Myrl Coyle Burkholder passed away peacefully December 18, 2011, at Linda Vista Care Center. She was the fifth of six children, born to Helen Sarah and Curtis St. Elmo Coyle, in Decatur, Ill., on May 6, 1925.
Myrl was educated in the Decatur, Ill., school system, where she met her high school sweetheart, Paul. She and Paul were married on February 8, 1945, in a beautiful ceremony. After a four day honeymoon in Chicago, Paul returned to naval duty in World War II. Myrl stayed at home with their infant daughter, Pam, born on November 3, 1945. When Pam was in first grade, the young couple moved to Champaign-Urbana, Ill. Paul completed his college degree, while Myrl worked in a large medical clinic as manager of the medical records department.
After graduation, Paul took a job in Niles, Mich., where their second child, William, was born. Myrl kept busy with church work and was chairman of volunteers for the local Cancer Society. She was the perennial homeroom mother and second mother to a crowd of teenagers. There was enough time left over to learn bridge, which she continued to play avidly for the rest of her life, to learn golf and to volunteer at the local hospital. She made many friends, several of whom she kept in touch with throughout the years.
In 1960, the family moved to Greensboro, N.C., where Myrl enrolled at the Women's College of the University of North Carolina. She took creative writing classes and associated with a number of young, talented writers in residence, as well as her fellow students. Throughout her life, Myrl composed many well crafted, colorful short stories based upon her upbringing during the Depression as well as her later years. She shared her love of writing with her granddaughter, Abigail, by assisting her with middle and high school writing.
In 1967, the family moved to Greenville, S.C., where Myrl volunteered for several years at the Shriner's Hospital and eventually became their quality assurance director. She later opened her own business as an independent court reporter specializing in medical cases, traveling extensively for depositions. She enjoyed working in the courtroom as well.
Over the years, the family participated in an exchange program for students from all over the world, including Japan, Finland, China and Korea. Myrl also enjoyed many trips with her sister-in-law to Europe, South America, Russia, Australia and Hungary.
Paul and Myrl retired to Ashland, Ore., in 1991. They had purchased a home on Granite Street a few years earlier. This home shared a back-yard fence with daughter, Pam, Gary and Abigail. Abbey spent many an afternoon baking cookies and having tea with her grandmother. All of Myrl's grandchildren were the lights of her life, and she generously shared her wisdom, stories and life experiences with them.
Both Paul and Myrl were actively involved in the Ashland Community, whether they were taking classes at S.O.L.I.R. (Ollie), or attending the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. Occasional trips to Charlotte, N.C., and visits from family there, kept them in touch with Bill's family. In 2004, Paul and Myrl moved to Alder Creek Community in Medford, Ore., and in 2010, they returned to Ashland and happily joined Mountain Meadows Community.
Myrl is survived by husband, Paul Edward Burkholder; daughter, Pamela Burkholder (Garrison) Turner, of Ashland, Ore.; son, William Curtis Burkholder; daughter-in-law, Lynda Smith; granddaughters, Abigail, of Austin, Texas; and Leigh Burkholder, of Charlotte, N.C.; twin grandsons, Jay and Trevor Burkholder, of Charlotte, N.C.
Myrl was preceded in death by parents; brothers, Curtis, Howard and Robert; and sisters, Louise and Imogene.
A celebration of Myrl's life will be held at the Unitarian Fellowship, 4th and C Streets, Ashland, Saturday, January 14, 2012, 1:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the charity of your choice.