Cover photo for James N. Cervone's Obituary
James N. Cervone Profile Photo

James N. Cervone

June 20, 1942 — March 22, 2018

James N. Cervone

The gates of heaven opened to welcome James Nichlos Cervone on Thursday, March 22, 2018. He was greeted by his parents, Samuel and Rose (Martignetti) Cervone, his brother, Robert and his many aunts, uncles and cousins that have proceeded him in death.

James was a quiet, compassionate and gentle man on this earth for 75 years. During those years he was a hard working, dedicated husband, father, grandfather, uncle and friend.

Jim grew up working on farms haying and for the neighbors he spent many hours on a tractor, which he enjoyed doing until he became ill. During his teen years he worked with his father at Cervone Cider Mill making and selling apple cider as well as tending the orchard. After graduation from Meadville High School he served in the US Army Reserves as a sharpshooter and upon graduation from Edinboro University; he taught science at Linesville Middle School. He left teaching to be employed in the construction trade, working for several local construction companies for 45 years.

Many times, driving through Meadville, Erie and neighboring towns he would point out buildings he had been a part of constructing or repaired. He was proud of working in the clock tower on the Mercer County Court House. He was also a fine furniture craftsman building entertainment centers, wooden rocking horses for his grandchildren, gun cabinets for his sons and son-in laws. He was able to fix just about anything that broke down because he enjoyed taking things apart and putting them back together to see how they worked.

After retirement Jim and Yvonne opened “Cervone’s Old Buggy Barn” where he created custom-built horse drawn equipment, buggies, carts and wagons as well as restoration. When he wasn’t building for the business he was making beautiful pieces of furniture for his family.

James was always proud of his four children and their accomplishments in life. His oldest, Marissa Cervone-Gilson, (Scott) of Meadville, James Cervone Jr. (Kelly) of Trafford, Jeffrey Cervone (Melissa) of Ridgway and Monica Cervone-McElwain, (Peter) of Lakewood, CO. He religiously followed his children’s sports activities and supported them through high school as well as college.

On July 29, 2000 he married Yvonne (Cook) McCray at Trinity Lutheran Church in Meadville, and gained three more children, Justin Cross, Jolene Franz (Steve) and Lindsay (Jimmy) Applebee. Together their children have blessed them with 15 grandchildren which he bragged about often.

James has been an inspiration and mentor to his children and grandchildren, Nickalaus Gilson, Makenzie Gilson, Domenic Cervone, Vincent Cervone, Anthony Cervone, Keveaun McCray, Makaya Cervone, Daylyn Hetrick, Mary Jane Cervone, Oban McElwain, Lucia McElwain, Abigail Franz, Morgan Applebee, Rylynn Applebee and Iris McElwain.

James had many interests and hobbies throughout his life that he enjoyed doing, among them was his love of horses and training them. He was responsible for helping establish the first 4-H equine club in the county. He participated and served on committees in 4-H several years. He enjoyed hunting and fishing, antique shopping, riding the old steam engine trains in PA and Colorado and going to the Market House once a month to have breakfast with his buddies.

He had many accomplishments which included serving on committees for 4H, Wolves Club, and MASH wrestling boosters. James most recently had served as secretary for Vernon Township Zoning Committee until his health declined.

He has been an inspiration and mentor to his grandchildren always teaching them the value of hard work as they split wood with him or learned to drive a tractor. He enjoyed gardening and mowing his lawn. He maintained a camping area near the woods on the farm for the family to enjoy annual camp outs with all the family.

Jim was a firm believer of traditions as he carried on the Italian family tradition at Christmas time of the Feast of the seven Fishes on Christmas Eve. His son, James has maintained the tradition for the past several years by preparing the meal for family and extended family.

Jim was all about making his famous meatballs and sauce for Sunday dinners with the family. He enjoyed cooking and making traditional Italian dishes. He was always happy having their large dining room table surrounded by family.

James was a member of St. Mary’s Church of Meadville, where his craftsmanship is displayed in cabinetry in the foyer.

A man of few words and strong faith, when he spoke he was kind and wise. He was inspired by John Wayne and the movies and television shows of yesteryear, especially westerns. He loved traveling to the Amish country in Ohio where he made many friends, shopping their stores and auctions. He reminisced about the old steam engines that came through Meadville and through the years he rode many trains in Pa and Colorado. He collected antiques and he dreamed of making a chuck wagon one day.

Honest as the day was long, faithful and true described the man he was. Loving, generous and kind rarely raising his voice but he got your attention when he did. He didn’t spend time with idle gossip and kept negativity out of his life.

Jim touched many lives through the years and will be sadly missed by all his family, especially his wife, Yvonne, his children and grandchildren. Jim is survived by a brother, Donald (Bernice) Cervone of MA, an aunt Darlene Cervone of Meadville, sister-in laws, Patti Cervone of Pittsburgh, Helen Cook of NC, Katherine Cook-Wood (Joseph) of Spartansburg, Nancy Higley (Randy), his best friends Carlos Risco and Bud (Gwen) Wills of New Bethlehem as well as several cousins, nieces and nephews.

Friends and family may call from 2-4 and 6-8 on Sunday at STEPHEN P. MIZNER FUNERAL HOME & CREMATION SERVICES, INC., 404 CHESTNUT ST., MEADVILLE, where a Scripture Service will be held at 7:30 PM.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 AM on Monday, March 26, at St. Mary of Grace Church, 1085 Water Street, Meadville, with Fr. Tom Trocchio, Parochial Vicar, officiating.

Following Full Military Honors, Jim will be laid to rest in St. Brigid Cemetery.

The family would like to thank the entire staff of Marquette Hospice House for the kind and loving care they provided to Jim and all of the family.

Contributions can be made to the Marquette Hospice House C/O Hospice of Crawford County, 766 Liberty St., Meadville, PA 16335.

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Past Services


Sunday, March 25, 2018

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

Stephen P. Mizner Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Inc. - Meadville

404 Chestnut Street, Meadville, PA 16335

with a Scripture Service at 7:30 PM

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Mass of Christian Burial

Monday, March 26, 2018

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

St. Mary of Grace Roman Catholic Church

1085 Water Street, Meadville, PA 16335

with a Scripture Service at 7:30 PM

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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