JoAnn Myers, whose passion for her adopted hometown of Burnet guided her leadership of the county’s historical commission, passed away Sunday, Dec. 20 at the age of 77.
Myers may have been a transplant to Burnet County, as she and her husband Robert Mack Myers Sr. did not move to the area until 1997, but she fully embraced the community and comitted herself to preserving its past as if it were her own.
“JoAnn adopted Burnet and she gave a lot to many organizations over the years,” said Florence Reeves, director of the Herman Brown Free Library, where Myers volunteered nearly every Friday for more than 20 years and was also a former chair of the Friends of the Library.
“JoAnn was a transplant, yet she developed such a love for Burnet and its people and took pride in the history of Burnet. With her loss, we lose such a wealth of knowledge and understanding of connections of people and events together and how we got to where we are today.”
“Losing JoAnn Myers creates a void in our historic documentation of Burnet County,” said County Judge James Oakley added. “She had a true passion for our history and will be sorely missed.
“As much as we, as a county, plan for and attempt to manage what is our inevitable growth, it is so important to keep focus on our history. That was what JoAnn was especially good at.”
Myers served as chair of the Burnet County Historical Commission from 2015-16; again in 2017-18; and from 2019 until February 2020, when she resigned from the position due to illness. She won the organization’s first Distinguished Service Award in Feruary 2014 and helped lead the BCHC to become one of the largest and most-active local historical commissions in the Hill Country, if not the state, as they have won multiple awards from the Texas Historical Commission.
Other organizations which she was heavily involved with include the Burnet County Genealogical Society, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Daughters of the American Revolution and Crime Stoppers.
“For many years, Jo Ann was very devoted to whatever she was involved in. I can only assume she brought the same level of dedication to whatever organization she volunteered for,” Reeves said.
“JoAnn was very active in our Friday volunteer group with other members of the geneaological society and they were vital in helping keep our genealogy indexes up to date.”
Burnet Mayor Crista Goble Bromley called Myers “a special person” and said her kindheartedness went “far above and beyond” preserving the history of Burnet and Burnet County.
“She took on a number of tasks in that regard and worked diligently to assure that history was documented, preserved and available to the public,” Bromley said. “While that may be what she is best known for, if you knew her at all, you knew what a wonderful person she was.
“I don’t believe she ever met anyone she didn’t genuinely care for, or if she did, you never knew it. Her smile was readily available and she was always at the ready to help when needed. She was indeed a very special person. She is greatly missed.”
Barbara JoAnn (Stewart) Myers was born in Harrison, Arkansas, on January 4, 1943, but moved to Texas when she was young and graduated from Grapevine High School in 1961. She married her husband, Bob, on Nov. 23, 1961, in Fort Worth, and his Air Force career took them to many different locations throughout the United States as well as to Europe. Myers herself worked for the Civil Service for 16 years before retiring at a pay grade of GS-11.
JoAnn and Bob moved to Burnet from San Antonio after their retirement in March 1997 and built their home at what became known as “the Deer Camp.” Myers split her time between her many loves — genealogy, sewing, baking, history and collecting knick-knacks — and spending time with her beloved family, especially her children and grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, her family asks that memorial donations be made to the Friends of the Herman Brown Free Library.
“Losing JoAnn Myers creates a void in our historic documentation of Burnet County.”
— James Oakley Burnet County Judge