Merle Draper

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EPSON scanner image

Merle R. Draper, 92, passed away peacefully Monday evening, July 10, 2017, at Brown County Health & Living Community in Nashville. She was a longtime resident of Nashville.

Merle was born July 9, 1925, in Portland, Maine, to the late Charles and LaDessa (Reed) Draper. A graduate of Hirsch High School in Chicago, Merle received a bachelor’s degree in education from Northern Illinois University, her master’s in education from Western Illinois University and her doctorate in education from Indiana University.

She retired in 1986 as a professor from the School of Education at IUPUI. While at IUPUI, she taught introduction to teaching, undergraduate and graduate courses in reading. Merle was instrumental in the development of the School of Education. She served as assistant director for Student Services, director of Administrative Services, director of the Curriculum Resource Center, and director of the IUPUI Guided Study Program. Merle was also a founding member of the Women’s University Club at IUPUI. She was honored with the IUPUI Spirit of Philanthropy Award in 2002. Prior to that, Merle worked in the School of Education at Indiana University in Bloomington.

After retirement, Merle remained active in the community and with Indiana University. She worked concessions for the Pine Box Theatre in Nashville and was a season ticket holder for I.U. men’s basketball. Merle volunteered for many years to help recycle aluminum cans from I.U. football games. The recycling proceeds were donated by her to many charities that aided “the old folks.”

Merle enjoyed the outdoors and nature; she was a collector of rocks from around the world and loved to visit Brown County State Park. Merle also enjoyed reading, fishing, and eating at Kathy’s Cafe in Morgantown while visiting with family and friends.

She is survived by several nieces and nephews; good friends, Romilda Hamontre of Nashville, Connie Snyder and Violet Scrougham, both of Morgantown, Deanna Demes of Bloomington and Erin Cassity of Danville.

Merle was preceded in death June 14, 2013, by her best friend and companion of 53 years, Mary Joan Perisho; siblings, James, Helen and Lynn Draper, Pauline Jensen, Norman Draper, Alma Marvin and Gayle Davidson.

A funeral service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 15, at Meredith-Clark Funeral Home Cremation & Personalization Center, 179 E. Mulberry St. in Morgantown.

Friends may call from noon until service time Saturday at the funeral home.

Burial will be in East Hill Cemetery, Morgantown.

Memorial contributions may be sent in honor of Merle to Brown County State Park, P.O. Box 608, Nashville, IN 47448.

Condolences may be made to family and friends at For more information, call 812-597-4670.