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Myrtle W. Harton

Mrs. Harton was born April 13, 1916, in her parents’ home in Harris Station. Her parents were Theophilus Williams and Fannie Maude Epperson Williams. She was the fourth of five children. A brother, Fred, and a sister, Ruby Lee, died in early childhood. Her remaining sisters were Allie and Opal.
Mrs. Harton graduated from high school at South Fulton in 1934. Thereafter, she attended business school in Union City. She worked in insurance in Union City, Fulton and Paducah, Ky. She bought a lot while in Paducah and drew up plans for a house, which she had built.
It was while living in Paducah that she met her husband, Ethert Ross “Happy” Harton. They married April 5, 1952. During their marriage, they lived in Paducah; Ormond Beach, Fla.; and, finally, in Union City. After moving to Union City, they opened their own sewing machine and vacuum business, which they owned and operated for 13 years. She also had her own lingerie sewing business for several years.
Mrs. Harton was very active in the community during her lifetime. Some of her community involvement included: worked as a Pink Lady at the hospital; volunteered at the Chamber of Commerce and Main Street; was an active member of First United Methodist Church, where she taught Sunday school, mentored and served on the administrative board; was involved with the Senior Citizens and was once crowned “Mrs. Senior Northwest Tennessee”; served on the board of directors for the Office on Aging and was named chairman of fundraising for the Senior Citizens building; regularly attended the Friday Morning Breakfast Club; was very active on the Community Concerts board and served as its president; was active in the Business and Professional Women; and was awarded Obion County Poet Laureate in 2006.
Mrs. Harton was also very involved in Kiwanis. She was president of the Union City club in 1995 and lieutenant governor in 1996 for the Louisiana, Mississippi and West Tennessee districts. She also wrote two books, “There Is Joy in the Journey,” volumes I and II. She donated the proceeds from sales to Kiwanis programs.
Mrs. Harton also felt very blessed to work for Ginny Acree when she opened a gift shop in Union City. Through her work there, she became close friends with Mrs. Acree and loved her deeply.
Mrs. Harton’s primary hobby in her later years was using her computer to make beautiful calendars, cards, pictures and other original creations, which she gave as gifts to everyone she met. She felt truly blessed to have a wonderful instructor and friend, John Dunker, who visited regularly to help her, give her instruction and inspire her.
Through her marriage to Ethert Ross Harton, Mrs. Harton gained a large step-family: three stepdaughters, seven grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and 15 great-great-grandchildren.
She is survived by her stepdaughter, Jerrie Harton Jackson Poat of Paducah; seven grandchildren, Kelly Howard and his wife, Karen, of Friendswood, Texas, Craig Howard and his wife, Brenda, of Paducah, Dr. James M. Howard and his wife, Nancy, of Dillon, Colo., Jenny Howard Kelley of Knoxville, Ken Howard and his wife, Gilli, from Jacksonville, Fla., Julie Howard Price and her husband, Kent Price, of Paducah and Kathy Jackson and her husband, Allan Sanchez, of Austin, Texas. She is also survived by 14 great-grandchildren and 15 great-great-grandchildren.
Mrs. Harton was preceded in death by her husband, Ethert Ross Harton; her parents, Theophilus Williams and Fannie Maude Epperson Williams; her stepdaughters, Jacquelyn Harton Howard and Jennea Harton Anderson; her sisters, Allie Williams Pentecost of Union City and Opal Williams of Fulton; and her two siblings who died in early childhood.
Visitation will be at White-Ranson Funeral Home Saturday from 9-11 a.m., with the funeral service immediately following there at 11. Burial will be in Obion County Memorial Gardens. Dr. James Mabry Howard and Bob Nichols will officiate.
Pallbearers will be Kelly Howard, Craig Howard, Ken Howard, Kent Price, John Dunker, David Harris, Joseph Price, Bill Acree, David Johnson, Bob Nichols, Shawn Kelley and Chris Kelley. Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Friday Morning Breakfast Club and the Kiwanis Club of Union City.
The family requests that memorials be made to Louisiana-Mississippi-Tennessee Kiwanis District Foundation, the American Cancer Society or Union City First United Methodist Church.
In the words of Mrs. Harton: “I hope my life will be remembered as an afterglow of a beautiful sunset.”
Condolences may be sent to the family at the funeral home website: