Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin




Monday, June 2, 2014

This One Is For You Mom

I have a vivid memory of seeing my mother, Agatha Marie Fires Myers, doing her homework for college sitting on the bed; books open as she wrote by hand the pertinent information on catalog cards.  I was still in high school when she started studying to get her degree.  It took her years to finish, only taking one or two classes at a time, devoting the majority of her time to family and her position in the Holt Public Schools, Holt, Michigan.


This dynamic woman was many things to many people.  When she passed away peacefully on May 15, 2014 those who loved her, those who knew her and those whose lives she touched, even in the smallest of ways, remember her as a person who made a difference.  In honor of her years spent as a school librarian I am giving away several boxes of books.  They are listed below.

Box 1
The Fairy-Tale Princess:  Seven Classic Stories from the Enchanted Forest  Wendy Jones/Su Blackwell
Amy's Light Robert Nutt
Maggie's Chopsticks Alan Woo/ Isabelle Malenfant
Catching Kisses Amy Gibson/Maria Van Lieshout
Little Poems for Tiny Ears Lin Oliver/Tomie dePaola
When It Snows Richard Collingridge
I Hatched Jill Esbaum/Jen Corace
Goldilocks and the Three Bears and the 33 Bears and the Bliim and the Furniture and lots more variations Allan Ahlberg/Jessica Ahlberg
Water in the Park: a book about water & the times of the day Emily Jenkins/Stephanie Graegin
Going Places Peter and Paul Reynolds

Box 2
Little Cub Olivier Dunrea
Cinderella: a three-dimensional fairy-tale theater Jane Ray
Apple Cake: a recipe for love Julie Paschkis
The Melancholic Mermaid Kallie George/Abigail Halpin
Night Light Nicholas Blechman
Tippy and the Night Parade Lilli Carre
Return of the Library Dragon Carmen Agra Deedy/Michael P. White
Herman and Rosie Gus Gordon
Water in the Park: a book about water & the times of the day Emily Jenkins/Stephanie Graegin
Weasels Elys Dolan
Rooting for You: a moving up story Susan Hood/Matthew Cordell

Box 3
The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail Richard Peck
Don't Let the Pigeon Finish This Activity Book Mo Willems
The Further Tale of Peter Rabbit Emma Thompson
Magic Tricks from the Tree House Mary Pope Osborne/Natalie Pope Boyce
Hurray Up, Houdini! Mary Pope Osborne
Squish Rabbit Katherine Battersby
Brave Squish Rabbit Katherine Battersby
Lisa Loeb's Silly Sing-Along: The Disappointing Pancake and other zany songs Ryan O'Rourke illustrator
Flying to Neverland with Peter Pan: a lyrical journey with songs from the Broadway musical 
Comden/Green/Leigh/Bates
Little Bo in London Julie Andrews Edwards/Emma Walton Hamilton/Henry Cole
Always Remember Me: How One Family Survived World War II Marisabina Russo

Box 4
Museum of Thieves Lian Tanner
City of Lies Lian Tanner
Path of Beasts Lian Tanner
The Genius Files: Mission Unstoppable Dan Gutman
The Genius Files: Never Say Genius Dan Gutman
Zane and the Hurricane Rodman Philbrick
If You Were a Chocolate Mustache J. Patrick Lewis/Matthew Cordell
Summer of the Gypsy Moths Sara Pennypacker
Counting by 7s Holly Goldberg Sloan
Ruby Redfort: Looking Into My Eyes Lauren Child
Titanic Sinks! Barry Denenberg
Charlie Jo Jackson's Guide to Extra Credit Tommy Greenwald/J. P. Coovert

Box 5
Eleanor & Park Rainbow Rowell
Midwinter Blood Marcus Sedgwick
A Mad, Wicked Folly Sharon Biggs Waller
The Plant Hunters: True Stories of Their Daring Adventures to the Far Corners of the Earth
Anita Silvey
The Impossible Rescue: The True Story of an Amazing Arctic Adventure Martin W. Sandler

Here is a copy of a newspaper article from the Ingham County News upon her retirement from public education. (I apologize for it being in 5 separate images. )  Following is the tribute I wrote which appeared in several newspapers.  I have included an Animoto video of her life.







Agatha Marie Fires Myers

They called her Mrs. Myers.
To the boys and girls of Wilcox Elementary School, Holt, Michigan, the hundreds who walked in and out of her library for 17 of the 21 years she worked for Holt Public Schools, she was more than their librarian.  She was a person who strived to know each one of them individually.  She lived the mantra of the right book for the right reader at the right time; promoting reading and libraries with museum-worthy displays and bulletin boards, international and national author visits, encouraging parent and child reading programs and creating a billboard on the outside of the school building.  Years before Skype was commonplace she arranged for conference calls between her students and two famous authors, Donald Sobol and Dick Gackenbach.  She retired in 1985.

