Arabelle I. Lavery, age 88, resident of Waterford, died Friday, November 30, 2012 at Saint Vincent Health Center, after a short illness. Born in New Richmond, Crawford County, on June 13, 1924, she was the daughter of the late Charles and Jessie Navy Green. Arabelle was a loving mother and grandmother who loved to cook, entertain family and friends, and enjoyed Christmas time. She was primarily a homemaker when she and her husband, Ralph Shields, bought the Mill Village Diner in 1963. They operated this restaurant until 1969, when they opened Ralph and Arabelle's Tavern in Waterford, which later became T & A's Tavern. For many years, Arabelle created a friendly, neighborhood-like atmosphere at the tavern, where she was known as an excellent cook, especially for her famous hamburger. After her second husband died, Arabelle retired and sold the business in 2001, at the age of 76. Arabelle was preceded in death by her first husband, Ralph V. Shields in 1975; her second husband, Thomas E. Lavery in 1999; and a daughter, Sandra Ferrise. Family members that survive include three children -- Richard V. Shields (Delores) of Corry, and James C. Shields Sr. and Linda J. Malec Starocci, both of Waterford; her son-in-law, James Ferrise (Lana) of Edinboro; eight grandchildren -- Scott Thompson, Jennifer Smith (Derek), Mike Davis (Lisa), Laurie Bogart (Stacy), James C. Shields Jr., Jessie Shields, Christopher M. Malec (Karen), and Melisa L. Malec Hayes; and several great-grandchildren. Friends may call at the Van Matre Funeral Home, 105 Walnut Street, Waterford, on Monday, from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Funeral services will take place there on Tuesday morning, at 10:00 a.m., with Rev. Gary Donaldson of Asbury United Methodist Church in Waterford, officiating. Burial will follow at Mitchell Cemetery in Cambridge Springs. Condolences may be sent at www.vanmatrefuneralhome.com.
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Published in the Erie Times-News on Dec. 2, 2012