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Myra Richardson, 100

Myra Richardson, age 100, passed away peacefully on February 20, 2024, at the Valley Hi Nursing Home in Woodstock, IL.

Myra Claraine Sorbo was born December 13, 1923, in Winnebago County, Iowa, the daughter of Knut N. and Mathilde (Weblemoe) Sorbo. Myra was raised and attended schools in Emmons, Minnesota and Lake Mills, Iowa. After graduating from Teacher’s College in Ames, IA, she taught in multi-age schoolhouses in Bristol and Silver Lake, IA. She had a life-long commitment to teaching students of all educational levels, from early childhood education to community college. 

On July 4, 1945, Myra married Ronald Eugene Richardson in Emmons.  They met on a train traveling to California during World War II. Ron served as a Tech Sargent, Radioman in the US Army Air Corps, flying missions on Liberator bombers in North Africa. Myra and Ron lived in Pennsylvania, near his family, for two years before moving permanently to Woodstock, Illinois. They were charmed by the little midwestern town with its brick-paved city square, parks, famous opera house, and friendly community.

Ron graduated from DeVry Technical School, Chicago and went on to work as a Quality Control Manager at Admiral TV in Harvard, IL. Myra had a variety of jobs in Woodstock. She continued her teaching career with private tutoring of grade school children. In 1956, she became the first policewoman for the city, directing traffic and serving as a crossing guard for school children at Woodstock’s busiest intersections. She was also employed as Director of Activities for the Olson Play Park, where many of the towns’ children enjoyed activities including, sports, games, parades, art, and storytelling during busy summer months. 

In addition to raising her own children, Myra was actively engaged in volunteer work for the American Red Cross, the Girl and Boy Scouts, and her church. She worked in occupational therapy in the McHenry Nursing home and was later hired to be the Director of Activities at the Woodstock Residence Nursing Home. Because of her extraordinary talents with cooking and baking, she was hired by the McHenry County College to teach gourmet foods and cake decorating classes. Myra’s adult students became devout food and baking enthusiasts and loved her classes. In the 1970’s, Myra sponsored a family from the Philippines, who came to the US and became part of the Woodstock community. At age 65, Myra went back to school, graduating from McHenry County College with an Associate degree in Business Management. She worked in the McHenry County Health Department as a Business Office and Scheduling Manager. 

For many years, Myra was fondly known as Woodstock’s “cake lady”, for her beautiful cake creations for all occasions, including birthdays, weddings, and graduations. She often called this avocation her “hobby gone wild”. She also provided catering services for a great number of family, organizational, and business events in the McHenry County area.

Myra is survived by her children, Mona Otten, Ronald Gene Richardson, Christine Richardson, and Lou Ann Richardson; her sister-in-law Betty Sorbo; many grandchildren and great grandchildren; many nephews and nieces, including her niece and godchild Shirley Hanson; her family from the Philippines; and many friends. She was preceded in death by her husband; her son Timothy Richardson; her brother Norlan Sorbo and wife Margie; her sister Maevis Adams and husband James; her sister Orva Sorenson and husband Phil; and her parents. Since Myra’s passing in February, her brother, Sidney Sorbo, and niece, LeAnn Sorbo, have also left us.

A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, July 13 at the St. John’s Lutheran Church in Woodstock, IL. Visitation will begin at 10:30 am, with a Sanctuary Memorial Service at 11:00 am, followed by a luncheon in the social hall. 

Interment at Oakland Cemetery in Woodstock will be a private family gathering. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts in Myra’s honor may be made to World Central Kitchen or to a school or charity of your choice.

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