Oct. 9, 1930 Dec. 13, 2013
Many obituaries read like a posthumous resume - a list of a person's accolades, accomplishments, memberships and associations. But our lives are not measured by our resumes. Our lives are measured by the number of lives we have touched in a positive way, and Merle "Moe" Kenton Evey, who passed away on Dec. 13, 2013, after an extended illness, touched the lives of many. The son of Merle H. and Dorothy Evey, Merle was born in Altoona, Pa., on Oct. 9, 1930; and he was a lifelong resident of Blair County, remaining close friends throughout his life with many of his Altoona High School buddies, who "might" have skipped school with him to travel to Pittsburgh for Pirates games and to snag a few players' autographs. Later in life, Merle made several trips to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., to test his extensive knowledge of baseball trivia. Merle was also a proud graduate of Penn State University's Class of 1952, where he developed a die-hard love for JoePa's football team. For over five decades, Merle attended almost every home game, sitting with old friends and family members and revealing that the usually even-tempered man had another side to him when an official's call didn't go JoePa's way. He also had the distinction to serve as a member and President of the Penn State Altoona Advisory Board, further solidifying his ties to PSU.
After graduating from Penn State, Merle studied law at Dickinson in Carlisle, Pa., and he was more than pleased years later when Dickinson School of Law was acquired by Penn State, confirming that he was a Nittany Lion through and through. After "being volunteered" to spend two years in the U.S. Army in Germany in the mid-'50s, Merle moved back to Pennsylvania to practice law in Hollidaysburg with Marion D. Patterson, starting the firm Patterson and Evey. Merle later became the senior partner in the firm; and in his over 50-year career, he grew the two-man shop to a firm of over 10 attorneys, becoming one of the most well-known and respected attorneys - and law firms - in Blair County. Merle served as the Blair County solicitor for 23 years, served on the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, and was one of only a few attorneys in the Blair County Bar Association to be admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States. As a lawyer and friend, Merle was known for exhibiting the highest integrity - for his hard work, dedication, pursuit of justice, sense of humor and kindness. He was also known for his classic style of attire and large necktie collection, with a particular penchant for stripes. Former colleagues described Merle as a "master attorney" who had the "Honest Abe effect," and certainly the year he dressed as Mr. Lincoln for Halloween seemed most fitting given his lanky, 6'5" stature and his trustworthy nature. Merle also loved many styles of music, and during his younger years, he played trumpet in both the Altoona and Johnstown symphony orchestras. His diversity of interests was exhibited by his membership in and support of numerous organizations, most notably the Board of Trustees of the Home Nursing Agency, Ancient Gastronomic Order of Rattling Reptiles, Spruce Creek Rod & Gun Club and the Pennsylvania Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. In his free time, Merle could often be found at the Blairmont Country Club, one of his favorite places, or on the golf course, trying to replicate the hole-in-one he shot during a local golf tournament.
The lives that Merle touched the most were those who were closest to him - his family. He is survived by his beloved wife of over 51 years, Veronica "Ronnie" Moran Evey, who was the "pretty redhead" he first saw through a window in Altoona and knew was "the one"; by his older daughter Eileen Evey Mulligan of Beverly, Mass., whom he lovingly referred to as his "little lamb" and who will forever smile when thinking of her DDY pushing her on the swing and singing "You Are My Sunshine"; by Eileen's husband Paul, who looked to him as his legal mentor, and their children Kate and Brendan, who will miss eating ice cream with their "P-Pa"; by his younger daughter, Kathleen Evey Walters, of Arlington, Va., who decided she wanted to be an attorney at the age of 4 so she could be "just like dad" and who is honored to write this tribute to him; by his sister, Helen "Sis" Garver, of Altoona, Pa., whom he loved dearly, and her husband Hugh "Bus"; and by several nieces and nephews. With a life full of accolades, accomplishments, memberships and associations, Merle Evey will best be remembered as a gentleman - a good man who touched the lives of numerous individuals in a positive way. Those who knew Merle will miss him greatly.
Family and friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, at The Stevens Mortuary Inc., 1421 Eighth Ave., Altoona, Pa., and from 9:30 to 10:30 am, Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013, at St. Mary Catholic Church, Hollidaysburg. A funeral service will be held Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013, at 11 a.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church, Hollidaysburg, by Father Anthony Legarski. Interment will be at Calvary Cemetery. In honor of Merle's generous nature and in the spirit of this holiday season, memorial contributions may be made in his name to St. Mary Catholic Church, Hollidaysburg; Bishop Guilfoyle High School, Altoona; the Altoona Symphony Orchestra; or to the charity of your choice.