Shrader, Hiram Watha

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Hiram Watha Shrader, 84, of Narrows, formerly of Bluefield, West Virginia, departed this life on Wednesday, May 20th, 2009 at Bland County Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Bastian after an extended illness.

He was born at Niday in Bland County on December 4th, 1924 and was the son of the late Pyott Frazier and Mary Susan Crabtree Shrader. He was one of ten children. In addition to his mother and father, he was preceded in death by a son, Ronald Dean Combs; two sisters, Mary Elizabeth Shrader and Lillian Burton; and four brothers, Michael, Ellis, Daniel, and Irvan Shrader.

Known by family and friends for his gentle, loving ways, the world was a better place because Watha was in it. He was a member of Bastian Union Church and served in the United States Navy during World War II as an expert in deep-sea diving. Later, he was employed by a Bluefield automotive dealership for 35 years, working for three different owners, including Cole Chevrolet-Cadillac until his retirement as a service manager in 1990. An accomplished stone mason, he, with the help of his sons, fulfilled his dream of building the home he and his wife dearly loved on Wolf Creek. A devoted husband, father and grandfather, he will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved him.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife of 60 years, Audrey Gibson Shrader; a son, Donald Ray Shrader and wife Judy of Rich Creek; a daughter, Anita Shrader Blaydes and husband Dr. Elliott Blaydes of Bluefield, West Virginia; four grandchildren, Richard Allen (Pete) Combs and Robert Glen Combs, both of Columbia, South Carolina, Jaime Blaydes Gilliam of Greensboro, North Carolina and Brandon Nicholas Mann of Rich Creek; two great-grandchildren; three sisters, Lynzie Cochrane, Eunice Childress, both of Bastian, Virginia, and Blanche Walker of Mechanicsburg, Virginia; several nieces, nephews and cousins, and many friends, including a special family friend, Linda Caywood.

The family will receive friends Friday, May 22nd, 2009 from 5 to 7 PM in the Chapel of Riffe’s Funeral Service in Narrows, with a funeral service at 7 PM conducted by Rev. Paul Looney and member of VFW Post #6000 of Narrows, American Legion Posts #68 of Narrows, Post #311 of Pembroke and Post #145 of Peterstown. A graveside service will be conducted Saturday, May 23rd at 11 AM in the Shrader Cemetery at Niday in the Wolf Creek community of Bland County. The family requests that those sending memorial contributions, please consider Giles County Animal Rescue; P.O. Box 354; Pearisburg, Virginia 24134. Online condolence messages to the family can be sent to