Myrtle Elizabeth Larson
BORN: March 13, 1913, in Emmetsburg Twp., Palo Alto County, Iowa
DIED: May 30, 1996, in Ames, Story County, Iowa
AGED: 83 years, 2 months, 17 days
BURIED: Ames Municipal Cemetery, Ames, Story County, Iowa
FATHER: James Peter Larson born October 7, 1872, in Sieby, Denmark
MOTHER: Theresa Marie Jondall born March 7, 1889, in Lost Island Twp., Palo Alto County, Iowa
MARRIAGE: to Donald Lyle Edwards on June 17, 1939, in Nashua, Chickasaw County, Iowa
1. Dale Roy Edwards born May 20, 1941, in Ames, Story County, Iowa
2. Dean Lee Edwards born December 21, 1943, in Ames, Story County, Iowa
Myrtle was born on a small farm outside of Emmetsburg, Iowa In 1913. She was the oldest girl in a family of five children and worked hard (as did her brothers and sisters) not only on the farm, but later, when old enough, on neighboring farms.
She always spoke with regret that she was unable to continue schooling past 8th grade, but understood her family’s need for money when her father contracted for her to work for others for room and board, plus a small salary.
In the early 1930's Myrtle left the farm for Ames, a college town in the center of the state, getting a job as maid at a fraternity and also waitressing in a local restaurant.
Myrtle met and eventually married Don Edwards on June 17th, 1939 at the Little Brown Church in the Vale. He was 28, and she was 26.
They lived almost all their married lives in Ames, raising two sons and maintaining close relationships with brothers and sisters on both sides of the marriage.
Don was a carpenter and house builder. He worked for local residential contractors and also built homes on his own to sell on speculation. Over the years he also built for his family four different homes in and near Ames.
Myrtle was a classic Norwegian mother and wife. She had boundless energy and enthusiasm and love for her family. She liked to cook and kept a meticulously clean house. She always maintained both vegetable and flower gardens, canned produce every year, helped her husband with work on his houses, was a good saver and enjoyed all kinds of crafts. Christmas was her favorite holiday. She decorated every room in the house and delighted in the tree and wrapping presents -- even for relatives.
Myrtle made friends easily and kept them a long time. When one of her closest friends, Lola, moved to the west coast she kept up a twice monthly correspondence for several decades.
Myrtle was very close to her sister Theresa, who also lived in Ames. She talked with her by phone almost daily, and the two families frequently spent time together. Myrtle believed strongly in family ties and was always disappointed if her sons didn’t return home for each major holiday.
Don retired in 1973 and died seven years later when he was only 68. Myrtle grieved for two long years but eventually rebounded and continued to lead an active life staying involved with friends and relatives whom she especially liked to cook for.
She died in 1996 after three years of declining health.