Fun Cheerful 05


Merle L. "Sonny" Gahring, III

July 4, 1959 ~ February 27, 2018 (age 58)

                Merle L. "Sonny" Gahring, III, 58, of Siverly, Oil City, died early Tuesday morning, February 27, 2018 at UPMC Hamot in Erie following a brief illness. 

                He was born in Oil City on July 4, 1959 to Joyce A. (McKean) Gahring and the late Merle L. Gahring, Jr. 

                Merle was a 1979 graduate of Oil City High School and Vo-Tech, where he studied mechanics and auto body. 

                He was a member of the Clarion Model Railroad Club, and was instrumental in starting the annual holiday train display at the Cranberry Mall.  

                Merle enjoyed model trains, rail-fanning, drawing and painting, and hunting, fishing, and camping.  He and his friends and family always looked forward to the annual Pig Roast Party and fireworks display in July. 

                Mr. Gahring, along with his dad, operated Merle's Mobile Rotor and Drum Reconditioning for many years.  He also did boiler work, and his last place of employment was with the Oil City school district as a custodian. 

                He was married in the Bethel United Methodist Church in Oil City on August 2, 1986 to the former Tina Glass, and she survives. 

                Also surviving are two sons, Merle L. Gahring, IV of Franklin and Jesse L. Gahring of Oil City;  his mother, Joyce A. Gahring of Oil City; two sisters, Cynthia Gahring and Debra Gahring, both of Florida; his best friend who was like a brother, Steve Hartzell of Oil City; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Dave and Annetta Jean McCurry of Oil City; and numerous nieces, nephews, and close friends. 

                He was preceded in death by his father, Merle L. Gahring, Jr.; and a brother-in-law, Peter George. 

                Friends and family will be received Saturday (March 3) from noon - 2 p.m. and 5 - 7 p.m. in the Hile-Best Funeral Home, 2781 Rte. 257 in Seneca, Cranberry Township.  A funeral service will be held in the funeral home Saturday (March 3) at 7 p.m. with Rev. T. Christopher Hill, pastor of The Crossing Free Methodist Church of Oil City, officiating. 

                Condolences may be expressed to Merle's family online by visiting

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