus for Cassadaga Valley Central School. He married Nancy (Smith) Main December 26, 1975. They raised four children: Ruthanne Main of Sinclairville, Amy (Mike) Rutenber of Falconer, Robert Main of Gerry and Cara (Mark) Abbey of Sinclairville. He loved being Grandpa to his ten grandchildren: Kaylie, Austin, Ariana and Connor Main of Gerry, Wren, Ezra, and Maple Rutenber of Falconer, Isaiah and Asher Main, and Samuel Abbey of Sinclairville. Brother of Nancy (Fred) Shelters of Falconer and the late Lawrence and Steven Main. Austin is also survived by nieces and nephews. Visitation will be Sunday, June 11 from 4-7 pm at the Jordan Funeral Home in Sinclairville. A Celebration of Life will be held at the Sinclairville Baptist Church June 12 at 10 am with Pastor Daniel Bender officiating. Memorials may be made to North Wing Connections Room, Heritage Village Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Facility, (Attention Angelique), 4570 Route 60, Gerry, NY 14740, in Memory of Austin Main. Condolences to:
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4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Sunday, June 11, 2023
Jordan Funeral Home
6 Parkway Drive
Sinclairville, New York, United States

Funeral Service

10:00 am - 11:00 am
Monday, June 12, 2023
Sinclairville Baptist Church
Sinclairville, New York, United States
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Merle Main

In Loving Memory

Merle Main

1933 - 2023

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