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Keaton’s Redwood Chapel of Marin

1801 Novato Blvd, Novato, CA

OBITUARY

Mrs. Myra Ethel (Switzer) Willett

March 25, 1924December 25, 2019

Myra Ethel Willett, 95, passed peacefully in her sleep on December 25th, 2019.

Myra was born to Norvel and Elnora Switzer in Homesville, Nebraska on March 25, 1924. She was the 7th born in a family of 10 children. She served in the Navy Military Branch during World War II as a medical assistant and also in the capacity of what was fondly named “Rosy the Riveter.” It was during the time of her military service that she met Robert Willett, whom she was the beloved wife to for 63 years. They were married September 9, 1945. They raised two daughters, Carol and Nancy. In retirement, Bob and Myra traveled all over the world together leading golf tournaments with International Leisure Tours. At home, Myra’s garden brought great joy to her, especially her beautiful rosebushes.

Myra is survived by her daughter, Carol, her grandchildren Bekah, Bobby, Caleb, Kimma, and Sarah, her great-grandchildren Giovanni, Haley, Tyler, and Magdalena, her sister-in-law Dolores, her nephew Roger and her niece Diane.

Services

31 January

Celebration of Life

11:00 am

Keaton's Redwood Chapel of Marin FD#1137

1801 Novato Blvd
Novato, California 94947

Memories

Mrs. Myra Ethel (Switzer) Willett

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Biography

My mother (Myra) lived a rich and full life. She was a loyal, sweet, and giving person and made a profound impact on so many people’s lives.

Mom was born on March 25, 1924 to Norvel and Elnora Switzer. She was the seventh of ten children. Raised on a farm, she grew up in Beatrice, Nebraska, where each child had responsibilities and my mother’s main job was to milk the cows every morning. After completing her chores, she, along with her brothers and sisters would head off to school. Upon returning home, she would assist her mother in the kitchen. Mom told me that she would help to bake seven loaves of bread every other day, and she helped her mother in the process of canning vegetables. One chore that she did not like was ironing her brothers’ and sister’s clothes. A special memory for mom was that once per week her father would bring home a bag of candy and each child would receive one or two pieces. This was a big deal. All of her years of working on the farm resulted in an amazing work ethic. I don’t think my mother had a lazy bone in her body.

Mom turned eighteen shortly after Pearl Harbor was bombed. She enlisted in the navy as a WAVE where she worked as a medical assistant and in the factories as “Rosy the Riveter.” My father was a navy medic and as soon as he saw my mother, he asked his friend who the pretty young lady was. He proceeded to ask her out on a “double date” and they were married on September 9, 1945. They had two children: Nancy was born January 2, 1958 and Carol was born July 1, 1959. My father passed away in 2008 at which time they had celebrated sixty-three wonderful years of marriage.

Several special memories come to mind when considering Mom’s family and friends. Her granddaughter Sarah remembers that Grammy made Christmas very special. She describes her as someone who would do anything for anybody. Sarah’s favorite times were to get up early, have coffee in the morning with Grammy, and chat. She describes her as someone who wasn’t a worrier or stressed about things. She had a calming effect on the family. Her granddaughter Bekah remembers the time when she spilled something on the table. She didn’t want Papa (my father) to know so she attempted to hide what she spilled. She was successful in that Dad never figured it out. However, Bekah remembers that when she went into the kitchen, Grammy looked at her and said, “I saw that.” I remember my mother as an incredible cook. When I was growing up, mealtimes were a priority. We did not eat on the run, but as a family had a sit-down meal every night. These were the special times of the day. We were not allowed to watch TV or even answer the phone. Mom cooked most every meal. I don’t remember us eating instant meals. One of the funny things I remember is that mom hated ironing. No matter how wrinkled something was, she would put it back in the dryer with a damp cloth because she didn’t want to iron it. She said, “I ironed all of my sibling’s clothes growing up and unless I have to, I’m not going to iron any more clothes.”

Some of the fondest memories are the times we spent at our cabin in Mendocino County with my Uncle Dick (my father’s brother), my Aunt Dee, and my cousins Roger and Diane. We celebrated Easter at the cabin and on some occasions Thanksgiving. We loved to go hunting, horseback riding, swimming at the river, and riding in our four-wheel-drive jeep. Oftentimes we would return from a hunting trip with a deer. Dad, Uncle Dick, and we kids would skin the deer and mom and Aunt Dee would be in the kitchen preparing us a hot meal. When we came in, we all took a shower and sat down to some great food. Almost every night we would play cards. The adults would be in one room and the kids in another. We laughed and just had fun together. We also spent every Christmas together at one of our homes.

My mother and father loved to travel especially on golf trips. They spent many years leading golf tours with International Leisure Tours where they were beloved by everyone who attended. Mom and Dad never knew a stranger. They were lovers of hospitality, enjoyed life, and loved to laugh and have fun.

My mother was a remarkably selfless person. Perhaps the two most profound examples are when I was extremely sick and bed ridden for almost a week. My husband had to work, and I was unable to take care of my two young children at the time. Mom came every single day to take care of our family. She cooked, cleaned, and acted as “nurse” to me. The second memory is when my husband died, and I was pregnant with our third child. Mom was a constant source of help and support. After Bekah was born, she accompanied me as I moved to Wisconsin and stayed with me for almost a month. Once again, she took care of everything and she did it from a heart of love.

Above all, my mother chose to believe the best about everyone. She stressed the importance of doing the things that other people enjoyed. It wasn’t about what she wanted to do but how she could make that other person happy whether she felt like it or not.

I am so thankful that I was blessed to be her daughter. I love you mom and I will miss you terribly.