“The sweetest warrior in the world.” That description of Myrna Jean Taft, 84, depicts the strong and gentle soul of a wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and lifelong caregiver. Myrna went to be with the Lord on April 17, 2020, after a 10-year battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Myrna retained her nurturing, sweet and witty personality throughout her long illness, and participated in research studies to further the advancement of Alzheimer’s treatment. From the time she was a child, Myrna stood up for those who couldn’t defend themselves and spent her career (which lasted into her 70s) advocating for the highest standards of health care.
Myrna was born on October 25, 1935, in Prinsburg, MN. The ninth of 11 children, she put herself through nursing school and received her RN diploma from St. Francis School of Nursing in Breckenridge, MN. She received a Master’s in human resources management from the University of Redlands, CA. She held numerous nursing and administrative positions in Minnesota, Montana, Arizona, California, and Oregon, including director of nursing for Pinal General Hospital in Florence, AZ and assistant administrator for Havasu Samaritan Regional Hospital in Lake Havasu, AZ.
Myrna married the love of her life, Ted Osborne Taft, on November 20, 1956. Myrna, along with Ted, led a life of travel and adventure, riding motorcycles, piloting small airplanes, waterskiing, operating ham radios, running a small farm, and raising four daughters while working full time.
Ted preceded her in death on September 2, 2019. Myrna is survived by daughters Karalee Norris (Tom), Kimberly Ovitt (Brian Johnson), Kelly Taft (Dave McPherson) and Kristen Calciano (Nick); as well as 9 grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren. Myrna also is survived by her siblings: Theresa Samuels, Marion DeJong, Dorothy Taft, Leroy Ledeboer, and Linda Winn.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Garritt and Adriana (Mary) Ledeboer; her siblings Evelina DeJong, Garritt Ledeboer Jr., Martin Ledeboer, Allen Ledeboer, and Joyce Johnson.
Services are pending.