Our beloved mother, grandmother and best friend, Myrle Jean Cook Theimer became one of the brightest stars shining in the heavens when she passed Friday, May 8, 2020, at home, surrounded in love by her four children.
Myrle was born on Sept. 18, 1933, in Boulder, Colorado, to Ruth Amanda and Alvin Chester Cook. Her uncle gave her the nickname “Mulberry Jean,” which lovingly followed her through the years.
She was united in holy matrimony to Gene Coleman Theimer in April of 1954 in Boulder. The union was blessed with four children and three grandchildren. Gene preceded her in death on April 28, 2011.
As a young woman in the ’40s and ’50s, Myrle was dedicated to her church community and was heavily involved with choir trips, bible camps and fundraising efforts. It was as a member of the choir that Gene first took an interest in his future wife.
The Theimers moved to Billings in 1965 and Myrle chose First Congregational Church. Through the years, she considered that welcoming group as her loving extended family and she couldn’t wait to see them each week. She volunteered for everything. She tallied pledge cards, she cleaned the kitchens, she setup for communion, she visited shut-ins, she taught Sunday school, she served on numerous committees and, through it all, she brought us along to help. She had us running pledge cards to the right table, cleaning pots and stoves, changing candles, carrying poinsettias to St. Johns, helping her cut out construction paper figures for next week’s classes and so many other things to instill in us the knowledge that it is expected we help anywhere that needs it.
Most recently, she has been a part of the Mayflower Circle — a group of the Church’s Matriarchs. She would spend hours making craft items and her well-known Christmas goodies, as well as filling bags with their famous bean soup to sell at their yearly bazaar to raise money to help the Youth of the Church.
While her Church life was vital to who she was, it was not all she was. Back in the day, she was a Girl Scout leader, she was a census taker, and she was constantly serving the Heart Association, going house to house for contributions. It got to the point where we had to chide her to learn to Just Say No!
These qualities brought her to the attention of the Billings West Medical Center group, where she worked at the front desk. She could help others, bring her joyful countenance to bear when people were sick or in pain and develop friendships she kept throughout her life — with both her coworkers and the patients. We cannot count the number of times a shopping trip or a movie outing were paused to chat with someone who recognized her. And she always remembered everyone.
She has always been interested in history. That love of history and the desire to document the family history upon the death of her mother eventually led her to the Daughters of the American Revolution after she retired. Through the years, she held many posts in the organization, but her two terms as Regent, her time as Historian and her work as Registrar helping new Daughters find their ancestor were some of her more stressful but also most fulling hours. She took her talents at tracing genealogy on the road and worked at the Family History Center in Billings, where she continued to look for our family, but also helped guide many others through their search.
For Myrle, feeding her family well was an act of love. Her cookies, candies and the best cinnamon rolls ever will be sorely missed. While baking and preparing for visiting family, she had the cutest habit of singing or humming. Dad could always tell she was happily anticipating an arrival when he heard that sound.
No one will ever forget her beautiful smile and her distinctive joyous laugh. She smiled and laughed a lot. As kids, we could always find her in a large crowd by just listening for that precious laugh. For Myrle, there was only the bright side of life.
Mom was immensely proud of her family and church, and leaves behind nothing but beautiful memories.
Myrle is survived by children Gayle and Scott of Billings, Marie (Michael) of Longmont, Colorado, and Myra (Mike) of Grand Marais, Minnesota; and grandchildren Arlin, Elias and Aurora and honorary granddaughter Lisa.
Cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held at a later date.
Memorials may be made to My Backyard, as service through her beloved church that aids the homeless in Billings. Donations can be sent to First Congregational Church, The Billings Community Crisis Center, 310 N. 27th St., Billings, MT 59101.
The family wishes to thank all of those who cared for her during her final days. We are forever in your debt.
The family also wishes to express their sincere appreciation for the sympathy, comforting words, prayer and expressions of kindness and concern from everyone else that loved her both locally and across the country.