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Myrtle Spielman

Published: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

DIXON – Myrtle Spielman passed away Thursday, June 20, 2013, at Dixon Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center at the age of 105 years and 2 months to the day. She lived through two world wars, weathered the Great Depression, and witnessed all the advancements from the horse and buggy era to the space shuttle.

Myrtle was born in April 1908 in Illinois, and lived nearly her entire life in Dixon. She came from a large family of five sisters and one brother. Her father was a blacksmith back in those days when horses outnumbered cars. Myrtle was the last survivor of her original family.

She married Willis Spielman. Together, they raised two sons and a daughter through the stressful years of the Great Depression in the 1930s. Myrtle was a great seamstress, and used her skill to bring in much needed money for the family.

She continued her sewing for many years until her failing eyesight made it impossible. Myrtle’s skills as a seamstress included making clothes, braided rugs, and draperies. Many years ago, she made the large draw curtains at the Dixon Theater. She made braided rugs as large as 9 by 12 feet, and custom seat covers for her oldest son’s car back in 1953.

Sadly, Myrtle lost her daughter, Audrey, and youngest son, Ken, within 8 months of each other more than 40 years ago, when they were both in their 30s. She lost a grandson more than 22 years ago, and her husband has been gone for 30 years. She was fortunate to have her son, Lyle, and his wife, Francine, as her caregivers and problem solvers during those years. With much help from her son and his wife, good friends, relatives, and women from Lutheran Services, she managed to stay in her apartment until about 2 years ago. Her failing health made it necessary to enter a nursing home.

Myrtle lived more than 105 years, but along with the blessing of long life, was enduring the passing of her parents, husband, son, daughter, grandson, sisters, brother, and many relatives and friends.

Survivors are her son, Lyle, and his wife, Francine; three grandsons; two great-grandsons; three great-granddaughters; a great-great-granddaughter; and many friends and relatives.

A private funeral service was held June 25. Jones Funeral Home in Dixon handled arrangements.

Myrtle was a strong, independent, but unassuming woman and will be greatly missed by all.

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