Thursday, January 18, 2018

PHILIP W. CRAVENER May 8, 1937 – March 24, 2012

March 26, 2012 by  
Filed under In Memoriam

Phil Cravener at the 2012 HCH Annual Meeting (Carlisle, PA) - Photo: Rick Sheets

May 8, 1937 – March 24, 2012

Philip W. Cravener, 74, of Latrobe, died Saturday, March 24, 2012, in Excela Health Latrobe Hospital. He was born May 8, 1937, in Indiana, Pa., the son of the late Merle E. and Phyllis (Moorhead) Cravener. Philip was retired from Carborundum, and was a member of  many black powder related organizations.

He is survived by his wife, Joanne L. (Lunk) Cravener, of Latrobe; two sons, Jeffrey M. Cravener, at home, and Christopher A. Cravener and his wife, Carolyn, of Blairsville; two sisters, Cora Lee Tarr and her husband, Maurice, of Latrobe, and Diana Webb and her husband, Richard, of Jeannette; and a grandson, Cody A. Cravener. He is also survived by a number of nieces and nephews.

He served the Penna Gun Collectors Association as treasurer for many years. He was the secretary of the Lantrobe Sportsmen. Phillip Cravener also belonged to the Old Westmoreland Rifles and served as Commander, Adjutant and the Treasurer.

He had 40 years experience building, repairing and restoring muzzleloaders and accouterments.  When Roland Cadle was elected Guildmaster of the Honourable Company of Horners, he asked Phil if he would offer to serve as secretary. Phil Cravener served loyally as the HCH secretary up to his passing.  He was a busy man, dedicated to his craft as a gunmaker and horner. He was a member of the CLA, HCH, NMLRA and the NRA.

If you would like to share a few words about Phil, you may do so below by leaving a comment.

Jeff Bibb, Guildmaster


20 Responses to “PHILIP W. CRAVENER May 8, 1937 – March 24, 2012”
  1. Kena Rothwell Cowell says:

    We are all so deeply sadden by the Colonel’s passing.  He was a remarkable man and a friend to those he entertained at camp.  I’ve had the pleasure of knowing him most of my life through Old Westmoreland Rifles and the Eastern’s.  Thanks for all of the wonderful memories and for my very first “evening” Manhatten, which I truly hated, but we all had a few laughs over it.  Our girls will surely miss him, but he left a wonderful impression on them and he will not be forgotten.  God Speed Colonel.

  2. John DeWald, Jr. says:

    Phil was a loyal ally and a friend.  He will be sorely missed in ALL circles that he traveled.  rest in peace my friend…

  3. John Proud says:

    I’m shocked to hear of Phil death. We had just talked last week, late one afternoon at about Phil’s usual “Manhattan time”. Phil called to chat and share with me a experience he had in grade school that was called to his mind by a decoration on a horn in the Guild’s Hartley book.
    I’m not usually a Manhattan drinker, but never the less I always enjoyed sharing a sip from Phil’s little jug when we met at events, and seeing that mischevious smile of his.

  4. Rich Baker says:

    This is indeed sad news.
    Rest in Peace my friend.

  5. John Bolton says:

    I feel honored to have met Mr. Cravener. At this year’s annual meeting I was privileged to spend time watching, listening to and learning from him. His humor and willingness to share his experience and knowledge were remarkable. I regret that I had such a short time to sit with him. I’m praying for his wife and family.

  6. Donald Getz says:

    I knew Phil for many years.  Last saw him at the Horner’s get together at Carlisle just a few weeks ago.  Phil was always smiling or laughing, something I liked about him.  He was usually at any major muzzleloading event,
    and will be thought of for years to come.  From what I have heard, he left this place, doing what he loved so much….with friends, shooting his flintlock………..Don

  7. Frank Ciletti says:

    I knew Phil for 20 years. I last saw him at Bushy Run Battlefield reenactment in August and the Bushy Run muzzleloader show in January, where I talked to him about flintlocks, horns, etc. It was always a joy to see Phil and talk to him. Even though I would only see him a few times a year I always looked forward to it. When I left the Bushy Run muzzleloader show , I told Phil I’d see him at the Old Bedford Village show in April. It truly broke my heart when I heard of his passing. I’ll miss him dearly.

  8. James Kelly says:

    I knew Phil when I lived in Pittsburgh late 1960's. The photo shows his nature as I knew him, very personable and hard working man. I was shocked and saddened to learn of his loss.

