Myrtle Pomeroy, 93, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, on August 27, 2013, at the Sheyenne Care Center in Valley City, North Dakota.
Myrtle Vera Anderson was born on June 15, 1920, in Billings, Montana. When she was four she was orphaned by the tragic death of both her parents. Myrt, along with her brother and two sisters, were relocated to Minnesota where they were separated and raised by relatives, although Myrt was able to see her big brother Glenn during the summers . Myrtle grew up in difficult circumstances on a small farm near Audubon, Minnesota, and she graduated high school there in 1936. She completed Teacher Training School at Thief River Falls in 1937 and taught in one-room schools in western Minnesota from 1938-1940. While attending summer courses in 1940 at Moorhead State she met her future husband and love of her life, Earl “Ralph” Pomeroy.
Ralph and Myrtle were married in 1942 in Thomasville, Georgia, where Ralph was stationed as a second lieutenant in the US Army. While there, Myrt suffered her next devastating loss – beloved brother Glenn, captured in the Pacific Theater, survived the Bataan Death March but died of illness in an internment camp in 1942.
In 1946, following the conclusion of WWII and his service in the Pacific Theater, Myrt and Ralph settled in Valley City, ND. There, on the banks of the Sheyenne River, they raised their family. Myrt was a devoted mother and homemaker, and Ralph joined a high school friend, Woody Gagnon at Woody’s Café before becoming manager and part owner of Enterprise Sales Company.
In the 50s and 60s, Myrtle and Ralph lived in a small house on a small farmstead northwest of Valley City where they raised their four children, Elaine, Linda, Earl and Glenn. They raised sheep, chickens, ponies and the occasional cousin as well as hosted exchange students from Equador, Germany and Japan and children from inner-city Chicago. These were undeniably, Myrt said, the best years of her life.
Myrtle was widowed at the age of 51 when Ralph died unexpectedly in 1971. She coped with this devastating loss with strength and resilience which she would demonstrate through the balance of her life. She returned to the work force as a dental assistant to Dr. Muriel Wicks, one of the state’s early female dentists. She supported the public service aspirations of her children: Elaine into social work, Linda into early child development and Earl and Glenn into law and politics.
Myrt retired in the 1980s and devoted herself to the Epworth United Methodist Church and to helping others. For 20 consecutive years she walked in the “Crop Walks,” raising funds for global hunger; delivered Meals On Wheels; and helped friends and neighbors as an in-home care provider, work she enjoyed well into her 80s. She established many new friendships in these years and dealt with the political campaigns of her sons with composure and good humor.
Myrt’s final years demonstrated fully her grace, strength and faith that she had carried from early childhood. Over the last ten years, she lost, in stages, most of her sight and hearing, her ability to walk and her independence. But, as she had faced all the other losses in her life, she never lost her indomitable cheerfulness. She was an inspiration to her family and to her Bridgeview and Sheyenne Care Center caregivers, to whom she was grateful for their compassionate care in their often challenging jobs. She was especially grateful to her daughter Linda, who was her daily companion.
She is survived by her children Elaine (Larry) McKellar, San Mateo, CA; Linda (Matt) Bernard, Valley City, ND; Earl (Mary) Pomeroy, Bismarck, ND and Alexandria, VA; and Glenn (Jean Marie) Pomeroy, Sacramento, CA; grandchildren Ben (Scarlet) Bernard, Fargo; Larry Bernard; Dominic McKellar, San Francisco, CA; Kate Pomeroy, Quincy, CA; Ann and Charlie Pomeroy, Sacramento, CA: Kathryn and Scott Pomeroy, Bismarck, ND; great-grandsons Perrin and Ian Bernard, Fargo, ND; a sister, Louise Bock, Myrtle Creek, OR; and numerous cousins and close friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents Nels and Annie, brother Glenn, husband Ralph, and sister Helen.
Visitation for Myrtle will be held Friday night, August 30, 2013, from 5-7 p.m. with a prayer service at 7 p.m. at Epworth United Methodist Church, 680 8th Avenue SW, Valley City, ND.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, August 31, 2013, at 10 a.m. at Epworth Church. Interment will follow at Woodbine Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to a charity of choice in memory of Myrtle Pomeroy. An on-line guest register is available at www.lerudschuldt.com .
Lerud-Schuldt Funeral Home is assisting with funeral arrangements.