cloverr (e_phemera) wrote in huntsville,

Pearly Gates

I'm sad to report the unexpeceted death of a close friend, Myrna Copeland.

Myrna was in her 70's and owned and operated Pearly Gates, a natural foods store in Huntsville for the last 40 years.

Originally from New York city, she was also a passionate dedicated Civil Rights activist,and has been mentioned in several nonfiction history books on the topic, such as THE AGITATOR'S DAUGHTER by Sheryll Cashin,93333

Myrna has also been a mental health worker and was an ordained minister. My fiance Barry & I were looking forward to accepting her offer to officiate our marriage ceremony, and I've often said in the time I've known her that "I aspire to be a fiesty and hip old lady like Myrna."

My heart goes out to her daughter Deanna, who ran the store with her, and to her son Jim., who interestingly is a professional bicyclist and previous Olympic athlete. It's so sad that they've lost both their grandmother and their mother within the last month or so.

I also feel badly for Barry; this is the second very close friend (one could say family of choice) of his who has passed away this year. He visited with Myrna almost every day, chopped wood and did other tasks for her, and occassionally worked part-time filling in as needed at Pearly.

I'm going to have a memorial book donated to the library in Myrna's memory; was thinking a copy of Garth William's THE RABBITS WEDDING (with it's 1959 banned book tie-in to civil rights) might be appropriate. :)

Today, for my lunch, I'll be eating some fine vegetarian blackbean salsa soup (that B and I picked up from Pearly earlier in the week) that Myrna prepared; I'll think of her, and she will be missed and remembered.
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