Myrna Lynette Rutz Spicer, age 82 of Enterprise, passed away on Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020. She was born to the late Fred U. and Alice B. Rutz on July 7, 1938, in Abilene, Kan.
Myrna attended West Phoenix High School, before attending good Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing in Phoenix, where she was voted “Outstanding Graduate.” Afterwards, she continued her education at Arizona State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Myrna was a life-long student and continue to matriculate at the University of California at San Francisco and University of Phoenix, Master of Science in Nursing and Master of Arts in Management, respectively.
Myrna’s dedication to nursing continued throughout her lifetime and career. She worked as a staff nurse, a Clinical Supervisor and a Director of Nursing. She held offices in the Arizona State Nurses Association, served on various national, regional, state and local levels of the American Heart Association and was President of the Arizona State Heart Association Board of Directors in 1977.
Although she continued to be a dedicated nurse, she went on to also teach others her passion. She was Assistant Professor at Arizona State University, pioneered the role of “Traveling Teacher,” taught at Chico State University in California, and prior to retirement in 1998, was Associate Professor of Nursing at Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina, Kan. She was later honored with “Outstanding Allied Health Instructor” in 1999.
Traveling and the outdoors were Myrna’s passion and delight. She loved rafting and was a crew member for numerous rafting companies that ‘ran’ the rapids of the Colorado River thru the Grand Canyon. Myrna was an avid bass fisher-person, participating in professional tournaments at all levels throughout Arizona. She tried scuba diving and acrobatic plane flying as well.
Myrna will be remembered as a ‘non-traditional woman.’ Her most loved book was “Auntie Mame.” Like the main character, Myrna fervently believed that “life is a banquet yet so many people starve!” Over the years, Myrna sought out exciting, different experiences and never allowed herself to “starve.”
At the present time, there will be no funeral and/or graveside memorial service. Per her religious beliefs, Myrna requested that no flowers or plants be sent. The family wishes to thank all of those who cared for her during her last few months. Donations may be made to the American Heart Association.