Margery Gruen Myers, 78, died of colon cancer at her home in Chevy Chase on October 29, 2021.
The only child of two economists, Dr. Myers was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up on Reno Road in Northwest. After attending Alice Deal Junior High and Sidwell Friends School, she graduated from Harvard-Radcliffe in 1965 and Georgetown Medical School in 1970.
Dr. Myers was a Renaissance woman — an accomplished physician, an expert horticulturist, an extraordinary chef — with an adventurous spirit and an insatiable curiosity. Before her senior year in college, she embarked upon a four-month trip around the world. Traveling alone, she visited the Philippines, India, and Syria, among other countries. Along the way, she met a dashing Foreign Service Officer, Robert Myers, whom she married in the National Cathedral in 1966. During their 39 years of marriage, they shared many adventures, living in Laos, Spain, and Northern Ireland as they raised their three boys.
She was a pioneer. One of the few women in her medical school class, she refused to choose between family and career. She embraced both. Her first two sons, Robert and Michael, were born while she was in medical school — and she still graduated on time with her class. Her third son, Chris, was born on an American military base in Thailand while her husband was posted in Vietnam. She diagnosed him with meningitis and flew with him back to the U.S. for emergency care. Two years later, she was back in Laos when the Communist Pathet Lao took control of the country, and she hustled her three kids into a propeller plane as soldiers descended.
Medicine was her true calling. An “old-fashioned” doctor in the best sense of the word, she made house calls and believed in spending time listening carefully to her patients (often to the exasperation of her efficiency-minded supervisors). No matter where she practiced – from hospitals in less developed countries to inner city clinics to the prestigious Walter Reed Army Medical Center – she brought the same dedication to her craft and devotion to her patients. Long after she retired, she remained a fierce patient advocate.
But for all her academic and professional accomplishments, Dr. Myers may be best known for her genuine kindness and her fabulous sense of style. She remembered birthdays, gave thoughtful presents, and checked up on people. An active member of All Souls Unitarian Church, she spent many hours working happily in the All Souls garden. She shared her love of gardening and nature with her eight grandchildren, whom she adored. And, of course, who can forget her hats? She had hats for all occasions – always stylish and well chosen, ready for everything from a church service to a protest march.
Dr. Myers found and created beauty wherever she went. “I’ve lived a beautiful life,” she said on the day she died. She was predeceased by her husband Robert in 2005. Survivors include her three sons: Robert Myers III (Vida Russell) of Washington, DC, Michael Myers (Ann Myers) of Worcester, Mass., and Chris Myers Asch (Erica Asch) of Hallowell, Maine; and eight beloved grandchildren: Matthew, Damon, Pearce, Miriam, Robin, John, Isla, and Aaron.
A Celebration of Life will be held in person and on Zoom at All Souls Unitarian Church (1500 Harvard Street NW) at 3pm on Saturday, November 13th. You can register to attend in person and register to receive the Zoom link here: https://all-souls.org/events/celebration-of-life-for-dr-margery-myers/.You will see the service on the calendar. Click on the service and there will be a link in the description. If you need help accessing the link, please contact Erica Asch at email@example.com.
If you are attending in person, you must wear a mask and show proof of vaccination. Unfortunately, those under 12 can not attend in person. We will ask those who attend in person to pre-register so we are sure we have space. You should plan to arrive at the church by 2pm to leave time to park, show your vaccine card, and find a seat. The closest public parking lot is under the Target on 14th Street. Please stay tuned for more information.
In lieu of flowers, please send a donation to Asian American LEAD.
In honor of Dr. Myers, please wear a colorful hat to the celebration!