  9. John Duncan says:

    Phil was one of my best friends. You only get so many in a lifetime, and I am thankful for the time I got to spend with him.He will be missed by me, and my family. RIP good friend, from John, Cheryl, and Thomas Duncan

  10. Ray and Becky Lohr says:

    My father belongs to Old Westmoreland Rifles and so I have had the honor of knowing the Colonel most of my life.  He always had a smile, joke or story and a listening ear for all who entered his camp.  From the time we were just “crumb snatchers” until our last rendezvous together, his camp was a favorite stop.  He is proudly remembered and will be dearly missed.  We will drink a Manhattan and watch the Muppets in his honor.
    Becky and Ray Lohr

  11. Rich Wagner says:

    He was one of the good guys.

  12. Phil & I go back to 1983 when I started doing my own repairs and building. He guided and critiqued my work and we spent many times in his basement exchanging ideas. He will sorely be missed by the world, in every aspect. We will be joined in our next lifes adventures. Later, my freind. Mad Jack’s not so…you knew…

  13. Tim Landers says:

    I was deeply saddened to learn of Phil’s passing. Phil was an excellent craftsman, artist and special friend. His friendly, sincere personality endeared him to everyone. I hope wherever Phil is, there is an ample supply of his favorite Manhattans. Phil lived what he loved. RIP

  14. Rose Pruyne says:

    Just learned that The Colonel died over the winter. Have spent many pleasant hours chatting with The Colonel at EPR, and shall miss him very much. Was planning on buying one of his horns at EPR 2012 so that I would always have something he built. Alas…

  15. William Sanders says:

    Phil and his Father built me my first custom flintlock in 1976. My father and I belonged to Old Westmorland Rifles and over the years Phil made more beautiful pieces . I met many a good guy in the muzzle loading field but Phil was the best of the best . I now live in Oregon and last saw Phil at the NMLRA Eastern Rendevous in 2006 . He was always a gentleman and the most underated makers in the states as far as I am concerned , few could match his skill and knowledge and no one gave you more for your money than Phil . I am VERY saddened at his passing . I will always cherish the memories and the guns he made me which I will NEVER part with .R.I.P my good friend .  William Sanders

  16. Mike Lea says:

    I will surely miss the 4 o’clock Manhattans and peanuts at Phil’s camp and his inspiration.  Phil’s double-handed handshake greeting to all who entered his camp is an image I’ll will always cherish! What a wonderful man. I will miss him immensely. 
    Mike Lea

  17. Jim and Pat Nuhfer says:

    We just found out about Phil today through a mutual friend at the Venango 4 -H fairgrounds gun show.
    We went to Phil’s Home… He treated us like family not just friends. With Jim being a fellow gun builder they chatted for hours …. we were there about 8 hours and left with a plethora of knowledge. THANKS PHIL You will be so missed our friend, condolences to you wife Joanne and Family.
    Thank you so much.

  18. Ty George says:

    I shot with this very honorable man at the Old Westmoreland Rifles Muzzleloading Club, and from the first time I met him we bonded. I shot as well as anybody I knew at the club, and he was able to offer me the best supplies at the cheapest prices. I was really upset when i was given the news by my father. He was one of the nicest, most respected, and most gentlemen-like person put on god’s green earth.

  19. I did not know the man, Im sure we chewed the same blood in the same mud somewhere, maybe at the Dixon’s Gunmakers Fair. I am sorry he passed, maybe the Lord needed a smithy or a horner.  Recently I purchased a unsigned flintlock rifle on, upon cleaning the rifle I found stamped on bottom of barrel PW & ME CRAVENER on the reverse of lock L CARVER ? A very nice Allentown style rifle. God Speed Phil.

  20. Nick Dorsch says:

    Years ago my father knew I was looking for a good flintlock, sent me an article he read about a guy in Latrobe who made flintlocks. I looked up Phil Cravener, called him and we set up a time to visit and discuss what I was looking for.  Phil and I sat for 4 hours talking about life, his interests, my interests etc before we ever talked about a flintlock.  It was truly impressive…he instantly became a friend.

    I told Phil I was looking for something nice enough to hang above my fireplace but substantial enough to take out hunting on a regular basis.  Phil showed my the last one he and his father made together and it hit on all points and more. I think of Phil every time I take it out and am blessed to have gotten to know him as well as have one of his masterworks in my home.  Phil’s family will remain in my prayers and he is truly missed!

    PW & ME Cravener means he and his father made the gun together, according to discussions I had with Phil his father did the wood work and he did the rest.  Treasure your flintlock, I also have one they made together and it is awesome.  Phil was one of the good guys!

    Nick Dorsch

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