- Dominion Post, Morgantown, WV, Online Edition, 30 November 2002
Dr. Phra E. Kercheval, age 104, passed away Thursday, Nov. 28, 2002, at his home in Kingwood.
Dr. Kercheval was born on May 21, 1898, in Horton, Randolph County, to the late George H. and Nancy Ella Robinson Kercheval.
He grew up in Tunnelton where his father was a blacksmith. He graduated from Tunnelton High School in 1914, Potomac State College with a Pre-Dental Degree in 1916 and from the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery of the University of Maryland in 1921. Dr. Kercheval established his dental practice in Tunnelton and Kingwood and practiced for 52 years, until 1973. In 1939, he founded and established the Kercheval Memorial Clinic to honor his daughter who fell victim to leukemia, and in 1952 was instrumental in establishing Preston Memorial Hospital. He was a veteran of World War I, being a member of the U.S. Army Medical Corps and received an honorable discharge in 1918.
He was a member of the Wesley United Methodist Church, a member of the George D. Jackson American Legion Post 56, where he served as Post Commander on five occasions, was a past commander for the American Legion of the state of West Virginia (1944-1945), served on the American Legion's National Executive Committee (1947-1958); the National Rehabilitation Committee and was one of the organizers of Mountaineer Boy's State. He met with Senate and House leaders in regard to veterans' benefits during his activity with the National Rehabilitation Committee. He was also a member of Preston Lodge No. 90 A.F. & A.M., Scottish Rite Bodies, Osiris Shrine Temple AAONMS, IOOF, The American Dental Association, the West Virginia Dental Association, the Monongahela De ntal Association, Sigma Nu, Theta Nu Epsilon and Psi-Omega Chapter. He wants to be remembered for his devotion to his family, friends and practice of never letting a person's ability to pay be a factor in his dental practice.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Patria A. Kercheval; a daughter, Barbara A. Kercheval of Fort Meyers, Fla.; a son, Phra E. Kercheval Jr., of Warren, Ark.; three grandchildren, Rhonda K. Brown, of Memphis, Tenn., Kenneth P. Kercheval, of Jackson, Tenn., and Bradley K. Kercheval, of Olive Branch, Miss.; and seven great-grandchildren.
Dr. Kercheval was preceded in death by a daughter, Margaret Ellen Kercheval, in 1938, and his first wife, Claire Geipe Kercheval, in February of 1939; two brothers, infant Vance Kercheval, in 1896, and Dr. Ralph Kercheval, in 1938; and one sister, Alice Louise Kercheval Nutter in 2002.
Friends will be received at the Lobb Funeral Home in Kingwood on Sunday, Dec. 1, 2002, from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m., and on Monday, Dec. 2, 2002, from noon-1 p.m., the time of the services at the Wesley United Methodist Church in Kingwood, with the Rev. Paul Mateer and the Rev. John Negley officiating. Interment will follow at Maplewood Cemetery in Kingwood, where Military and Masonic Graveside Rites will be accorded. Memorial donations may be made to Hospice Care Corporation, P.O. Box 760, Arthurdale, WV 26520; or Wesley United Methodist Church, 107 West High St., Kingwood, WV 26537.