There were a few things Myrl Hansard missed about Atlanta, when her husband, Vic Hansard took a job as a principal in Alpharetta in the ’40s. The thing she missed most, she wrote in a memoir some 60 years later: access to the public library.
“There wasn’t a library in Alpharetta when we moved there,” said her daughter, Marnee Hansard, of Atlanta. “She wrote in her book about waiting for the bookmobile that came every two weeks.”
By 1966 there was finally a library in Alpharetta, and Myrl Hansard was its first librarian, her daughter said. Hansard, who had an undergraduate degree in Greek from Agnes Scott and master’s degrees from Georgia State and Emory universities, went on to work in the Milton High School library in 1970. There she was considered a pioneer in the use of audio/visual equipment in the classroom, her family said. In fact, her daughter added, Milton High honored Hansard in 1992 with the Myrl Hansard Media Center.
“She was a trailblazer in so many ways,” said Mary Louise Floyd, who worked with Hansard in the ‘80s at Milton High. “She helped blaze a trail for women who could do it all. She had children, she was a good mother, a devoted wife, she had three degrees, she managed to do all of this volunteer work, and she had a career.”
Myrl Chafin Hansard, a long-time resident of Alpharetta, but more recently of Dunwoody, died Friday from complications of respiratory distress after an extended period of illness. She was 95. She elected to donate her body to Emory’s medical school, her family said. A memorial service is planned for 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, at Alpharetta First United Methodist Church.
While in Alpharetta Hansard, a native of McDonough, was active in local politics. She served as an election official and she ran for city council in the late ‘50s or early ‘60s. She had the distinction of being Alpharetta’s first female council woman, said former city mayor Arthur Letchas.
“I think the library, getting it started, was her gift to us,” he said, of the Alpharetta community.
Hansard was also a natural nurturer, said her son Kit Hansard, of Fishers, Ind. From baking cakes for church members and friends to visiting the sick, Hansard lived to care for others. She and her husband had been married for 63 years at the time of his death in 2003. One of their children, Vic Hansard Jr., died in 2010.
“She was always interested in the improvement of people,” her son said. “She wanted to do things that would make a difference.”
In addition to her daughter and son, Hansard is survived by two other daughters, Bonnye Woodlief of Marietta and Hollye Letourneau of Tucker; two other sons, Kerry Hansard of Jonesboro and Wade Hansard of Roswell; 10 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
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