Myra Butler Coulam Balls will celebrate her 100th birthday on December 2nd. She was born December 2, 1918 in Clawson, Teton Valley, Idaho. She is the fourth of eight children born to Marion Wallace Butler and Ethel Eliza Jackson. Her brothers and sisters are: Cloris Benson (deceased), Zelta (deceased), Lora Tovey (deceased), Troy (deceased), JayDell (deceased), Norine Allen (turned 92 on June 2), and Bernell (deceased).
She grew up on the 160-acre family homestead in Driggs, Idaho. She, with her brothers and sisters, helped their mother run the farm as her father was often away working construction with his brothers. Myra graduated from Teton High. Her family is very musically inclined and she loved to play the piano, baritone horn and violin. She and her brother, Troy often sang around the Teton Valley events.
Myra attended BYU and then obtained her cosmetology degree in Idaho Falls and worked in a shop in Driggs. She met (Henry) Irving Coulam and they were married in the Salt Lake Temple on November 21, 1941 by her uncle, Apostle Joseph F. Merrill. Irv had completed his year of military service and was waiting to be released when the bombing of Pearl Harbor happened. Irv was activated, so Myra stayed in Driggs near her family.
In 1942, Dee Irving made his appearance while his father served in New Guinea and then attended Officer training school in Australia in 1943. A second son was born to them in Brigham City, William (Bill) Brent in 1945. Irv was then stationed in Germany during the post-war occupation and Myra and the boys were able to join him. He was transferred stateside where their third child was born at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, Cheryl Jean, in 1948. He was stationed at Ogden General Depot for a while, then in Shreveport, LA until the Korean Conflict. Myra moved back to Driggs to be near family while he was away in Korea.
In 1954, Myra and Irv decided he should leave active duty and they purchased a chicken ranch in Hyrum. The ranch had 3,000 laying hens in eight coops, 40 red delicious apple trees with other fruit trees, on two-and-a-half acres, so Myra learned to gather, wash and candle eggs for sale and raise a large garden. Later, chinchillas, a 1,200-tree Christmas-tree farm and raspberries were part of the venue.
On their 18th wedding anniversary, Irv and Myra were blessed with another son, Jon Wayne, in 1959. Through all this, Myra served in the church in many callings and sang in groups with her sister, Norine, and good friend, Addie Jensen, and later the Bel Cantos Chorus. On February 13, 1975, Irv passed away after a rollover van accident in Sardine Canyon. Myra decided to support Jon and herself by opening a beauty shop in a smaller home in Hyrum on East Main.
On March 27, 1980, Myra married (William) Harold Balls in Logan. They raised a wonderful garden and shared the produce with friends, temple workers and family. Myra continued to do hair in the basement of their home. On January 8, 1994, Harold passed away after a courageous battle with cancer. Myra continued to do hair and be involved in music for many years. She retired from doing hair at age 85 but still kept a hand in the garden.
Just before her 98th birthday, Myra moved to Williamsburg Retirement and Assisted Living Complex.
Myra has 19 grandchildren and 41+ great-grandchildren. Her children are: Dee (Lynn), Hyrum; Bill (Vika), Logan; Cheryl (Dave) Holmes, Pocatello; and Jon (Kathy), Smithfield.
Please come and help us celebrate her 100th Birthday at an open house on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018, at Williamsburg, 132 W 300 North, Logan, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on the second floor — elevator available.