Elizabeth Buchheit Myers Passes Away

13 Nov
Betty Myers enjoying the outdoors

Betty Myers enjoying the outdoors

Elizabeth “Betty” Buchheit Myers, Blue Lake resident and wonderful grandma, passed away on November 13, 2009 in Minocqua, Wisconsin. She was 91. She is preceded in death by her husband Dr. Vernon Work Myers.

Elizabeth Perkins Buchheit was born on December 28, 1917, the youngest daughter of Dr. Albert Buchheit and Marguerite Foy of Park Ridge, Illinois. Growing up, she shared a room with her great-grandmother Azuba Elizabeth Walker (Perkins) who encouraged her love for art, science and independence. Betty was an enthusiastic member of the Girl Scouts of America and rose to the highest rank of Golden Eaglet. She competed on Maine Township High School’s swimming and basketball teams and idolized Alexander the Great.

Betty attended Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois and earned a degree in biology in 1940. During World War Two, she was a commissioned officer in the Navy and after completing training at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, she entered the Office of Naval Intelligence in Washington, D.C., as part of the WAVES program. In the spring of 1945, while a lieutenant junior-grade, Betty met ensign Vernon Myers at the Navy Junior Officers Club in Washington, D.C. They married in the summer of 1947 in Park Ridge, Illinois and had five children: Albert, Vernon “Bucky,” Mary, Marguerite “Peggy,” and Elisabeth “Betsy.”

Betty earned a master’s degree in 1952 in Zoology from The Pennsylvania State University, where her husband was a professor of physics.  In 1961, when her husband won a Fulbright fellowship to teach in the Phillippines, Betty seized an opportunity to take her five young children on an around-the-world adventure through many parts of Asia and Europe.  Upon returning home to the United States, Betty ultimately became a professor in the Biology Department at Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland where she headed the college’s ecological studies program.  Every spring, she led an environmental studies field camp class in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Since the early 1920s, Betty’s family vacationed in Minocqua, Wisconsin.  The Buchheit family were one of the first to settle on beautiful Blue Lake. Betty often described her summers at Blue Lake as, “the making of me” and reveled in the abundance of her favorite outdoor activities: sailing, canoeing, diving and horseback riding.  In the late 1980’s, Betty and Vernon permanently moved to Blue Lake from their home in Rockville, Maryland to pursue their mutual affection for nature and the outdoors. A passionate advocate for the environment, Betty was a founding member of the Blue Lake Preservation Association and worked diligently to protect water quality. Her goal was to ensure a beautiful and healthy environment for future generations. For over twenty years she led Blue Lake’s water quality monitoring efforts, as a charter member of the Wisconsin DNR’s citizen lake monitoring network. She loved nature and could identify nearly every plant and animal in the north woods. Her enthusiasm for and understanding of the natural world inspired all who knew her.

Betty Myers is honored by her five children, 14 grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, a loving extended family, and her many friends in the Northwoods and around the country.

A funeral service is scheduled for December 12, 2009, at 11:00 a.m. at St. Matthias Episcopal Church in Minocqua.  A memorial celebration commemorating Betty’s life will be held this summer.

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7 Responses to “Elizabeth Buchheit Myers Passes Away”

  1. Sylvia November 13, 2009 at 11:41 pm #

    My deepest condolences to all of the Myers clan. I am so glad I could visit with her one more time this summer and share with her my gratitude for introducing my family to Blue Lake. She and Vernon will always hold a special place in my heart. I will always admire her for her spirit, tenacity and smarts.

  2. Brian Colianni November 14, 2009 at 12:18 am #

    Our sympathies go out to all of the Myers family on the loss of your mother, grandmother and great grandmother, Mrs Betty Myers. One can’t think of the Blue Lake community with out thinking of Mrs Betty Myers and all she has done for the greater good of the place we all share and love together….Blue Lake.

    We wish you peace in this time of loss and grieving.

    Brian and Teresa Colianni

  3. Bert and Suzie Colianni November 14, 2009 at 11:07 am #

    Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire extended Myers family. The loss of Mrs. Myers is a loss for all of us. We cannot help but reflect on what an influence Betty and the entire family has been on us over the years. My earliest memories of Mrs Myers and the family are sitting at their generous dinner table being exposed to intelligent and far ranging conversations about the environment, politics, science, social justice and culture. The passing of Betty, along with Vernon this past year, feels like the loss of a force and moral compass that will be greatly missed. We are blessed to enjoy the long friendships of their children who carry so strongly their parents spirit.

  4. Gail November 14, 2009 at 1:07 pm #

    We are saddened to learn about Betty’s passing, yet we know she is rejoicing with Vernon. I remember going to your family cottage and there would be music playing, friends from all over the world visiting, and a meal filled with heart-warming conversations and a jug of wine. Your Mom and Dad made everyone feel welcome and special. I have always thought of Betty as Blue Lake’s Rachel Carson. She shared her love of the environment and always had the preservation of Blue Lake and the surrounding area in her heart. Her foresight to have Blue Lake Road, Sutton Road, and Mercer Road declared Rustic Roads, preserves their beauty for future generations. Most importantly, her love of her family will be remembered in our memories. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Peace and love, Gail and Dale

  5. Doubting Thomas November 14, 2009 at 8:51 pm #

    Well done, granddaughter, well done

  6. Peggy Myers November 16, 2009 at 4:01 pm #

    Hi Christy,
    We were all so blessed to have such a great Mom, Grandma, and Great Grandma. Mom was such an original. You wrote a great piece about her and the photograph is supurb.
    Love Aunt Peggy

  7. Paul Adlaf April 22, 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    To The Provost —
    I have enjoyed reading your posts regarding the life and times of Elizabeth Buchheit Myers. In her hometown of Park Ridge, Illinois, we are preparing to celebrate ‘Albert Buchheit Day’ on Monday, May 24th, 2010, in honor of our first mayor, who was Elizabeth’s father. (Actually, we are planning a number of events to promote local history in connection with the Park Ridge City Centennial.)

    Would you be able to speak on the telephone for a moment regarding Elizabeth Perkins? We’re looking to add some more to Dr. Buchheit’s biography for his day on the 24th. It would be wonderful if you could help us. You can correspond with the Park Ridge Historical Society via email: george@pennyville.org, or at it’s telephone number 847.696.1973. Thank you so much for considering this request.

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