Myrna Ann (Brewster) Hershberger, 75, Bartlesville, Okla., mother of Jay Alan Hershberger and Julie Ann Johnson, was called by God to her eternal rest in the Church Triumphant on Saturday morning, January 7, 2012 while at Green Country Assisted Living.
Funeral services for Myrna will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, January 12 at Redeemer Lutheran Church, the Rev. Mark E. Carter, officiating. Visitation is this evening from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Neekamp-Luginbuel Funeral Home. The casket will not be open at the church. Committal prayers and interment will be directed in the Memorial Park Cemetery by the Neekamp-Luginbuel Funeral Service.
Pall Bearers include grandsons Brett Hershberger, Jacob and Andrew Johnson, nephew Kevin Taverner, and former Central Middle School colleagues Earl Sears and Steve Snider.
Myrna was born June 26, 1936, to Ora K. (Small) and G. A. “Andy” Brewster in Neodesha, KS. She received her elementary schooling in Chanute, KS and following a move to Pittsburg, KS by her parents, she graduated from Pittsburg High School in 1954. Myrna graduated from Wichita State University with a degree in Music Education in 1958. She married James Hershberger in 1957 and they had two children, Jay and Julie. Mr. Hershberger passed away in 1992.
Myrna moved to Bartlesville in 1970 and taught elementary and middle school strings until her retirement in 2001. During those years she graced the Bartlesville community with her many talents. She performed a series of multi-piano recitals named Keys for Concern with fellow pianists Dolores MacCreary, Margery Maple and Bill Bradley. She also joined Barbara Wallace in the formation of The Strolling Strings, a group of talented young string and instrumental students who performed around the community and at several conventions and other functions in adjoining states. She and Barbara also took a separate, but related group, Golden Strings, USA to Europe.
In 1987 Myrna was named Bartlesville Teacher of the Year while at Central Middle School, and was named one of four finalists for Oklahoma Teacher of the Year at the State Fair later that same year. More recently, she received the Builder of Stars award from the Bartlesville Allied Arts and Humanities Council. Her crowning honor came when she was selected one of the four original members of the Bartlesville Teacher Hall of Fame, established in 2010.
This lady of many talents took the Central Middle School Orchestra to the Miami Orchestra Festival for almost 20 years, where her orchestra always received a Superior rating. After retirement she remained active in the Bartlesville Retired Teachers Association. She was a charter member of the Bartlesville Symphony Society and served as the mailing chairman for the Society. Myrna was active in her church, Redeemer Lutheran, and she played piano for the church’s Awakening Chorus.
Myrna was also an outstanding accompanist, playing for a multitude of student musicians at the District and State Solo and Ensemble contests, as well as the Bartlesville Symphony Young Artist Competition.
She was a lady of dignity, grace, generosity, and had a love of family, country and her Lord.
Myrna is survived by her two children, Jay Alan Hershberger and wife, Cynthia; Julie Ann and husband, Mark Johnson; sister Beverly and husband, Sam Taverner. Also surviving are grandchildren Valerie and husband, Trevor Due, Brett, Jillian and Julie Hershberger; Jacob, Andrew, Elise and Anna Johnson; two great grandchildren, Natalie Day and Isabel Day.
Preceding her in death were her father and mother, and a grandson, Stephen Lewis Hershberger.
Memorials for Mrs. Hershberger have been established by the family for Redeemer Lutheran Church or the Bartlesville Symphony Young Artist Competition (PO Box 263).