Please join in celebrating the life of Elyse LeAnne Myers at 3 p.m. Thursday, July 23, at Willamalane Adult Activity Center. Myers, 67, died April 30 with her family by her side. Myers kept a positive outlook and remained high-spirited, despite battling kidney disease since childhood.
Myers was born in Eugene to August (Buss) Barton and Fern Monteith Barton. She is survived by her daughters, Michelle Button and Jennifer Myers; her brother, Dennis Barton; and her grandson, Hunter Button. Elyse was sister to the late Kathie Durbin and Bruce Barton. In 1968 she married Neil Myers; they were married 24 years.
Myers was raised in Eugene and graduated from Sheldon High School in 1966. She worked in several area high schools: Springfield, Thurston, Churchill and Sheldon. In 2012 Myers retired from her alma mater as a school-to-career counselor. Her most enjoyable moments included helping students plan prom, drama productions and engaging community leaders in mentorships. In 2005 and 2006, Myers was named Oregon finalist for NASC High School Adviser of the Year.
Throughout the ’80s and ’90s, Myers was an integral part of Willamalane Park and Recreation District. As a publicly elected member of the Board of Directors, she turned her love of travel in to a reality, representing Willamalane on state and national levels. Myers’ pride and joy was Splash! Lively Park Swim Center. After touring a similar pool in Florida, she was excited to share this idea with the Thurston area, the place she called home. In this volunteer position, she received national awards for her contributions and service. Myers strongly believed in the importance of protecting and enhancing our parks and open spaces as ways to unite communities.
In 1989 Myers was instrumental in establishing the Springfield Filbert Festival. Through her coordination, she encouraged a family atmosphere and community ownership. She was gratified seeing the positive experiences of bringing people together.
In 1995 Myers was elected by the Springfield Rotary Club as its first female president. She served as chairperson, or “Mama Duck,” of the 1999 Great Rotary Duck Race. With her enthusiastic leadership, Rotary Clubs of Lane County broke previous sales records while raising money to prevent child abuse. She later joined the Eugene Delta Rotary Club and was honored with a Paul Harris Fellow Award in recognition of her exceptional years of service.
Myers will be remembered as someone who selflessly devoted herself to making positive changes in our community. Her involvement in March of Dimes, Children’s Miracle Network and McKenzie-Willamette Hospital, to name a few, seemed like impossible tasks to keep up with. Myers was always recruiting friends and family to help in her many endeavors. Her motivation and excitement was, and still is, contagious.
Myers spent her last year at the Eugene Hotel Retirement Center. She found joy frequenting the many local restaurants and supporting local musicians. She was delighted with the accomplishments of the Springfield-Eugene area. In memory of Myers, donations may be made to the Willamalane Kids Lunch Program administered by FOOD For Lane County, 770 Bailey Hill Rd. Eugene, OR 97402; 541-343-2822; www.foodforlanecounty.org.