Myra Shelton Dyer, 81, of Paris, passed from this life on Saturday, April 20, 2013, at her residence in Spring Lake Assisted Living Center.

Starrett Funeral Home will conduct a memorial service in celebration of her life and love at 11 a.m. on Monday April 22, at Covenant Christian Church with the Rev. Mark Hutchison and the Rev. Diana Russell officiating.

The family will receive friends from 4-5 p.m. on Sunday at Starrett Funeral Home.

Myra was born Feb. 9, 1932, in Dallas, a daughter of Dixon Bywaters and Myra DeWitt Shelton, early prominent citizens and noted educators in Lamar County. She graduated from Paris High School in 1948, then attended Texas State College for Women (now TWU), where she graduated in 1952 with a BA in music education. During her college enrollment she was first chair violinist in the college orchestra and was known for her aquatic abilities in water ballet. Upon graduation, Myra spent many of her early domestic years as the wife of a civil servant, moving to various cities, parks and national monuments throughout the United States for the National Park Service. Among their residences was Mesa Verde, Crater Lake Oregon, Big Bend, the Grand Canyon, Saguaro National Monument in Tuscon, Pea Ridge Battlefield in Arkansas, Great Smokey Mountains, Tennessee, Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, Washington, D.C., Lake Meredith, in Fritch, where she made many lifelong friends, and Santa Fe, N.M.

Upon the retirement of her husband in 1979, she returned to her native Paris with her family and began a career of eighteen years as a music educator with Paris Independent School District at Aiken Elementary School, retiring in 1997. She was a faithful member of Oak Park United Methodist Church, and a member of the Tempo Music Club. She enjoyed involvement with Paris Community Theatre, and spent years giving private music lessons. She was a woman of strength and compassion, and was comfortable in the presence of both saints and sinners, both of whom she loved. Her accomplishments were numerous, but always for the benefit of others. She organized, raised funds, and purchased violins for at-risk students, and taught the students to play, which ultimately resulted in the development of an orchestra, and numerous string ensembles in Paris. She knew that the gift and appreciation of music would give her students a window on life that would move them to success in every facet of life. Myra’s life was defined by music. A consummate and gifted violinist, she enjoyed the pleasure of this art, the only learned skill on earth that will be practiced in heaven. The latter years of her life brought the joy of her residence at Spring Lake Assisted Living Center, where she both gave and received happiness and love. Spring Lake added life to her days, and most assuredly added days to her life.

Myra never let the tragedies of life make her bitter, but walked through the dark hours with faith and perseverance, even when faced with the loss of two sons, Edward Shelton Dyer and William Mitchell Dyer, to untimely deaths, and her husband of 35 years, William Edward Dyer. She was also preceded in death by a sister, Jane Viney.

Myra leaves to honor her memory a son, Robert Dyer and wife, Kathy, of Brookston; a daughter, Marion Hutchison and husband, Mark, of Powderly; seven grandchildren, Lindsey Killingsworth, of Fort Worth, Holly Dyer, of Brookston, Shelton Killingsworth, of Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Colby Killingsworth, of Fort Benning Georgia, Mason Dyer, of San Diego Amphibious Naval Base, Calif., Meredith Killingsworth, of Powderly, and Graham Dyer, of Brookston; numerous nieces, nephews; and countless friends and extended family.

Named as honorary pallbearers are Pat DeVoss, Cole DeVoss, Lindsey Killingsworth, Shelton Killingsworth, Colby Killingsworth, Mason Dyer and Graham Dyer.

Instead of usual remembrances, Myra would love that memorial contributions be made to the Paris Area Arts Alliance, or to any charity whose goal is sharing the arts with students.

Friends may register in Myra’s Book of Memories at www.starrettfunerals.com.

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