WWII Navy veteran had ‘a zest for life’

Growing up during the Great Depression and the youngest of 10 children, Harold “Scotty” McGraw learned one lesson quick: Never be late for dinner.

“Food never was wasted,” said Michael McGraw, one of his sons. “There wasn’t much food around and what you had, you ate.”

McGraw later served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and worked at Armco like many in his family. His son said his father and four brothers combined to work 135 years at the Middletown steel plant. McGraw worked as a rigor shop planner until his retirement in 1985 after 37 years of service.

“He taught us the value of hard work,” his son said.

Last week, McGraw died at Otterbein Retirement Community in Lebanon. He was 91.

McGraw served on board the U.S.S. Palawan in the South Pacific. His son laughed that his father never wanted to take a cruise after serving in the Navy.

“He was tired of water,” his son said. “He had a great sense of humor. He had a zest for life.”

He was active in the Knights of Pythias Lodge and Faith United Methodist Church of Middletown. He volunteered with several local organizations. He moved to Trenton in 1955 and raised his family there. He and his wife moved to the Otterbein Retirement Community in 2004.

He is survived by his children: Michael (Kathleen) McGraw of Hoboken, N.J., Marsha McGraw of Indiana, Pa., Kent (JoAnn) Wagner of Somerville, Paul (Lisa) Wagner of Middletown, Marie Wagner of Hamilton, and Teresa Wagner Brown (Steve) of Middletown and daughter-in laws Sharon McGraw of Indiana, Pa., and Diane Wagner of Middletown.

He was preceded in death by his wife Patsy Bowling McGraw to whom he was married 58 years, and sons John Wagner and Marc McGraw, and grandson Mitch Ratliff and great-granddaughter Cheyenne Wise.

Funeral arrangements are with Wilson-Schramm Spaulding Funeral Home, 3805 Roosevelt Blvd. in Middletown. Visitation will be from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday. A celebration of life service will be held at 3 p.m., followed by a reception at the funeral home.

A private burial will take place on Monday at Butler County Memorial Park.

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