Myrtle A. LintonOn March 29th 2010 Myrtle Linton died peacefully at her home on Podunk Rd in Enfield N.Y. at the age of 73 with family close at hand, marking the end of her long and tenacious fight against Alzheimer’s disease. 

Myrtle was born March 24th 1937 to Lewis and Anna Van De Mark who predeceased her.  Her early childhood years were spent living on Spencer Street in Ithaca and later in the small house at the upper entrance to Robert H. Treman State Park where Lewis held a job as caretaker of the park.

While still a young girl, Myrtle stayed many summers with “Ma & Pa Belous” at their family farm in Hammondsport N.Y. which began a lifelong bond between the two families.

After suffering the loss of her mother at the tender age of 16, Myrtle then had to bear the loss of her first husband Jimmie Parks at the age of just 21. Jimmie and Myrtle’s only son Jessie Parks was a year old when she returned to Ithaca and reconnected with high school friend Robert Linton who she married in 1958.

“Myrt & Op”, as they were known to many, settled on Podunk road in Enfield and raised their five children with the strong work ethic characteristic of life on a family farm. Everyone knew Myrtle as a hard worker and when she wasn’t throwing hay bales or planting vegetables, she could be found boiling sap into maple syrup or picking sweet corn to sell at the Ithaca Farmer’s Market where she was a founding member.

As a Boy Scout den mother and 4-H leader, she mentored not only her own children but many others as well.  She and Op enjoyed tremendously their role as grandparents.  Myrtle treasured her grandchildren and had a knack for making each of them feel as though they were her favorite.

This ability extended to more than just family as she and Op welcomed all different kinds of people into their home.  The countless backyard parties and baseball games played on a carefully groomed corner of their hayfield not only beckoned a wide variety of people to Podunk road, but left an abundance of lasting memories for her kids and especially their grandkids who she and Op loved so much.

Known also for her many creative talents, Myrtle expressed her artistry through a number of mediums including drawing, portrait tinting, china painting, sewing, needlepoint, embroidery, knitting and crocheting.  She later took up cake decorating and finally found a passion for beading and jewelry making.  Whether it was a blanket, shirt, sweater, wedding cake or beaded treasure, all Myrt’s many “kids” remember well the special item she made just for them.  Even after Op’s death in 2001 and the onset of her illness, Myrt continued to enjoy her creativity by working happily on any project presented to her that matched her declining abilities.

 During the most recent years of her life, as illness progressed, she and her children were supported by an extraordinary team of caregivers who are owed a lifetime of gratitude not only for their compassion, loyalty, dedication and utmost attention to her personal care but for their unending generosity and the simple act of caring deeply for Myrtle.  While disease gradually claimed her mental faculties and ravaged her body, it could not steal her spirit which proved to be her strongest defense and most amazing quality through it all.

Myrtle Ann Van De Mark Parks Linton is predeceased by her parents and both her husbands as well as her much loved sister Joanie Head.  She is survived by her devoted brother Raymond Van De Mark and his wife Yvonne.  Also surviving are her brother-in-law James Linton and his wife Mary, and sister-in-law Rhoda Linton who made many visits to the house with bouquets of flowers to cheer Myrt during these past several years.

All of Myrtle’s five children and their families survive her as well.  These are Jessie and Julie Parks of Columbus Ga. and their children Alex, Evan and Jillian; Linda and Steve VanNederynen of Ithaca and their children Rebecca, Dustin, Daniel and Darrell; Rob and Rose Linton of Odessa and their children Jessica, Nick, Aaron and Nina; Cindy Linton and Dennis Montgomery of Odessa and their son Ian; and Rodger Linton and Rosie Carpenter of Enfield.

She is also survived by her only great grandson Aaron Avery along with many nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews and several great grandnieces and great grandnephews.

The family will be present to receive friends from 6:00 to 8:00pm on Friday, April 2, 2010 at the Ness-Sibley Funeral Home, 23 South St., Trumansburg. A Memorial Service will begin at 3:30pm on Saturday, April 3, 2010 at the Jacksonville Community United Methodist Church, Rt. 96, Jacksonville with the Rev. Enid Zollweg officiating.