Myrna Marie (York) Hirt passed away on Sunday, January 20, 2019. She was born in Dallas Center, Iowa, and grew up during the Great Depression with her parents, Carl and Mabel (Schultze) York, and ten brothers and sisters. She graduated from high school just after the end of the Second World War in a class of seniors that was only slightly larger than her immediate family. She worked as an actuary for Bankers Life Insurance Company in Des Moines until she and two of her friends quit so that they could spend three months traveling in northern Europe. They traveled east to New York, and then took a ship to Europe for their tour, which included Scandinavia, The Netherlands, and England. Upon Myrna’s return to Des Moines, Bankers Life promptly rehired her.
Myrna met Michael Hirt on a blind date, and the two were married in 1956. Her husband’s work took them to Washington, D.C., and then west, eventually to Denver where their first child, Arthur Michael, was born. The family moved to Milwaukee, where David was born, then continued east, moving first to Cincinnati and then to Kent, Ohio, where they had their third son, Jeffrey.
Myrna dedicated her life to caring for her children, supporting them in all things. She rarely missed a baseball game, soccer match, or track or cross country meet. Her five grandchildren, Emily, Sarah, Jennifer, LiWen, and Aaron, brought her great joy. She made lifelong friendships with the ladies in her neighborhood quilting group, and she sang barbershop for many years with Sweet Adelines. She enjoyed bowling and spending time with friends.
Myrna and her husband eventually separated and divorced. Although she would never remarry, she had the good fortune to meet Foster Ewing, who became her constant companion. Myrna and Foster shared their lives together, and the support and happiness they brought one another was a blessing, both to them and to their families. They especially enjoyed dining at the Spread Eagle Tavern in Hanoverton on special occasions. They travelled extensively, including a cruise to Alaska and three trips to Europe. The couple loved their trip to Italy, but they also enjoyed visiting Spain, Portugal, and Great Britain.
Myrna was a breast cancer survivor. Her greatest struggle as she aged was macular degeneration, which gradually took her vision. As her eyesight failed, she purchased an iPad at age 85 to read the newspaper, books, and e-mail in large type, but ultimately stopped using e-mail and settled on a magnification camera that projected a large image of text onto a computer screen.
Seven of Myrna’s siblings predeceased her: Eileen, Bonnie, Donald, Helen, Lorne, Derald, and Nancy. She is survived by two sisters, Imogene and JoAnne, and one brother, Allen (“Gus”). In addition to Foster, she is survived by her sons, daughters-in-law, and grandchildren: Arthur Michael and Diane, of Elmhurst, Illinois, and their daughters Jennifer and LiWen; David and Lisa, of Kent, Ohio, and their daughters Emily and Sarah; and Jeffrey and Maureen, of Bainbridge, Ohio, and their son Aaron. Myrna also left behind many cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.
Myrna Hirt lived her life with independence and dignity to the end, facing every situation with a calm strength. She brought joy and kindness to everyone who knew her, enriching the lives of all she knew.
The family would like to thank Doctor Dean DePerro for his exceptional care of Myrna and Foster and for his kind words and advice. The family also thanks Myrna’s caregivers at University Hospital and The Woodlands. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Susan G. Komen.
Services will be held on Saturday, February 16, 2019, at 11 a.m., at the Kent Presbyterian Church, with visitation beginning at 10 a.m. A celebration of life and burial will take place at a later date in Dallas Center, Iowa.