- Myrna Arlene (Little) Headrick, 85, of Stayton, Oregon,
passed away peacefully in her home on December
in Butte, Montana, Myrna spent the first 10 years of her
life there. In 1944, the family moved to Salem, Oregon,
where she attended Garfield School and Parrish Junior High,
before moving to Sweet Home, Oregon. While in Sweet Home,
she became involved in many school activities, Rainbow Girls
and the Methodist Church youth program. She earned money as
an usher at the local theater and as a “soda jerk” at
the Rexall Drug Store fountain. After winning a PTA
scholarship for teacher training, in the fall of 1952 she
enrolled in Oregon College of Education (OCE), now Western
Oregon University, where she earned a degree in education.
at OCE, she also met her future husband on a blind date. Jay
M. Headrick, serving in the Navy in Subic Bay in the
Phillipines, was home on furlough in October
and was set up on a blind date with Myrna by his high school
DeMolay friend Mack Williams. That Saturday
night date led Jay to call on Monday
morning for a 1-month leave extension. Plans were being made
for the future.
graduated from OCE in May of 1956, and Jay was honorably
discharged in June, with a wedding planned for December.
Intent on pursuing his budding ratio career at Washington
State College, Myrna planned to find a teaching job in
Pullman. Teaching positions were hard to find and preference
was given to in-state teachers. Plans were revised, and
Myrna would look for a teaching position in Oregon while Jay
worked until he could afford to start school. Meanwhile,
Myrna’s parents had moved to Stayton after her father
accepted a job as a pharmacist at Stayton Pharmacy.
late to the job search in Oregon, Myrna’s best option was
a position in Sodaville. While waiting for the papers to
arrive, she was offered a position in the Stayton Elementary
School District by Superintendent Adrian (AJ) Dixon, while
standing in the grocery line at Girod’s Market (now ACE
Hardware). Plans progressed and Myrna & Jay wed
1956, at the First United Methodist Church in Salem, Oregon.
started out her first year of teaching school in 1956 as
Miss Little, but came back after the Christmas
break as Mrs. Headrick. In March of 1968 a new “pupil”
was added when Myrna & Jay welcomed the birth of
daughter Michelle. Myrna spent her entire 35-year teaching
career in the Stayton School District. During that time, she
was primarily a 7th and 8th grade language arts and social
science teacher who also acted as vice principal on
occasion, and was instrumental in setting up the curriculum
program when the Middle School was established. In 1976 she
was named Stayton’s Teacher of the Year. In those 35
years, it’s estimated she taught over 3,000 students.
was active in the community and her church — an advisor
for the Bean Festival Queen & Court, on the Santiam
Hospital Auxiliary, singing & directing the church
choir, serving on numerous committees, and helping organize
the annual church bazaar, which celebrated its 40th
consecutive year in 2019. In November, Myrna was recognized
by the United Methodist Women organization for her 66 years
of membership & contribution in the Stayton United
Methodist Church. She loved singing, books, bingo &
playing cards, attending Portland Trailblazer & OSU
football games, RV travel to Arizona & beyond, and
spending as much time as possible on her property in Camp
Sherman, Oregon. Both retired in 1991.
was preceded in death by her parents, George T. & Nellie
C. Little, husband Jay M. Headrick, and brother Robert G.
Little. She is survived by her daughter Michelle Headrick
Mays and her son-in-law Doug Mays, Vancouver, WA; two nieces
and three nephews.
celebration of her life will be held Saturday,
2020, at 2pm at the Stayton United Methodist Church, 1450
Fern Ridge Rd SE, Stayton, OR. There will be a reception
following the service in the church Fellowship Hall. Flowers
are welcomed though should friends desire, contributions may
be made in her name/honor to the Stayton United Methodist
Church for the choir fund. Assisting the family is North
Santiam Funeral Service, Stayton.