Obituary for Elizabeth Myhre
September 8, 1920 – December 9, 2020
Elizabeth “Betty” F. Myhre, 100, of Grass Valley, California, passed away peacefully on December 9, 2020, at Golden Empire Nursing and Rehab Center. Betty was born in San Francisco on September 8, 1920 to Fritz and Frances Wisherop, German immigrants. She was baby sister to brothers Eddy and Fred, now deceased. Betty grew up in the city and graduated from Mission High School in 1939. After graduating, she worked at Western Union and on weekends sang with a band called Spotlight Swing Band. She hoped to become a professional singer, but all that changed when she met the love of her life, Howard J. Myhre, on a blind date. They wed on July 19, 1941. They proceeded to have seven children which included two sets of fraternal twins. They were happily married for 53 years before Howard’s passing on November 9, 1995.
In 1958 the family moved from San Francisco to Belmont. Betty dabbled in volunteer work with the American Heart Association. The family filled their summers with camping in the Redwoods and other numerous locations throughout northern California and Oregon. She and Howard always reserved one week during the summer for their own vacation without the kids–a time well earned!
By 1972 the kids were out of the house and retirement came. Betty and Howard moved to Grass Valley in 1973. Betty’s interest in charitable work spurred her.
Betty’s heart was always about caring for others and never putting herself first. She was the most selfless person and carried a very, very humble humility unmatched by others. She exemplified this tremendous gift through her amazing time spent as a volunteer for the rest of her life and was rightfully so, honored.
In 1973, Betty and a small group (five people including her husband, Howard) began their mission working with local, county, and state officials to change the Empire Mine into a state park. In 1975 they succeeded and it is today known as the Empire Mine California State Park for millions to visit and enjoy. As a new state park, Betty began the gift shop which included only postcards and maps. The cash register was a cigar box Howard gave Betty to use. She organized and held the first luncheon open to the public which included tours. It was so successful it is continued to this day. Betty sat on the Board of Governors. She was “Kate” as part of Living History for six years. She also wrote a “skit” for the mansion tours. The skit has been expanded and used today. She researched the history of the Empire Mine and served as a tour guide. Her favorite thing was putting on luncheons and talking to visitors from all over the world. Betty said she traveled all over the world in people’s cameras. On November 6, 2007 and with a luncheon at the mine, Betty was honored with a Superior Achievement Award for 31 years of exemplary, dedicated service and became a Charter Member and Docent.
Betty joined the Chicago Park Garden Club in 1974. She held every office except secretary which she declined. She was President twice, Treasurer, and was in charge of the Civic beautification plan for four years that included the Sierra-Nevada Hospital garden, the Nevada County Fairgrounds’ front plots for three years, and planting gardens at the Grass Valley Library. As the hostess, she greeted guests and continued that role for 30 years.
For 18 years, Betty volunteered at Interfaith Ministry (IFM). She bagged and distributed food for four years and then served as an interviewer screening people for what to receive and verified identifications.
Betty was a member and volunteer at Peace Lutheran Church. She was President of Peace Lutheran Christian Women for two years. She served as Social Director for three years, made greeting cards for 12 years, and served lunch during bible study luncheons.
Betty sat on the Board at Olympia Glade Mobile Estates where she lived for 15 years after Howard’s passing. She was the Welcome Lady for new residents, made welcome baskets, and hand-delivered them with her generous smile.
Betty’s hobbies included collecting miniature kerosene lamps and later in life Hummel figurines and paperweights. She loved the outdoors which included a one-time pack trip on horseback. She even ventured out with Howard on a couple of deer hunting trips. Most of all her favorite thing to do was digging in the garden. She loved studying horticulture and had a green thumb to prove it. She may have been city-born, but she was a country girl at heart with a passion and love for nature that endlessly challenged her to preserve and beautify the earth we inhabit. She was a friend and inspiration to many, a very loving mother, and she will be dearly missed with her enormous heart, sweet smile, and good and gentle nature.
Betty is survived by her seven children, Sandy Schorcht (Fred, deceased), Walter Myhre, Bruce Myhre, Bonnie Conwell (Tom), Marilyn Myhre Louie, Margaret Spathelf (Ron), Robert Myhre (Karen), 14 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren, and six great-great-grandchildren.
Current arrangements are under the care of Hooper and Weaver Mortuary.
Memorial donations may be made in Betty’s name to the music department fund at Peace Lutheran Church, 828 W. Main Street, Grass Valley, CA 95945, or to a charity of your choice.
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