They called her Grandma.
When I think of my grandmother, her attribute of loving unconditionally is one of the most prominent and one that I cherish most. Through my best and through my worst, through actions and words large and small, she was always genuinely caring and supportive. She made me feel like it was OK to make mistakes and was very understanding. My grandmother was always pleasant and her comforting presence will be greatly missed. ---Stuart James Loveall

When I think of my grandmother, three virtues will remain forever in my memory.  Her limitless imagination inspired creativity seen in her home and in the things she did for others.  Her unfailing kindness and optimism were evident in her thoughts, words and deeds.  ---Ashley Ann Loveall

We called her Mom.
Her presence in our lives was huge from the moment we became her daughters.  Her strength and support were unfailing.  No one could spin stories as she did; enchanting us so we would eat a meal or fall asleep at night.  Her generosity was never more apparent than at Christmas time when the upstairs in our home would fill with all kinds of cookies in boxes to be later arranged on plates given to our family doctor, dentist, milkman, egg lady and numerous friends and neighbors.  Our family vacations were filled with arts and crafts and travel bags stuffed with goodies made trips an anticipated adventure.  She will be sorely missed but never forgotten. 

He called her Daca, wife.
Her love for her husband, Chuck, was consistent and constant.  Theirs was a true partnership.  When the World War II memorial was commissioned she worked to have Chuck’s service to his country remembered even though he had already passed.

She called her daughter.
Agatha’s devotion to her mother was unwavering.  Her picture watched over Agatha every night.

Agatha M. Myers, 94, formerly of Holt, passed away Saturday, May 15, 2014, at Mallard Cove Assisted Living in Petoskey. She was born January 19, 1920, in St. Johns, Michigan, the daughter of Olin Clayton Fires and Myrtle Irene (Dean) Fires. Agatha graduated from Lansing Central High School in 1938 with honors (95.22 GPA), Lansing Business University and Lansing Community College with an Associate's Degree in Library Media Technology in 1976.  She was a Life Member of the Alpha Iota International Honorary Business University serving as president in 1943.

Up until the day of her passing Agatha celebrated every single day but she shined during the holidays with her decorations and giving to others.  She enjoyed watching the birds and the squirrels that raided the bird feeder.  It was a daily ritual to make sure the bird bath was full.  She had a large flower garden at her home in Holt, tending it with the same care she gave to everything she did.  After her retirement she enjoyed running garage sales, not so much for the money but for the conversations with all who stopped to shop.

She was a member of the United Methodist Church in Holt.

On March 23, 1947, Agatha was united in marriage to Charles Stephen Myers who preceded her in death in 1994.

She is survived by her daughters, Margaret Marie Myers-Culver of Charlevoix, and Nancy Ann (Steven) Loveall of Dimondale; grandchildren, Stuart, and Ashley Loveall.

Memorial Contributions may be made to your local Humane Society or First Book (www.firstbook.org)




20 comments:

  1. Lovely words about an obviously fantastic woman.....

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    1. Thank you Kim. Her favorite phrase was anything worth doing is worth doing right and she did!

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  2. Margie,
    Your mom is so beautiful. Her love shines through in all these pictures. (I hope that makes sense.)
    I love that you are honoring her in this way.
    Sending you love and hugs.
    Allison

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    1. Thank you Allison. She was so full of life and good to everyone she met. I appreciate your kind words.

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  3. I am so sorry for your loss. Those are both great tributes and you are her amazing legacy!

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    1. Thank you Dana. She was the best Mom. I learned so much from her.

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  4. Margie- A beautiful tribute for a beautiful person!

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    1. Thank you Niki. You would have loved her.

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  5. Your Mom was the same age as mine. My mom was a reading specialist. The greatest generation truly had values and instilled in us the passion for reading and education. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you celebrate your mom and all the readers she touched.

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    1. Yes, I agree with you. When they felt called to do something, they did it with true dedication. I am thankful these values have been passed on to me. Thank you.

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  6. A life well lived, a woman well loved. What a beautiful tribute, Margie. I loved learning more about Agatha, and can now see where your deep love of books and working with children came from. You are a credit to her and so much more.

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    1. Thank you, Jama. I am so glad you enjoyed learning about Mom. She was a major influence in my life. She is so missed.

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  7. Margie
    Thank you for sharing this tribute with all of us - it helps me understand even more who you are - influenced so beautifully by a very special Mom. Best, best, best to you

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    1. You are welcome Carrie. I wanted everyone to know what an amazing woman she truly was. Thank you for visiting today.

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  8. What a lovely tribute to your mother. Obviously she had huge impact on your life and I am sure she was so proud of her daughter living in her footsteps. "The right book for the right reader at the right time" is so important! Thank you for sharing this.

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    1. Thank you Leigh. She did have an impact on my life; more than I will ever realize. You are welcome. I wanted everyone to know what a truly gifted person she was.

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  9. Margie, what a beautiful tribute. I'm so very sorry for your loss.

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    1. Thank you Annie. Your words are indeed a comfort.

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  10. Beautiful tribute. Your mother sounds like a wonderful woman.

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    1. She was memorable in every respect Samantha. Thank you!

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