|Mrs. R.H. Staples (formerly Myrtle Turner) was born in New Iberia, Louisiana on August 23, 1908, the daughter of Leslie Marlin Turner of Formosa, Kansas and Amelia Nussbaum of New Iberia, Louisiana. She died on February 22, 2004 at Tri-Community Nursing Center in Palmetto, Louisiana.
Mrs. Staples was a graduate of S.L.I (now UL) in Lafayette, Louisiana receiving her B.A. degree. She then attended Louisiana State University where she received her Masters Degree in Library Science. She taught in schools at Jefferson Island, Delcambre and Live Oak. In 1940, she organized the Elementary Library. She then became librarian at New Iberia High School. During the summers of 1946 through 1949, she taught at Louisiana Tech in Ruston, Louisiana. She was an enthusiastic teacher well loved by her former students. She had a love of books and was a voracious reader until the last days of her life. She once told a friend that she had read through the Bible at least 10 times.
On May 29, 1953 she married Rev. Robert Howard Staples from Castor, Louisiana. She worked alongside her husband as he pastored churches in Bastrop (1953-1957) and Winnfield First Church (1958-1963). In 1963, Mrs. Staples and her husband retired to Castor, Louisiana. Even in retirement, they were both active in church work. In 1972, they built a home in Winnfield, Louisiana where they lived until 1973. After the death of Rev. Staples, Mrs. Staples moved back to New Iberia for a short time and later moved to Morrow, Louisiana to be near her niece and nephew, Mr. and Mrs. John E. Pickett and their daughter, Sharon. In 1999, Mrs. Staples entered Tri-Community Nursing Center in Palmetto where she lived until her death on February 22, 2004. She was buried at Old Castor Cemetery in Castor, Louisiana. She was a member of Palmetto Methodist Church during the years she lived in the Morrow and Palmetto area. During her lifetime, she was a member of the National Retired Teachers Association, Louisiana Retired Teachers Association, A.A.R.P., Dorcas Sunday School Class, Susannah Wesley Link, and Bible Study Link.
Mrs. Staples was an inspiration and joy to all, a true woman of God. She was a bible scholar and teacher. Even in later years, she continued to counsel and teach others. At the age of 95, she was still giving bible studies and ministering to other nursing home residents. Until the last few months of her life, she continued to teach others about the Bible and the love of Jesus. Her life has been an example to all of us, family and friend alike. She had a keen insight into scripture and could always be counted on to answer difficult bible questions and give wise advice. Her advice was sought after by friends and family both young and old. Her pastor at Palmetto Methodist Church, Rev. Kenneth Chapman said he counted her a dear friend who loved to discuss the scriptures and who held him up in prayer daily. She was a prayer warrior and firmly believed in the power of prayer. She was always a blessing to those she knew. Her willingness to help others knew no bounds and she loved to tell people about Jesus not only in words but by her actions as well. She inspired those of us fortunate enough to know and love her to excel in our endeavors and be all that God would want us to be. She showed us that growing older need not mean to stop working for God’s Kingdom. Her wisdom only increased as each year of her life passed by. We know that Heaven rejoiced when she arrived there and that the Savior she sought after and loved all her life was there to greet her. This is expressed in the words of her favorite hymn, “My Savior First of All”, which say:
“When my life’s work is ended
And I cross the swelling tide,
When the bright and glorious morning I shall see
I shall know my Redeemer when I reach the other side
And His smile will be the first to welcome me.”
Myrtle Staples was an amazing woman and servant of God who will be missed by all of us whose lives she touched in the 95 ½ years she lived here among us.
Sharon Pickett Johnson
|Source: Louisiana Conference Journal 2004|