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Myrtis Lucille Gilmore

August 26, 1921 ~ March 27, 2024 (age 102) 102 Years Old
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Myrtis Gilmore Obituary

Myrtis Lucille Gilmore, 102, of Missouri City passed away Wednesday March 27, 2024. She was born in Montgomery County August 26, 1921 to the late Edward Bloodsworth and Dora Alsbrooks Bloodsworth. 

As our elders age into the 90’s and beyond – a record breaking 102 for Myrtis —many have dementia and other health and mobility issues—we must remind ourselves who they were most of their lives. Who was Myrtis Gilmore?

Myrtis was a woman of God, a wife and mother, she loved her family, cherished her friends, and she cared about everyone she met. Myrtis enjoyed dancing, smiled a lot, and she lived through the loss of her husband, Selman, her sister, Nina, and her son, Raymond. To really know Myrtis we must look deeper into what made her who she was.

Beyond what people saw was a life of service for others that brought real joy to her life. God blessed her for caring for her mother, serving her country, and devoting herself to her family while maintaining her faith in God.

Now, Myrtis would be the first to tell you she wasn’t perfect, and she wouldn’t want you thinking that she was.

Myrtis grew up in Cleveland, Texas, in a house in front of the railway tracks with the highway just a few yards away. At age 12, she had 3 brothers, and a new baby sister. Her mother, Dora Bloodsworth, was ill after the birth of her sister and continued to be ill months later due to a miscarriage. Myrtis took over most of the care of her little sister Nina, and helped prepare dinner and did all the housework she could fit into her day. A caregiver was hired to stay with her mother and baby sister during the day.

One day when she was 13, she arrived home from school and found her ill mother hungry and thirsty —uncared for by the caregiver, and her little sister was not much better. When her dad came home, she said, “Daddy I’m gonna quit school and stay home and take care of mama because Bessie‘s not taking care of her. I can help mother get better.” Her dad said, “Ok, but I’m not paying you. Your room and board is enough.” Myrtis answered, “that’s fine with me.” She never returned to school. Myrtis took over the household, getting her dad off to work at 4 am with breakfast and a packed lunchbox, waking her 3 brothers, providing breakfast and lunches for them, while caring for her 1-year-old sister, cleaning house, and making dinner in the evening. That began her life of service. She put her life on hold for her mother—the blessing was her mother’s complete recovery over the next few years.

At age 17, with her mother well, Myrtis started dating. One weekend while volunteering in a soda booth at a baseball game, she caught the eye of a young man named Selman Gilmore. After rejecting his first offer of going out, she agreed to a date. They arranged to meet a second and third time. Communication wasn’t easy since they lived in different towns— this was before the age of the Internet and cell phones.

One day she received a letter from Selman. She ran to her mother and said, “Mama, Mama, Selman wants to marry me. He sent me $2 to take the bus to meet him. What should I do?” Her mother said, “You’ve been making your own decisions for the past four years.... Do you love him? ... Answer that question first.” Myrtis was a few weeks away from becoming 18, so she had to sneak off so her dad wouldn’t be able to stop her. Her mother helped her pack and get to the bus.

Not long after her marriage, she settled in Silsbee, Texas. At age 22, when World War II started, Myrtis and Selman had 3 children under age 5 —Margaret, Raymond, and Linda. Selman was drafted into the Navy in 1944. At age 24, Myrtis began her service to her country. She answered the call from the Federal government for women to help the war effort by becoming a Rosie the Riveter. Rosie the Riveter was an icon created by the US government —of a woman wearing a Jean shirt, a red polka-dot bandanna pulling her hair back, and a fist raised up with the caption: “I can do it.” Myrtis joined the work force in the factories with thousands of other women—taking over men’s jobs who had gone to war. She worked in a bomb factory near Silsbee. Myrtis’s service would not have been possible without the help of Leona Eurins, also a Silsbee resident, who cared for the little ones through this time and for many years later. The blessing Myrtis received from that service was the knowledge that she had a part in saving our nation and making a place for the women of the future to join the workforce.

Her next service was one of her greatest blessings— raising her children and encouraging them to live their own lives. Myrtis devoted the next 18 years caring for her husband and family and working as an Avon saleswoman for a few years and later as a vacuum cleaner salesperson to help support the family. She was 45 years old and an empty nester when she welcomed 6-year-old Donna, her cousin’s daughter, into her home and raised her as her own.

Myrtis was married to Selman over 64 years. Myrtis never thought of her life in terms of service, it’s just what she did. She believed she was blessed—blessed to have cared for her mother, blessed to have had the opportunity to give back to this country for a short time, and blessed to have a loving marriage with four children to nurture into adulthood.

We who love her will choose to forget her dementia and her physical limitations and remember who she had always been—a wife, a mother, a friend — overflowing with the love of God —spilling out to everyone she encountered.

Myrtis is survived by her children, Margaret Sojka of Houston, Linda Migura of Missouri City, Texas, Donna Scruggs and husband Mark of Lakedale, Florida, daughter in law Melody Gilmore; grandchildren, Carla Allen of Round Rock, Texas, Darrell Gilmore of Missouri, Wendy Draper and husband Troy of Kirbyville, Misty Nutt and husband Ryan of Houston, Tim Sojka and wife Lori of Houston, Jeff Sojka and wife Saja of Houston, Mike Migura of Houston, Chris Migura and wife Carrie of Houston, Marcus Migura and wife Carrie of Houston; 23 great grandchildren; 8 great great grandchildren; and a host of other family members and friends.

  

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Services

Visitation
Monday
April 1, 2024

1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Farmer Funeral Home Chapel
415 N. Fourth Street
Silsbee, Texas 77656-4107

Funeral Service
Monday
April 1, 2024

2:00 PM
Farmer Funeral Home Chapel
415 N. Fourth Street
Silsbee, Texas 77656-4107

Interment following funeral service
Monday
April 1, 2024

RS Farmer Memorial Cemetery

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