Myrtle Eller (James)
Myrtle Atteleania James Eller peacefully departed this life on April 23, 2018. Born on May 20, 1929, in Hazlehurst, Georgia, the daughter of the late Daisy Josephine and John James, she led a life that loved God, family, and children.
After completing her elementary education in Hazlehurst, Myrtle “Myrt” attended high school at the Gillespie Selden Institute boarding school in Cordele, Georgia, and received her BA in Sociology from Paine College in 1952, where she was voted Miss Paine College in 1950.
Her career as an educator began in 1952 as a teacher in the Hazlehurst public school system. Despite the confines of segregation, the Jim Crow culture, resulting in a lack of resources, Myrtle and her fellow educators were innovators that provided excellent instruction resulting in students receiving solid educations. She also coached the Hazlehurst High School Dragons Girls Basketball team and led the team to a Georgia State Championship in 1954.
Myrtle met the late Devoid “Frank” Eller, the love of her life, in 1953 in White Plains, New York. They were joined in marriage by Rev. Ralph W. Gullette on December 26, 1954 and became members of Mount Hope A.M.E. Zion Church in 1956. During their 63 years of marriage, Myrtle and Devoid lived a life filled with love and dedication to God, each other, their family, church, and community. In 2014 they were recognized and honored for more than 50 years of marriage.
After her children started school, Myrtle resumed her career with the Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) of Southern Westchester as a Special Education teacher. She also worked with the Head Start Summer program. She retired from BOCES after 25 years of devoted service to children. Her love for teaching and children led her to complete graduate courses at Yeshiva University in New York and the College of New Rochelle.
During her over 60 years as a member of Mt. Hope, Myrtle served as a member of the Board of Stewards, the Senior Choir, the Voices of Mt. Hope, the Women’s Home and Overseas Missionary Society, the Music Committee and the Woman’s Day Committee. She was President of the Mt. Hope Lay Council and Recording Secretary of the Hudson River District Lay Council. Mrs. Eller was an active member of the Hudson River District Christian Education Department, including serving as Director of Adults. In 2006, she was recognized for 50 Years of Service to the church. In 2006 she received The Sandra Dash Goodman Award for Outstanding Service to the Mt. Hope AME Zion Church.
Myrtle leaves to mourn: her daughter, Constance (Kenneth) of Trotwood, Ohio; her son, Eric (Rosemarie) of White Plains, New York; two grandsons, Joshua and Zachary, of White Plains, NY; brother-in-law, Terrell (Ila Joyce) of New Rochelle, New York; sisters-in-law: Larue Starks and Carlotta Eller of Peekskill, New York, and Lula James of Hamilton, Ohio; and a host of nieces and nephews in New York, Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky, Florida, Maryland, Illinois, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.
She was predeceased by her beloved husband, Devoid “Frank” Eller; sister, Trellis James Meadows; and brothers: Rossie, Roy, Arthur, Charles and Vernon James.
The Entire Staff of Lee's Funeral Home, LLC respects that the Eller family entrusted the care of their loved one to us, and that they value the level of service & attention our funeral home provides. We are honored, in turn, to provide comfort, assistance and service to the Eller family during their time of bereavement.
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