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Obituary for Harriet A. "Penny" Myers


Harriet “Penny” (Hatz) Myers died peacefully Sunday, February 10, 2013, at Hillview Health Care Center, La Crosse.

She was born March 15, 1926, in Bangor, Wis., to John C. and Annie (Anderson) Hatz. She graduated from Bangor High School before heading to the big city of La Crosse.

On May 12, 1946, Penny married Raymond Myers. The young couple moved into a boathouse on South Pettibone Island. They loved their carefree life on the river, where they spent most of their after-work hours fishing. That meant Penny held the pole, Ray baited the hook and, if she nabbed a hapless fish, Ray unhooked him and threw him back into the water. When the fish weren’t biting,Penny would select a book and spend the time reading. Other activities the couple enjoyed included motorcycling (Penny was always the passenger), playing cards with friends, and traveling to nearly every state in the union.

When, in the mid- sixties, the La Crosse Electric AutoLite factory closed its doors, both Penny and Ray found themselves unemployed. With Ray’s encouragement, Penny began to fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a teacher. At age 43, she enrolled as a freshman in the teacher education program at U W – La Crosse. She emerged with a bachelor’s and two master’s degrees in education. After student-teaching at La Crosse Central High School, Penny spent most of her teaching career at La Crescent High School where she specialized in working with students who had reading or learning disabilities. Many years after Penny’s retirement, a woman who appeared to be in her mid- 40s approached her former teacher to thank her for the special time they spent together. She told Penny that after a teenage bout with alcohol and drugs, it was the lessons she learned from Penny that helped her find her way. The woman now had a good job, two children and a loving husband.

Penny and Ray built their dream home on the Black River, (Nakomis Ave), in the sixties and entertained scores of friends and children with swimming or fishing from their dock, water skiing, sand digging, and much more. While Penny and Ray had no children of their own, they vicariously adopted those of their many friends. Due to declining health, Penny and Ray moved to a new “home,” in 2010, at Hillview Health Care Center, La Crosse, where they received excellent, compassionate, and friendly care. Ray died November 21, 2012.

 

Penny was preceded in death by her parents.

 

Her survivors include a cousin, Sharon Swenson of Iowa; and special friends, Nancy and Don Ellingson of La Crosse, Marybeth Clark and her husband, Larry Imhoff of La Crosse, Laurie (Ellingson) Schindler of Madison, Wis., Heather Clark and her husband, Bill Slakey, of Albuquerque, N.M., Tobin Clark (Beth), of Cumberland, Wis., and Phyllis Bye and husband, Terry, of La Crosse.

 

A service of remembrance will be held Saturday, February 23, 2013, at 11:00 a.m. at Jandt-Fredrickson Funeral Home, (Woodruff Chapel), 4239 Mormon Coulee Rd., La Crosse. Private burial will be in Fairview Cemetery, Bangor. A visitation will be held at the funeral home on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service. Online condolences may be sent at www.jandtfredrickson.com.