Albert M. Myers Jr.
Albert M. Myers Jr., a longtime resident of Aspen, died Friday morning at Aspen Valley Hospital. He was 87 and had recently undergone treatment for cancer.Myers was the last surviving son of Albert M. Myers, founder of the Myers Brothers Department Stores of central Illinois. Myers grew up in Springfield, Ill., where he was a city leader and received the Copley First Citizen Award in 1973.
An Eagle Scout at the age of 13, Myers went on to play football for the University of Illinois, where he graduated in 1939. He spent the next year at the Macy’s executive training program in New York City. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Myers and each of his brothers and a cousin volunteered for service in World War II. Myers served as executive officer of a bomber group based in England, attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.After the war, Myers excelled in marketing and promoting the family store, and spearheaded its emphasis on innovative merchandising. A past president of the American Retailing Association, he regularly traveled to New York, Europe, Asia and South America on buying trips, and was in the first group of American businessmen to visit the People’s Republic of China in 1974.A man most in his element meeting new people, Myers was an active member of the Aspen community. He came to Aspen in 1948, when it first opened as a ski resort, and returned every year thereafter to ski and hobnob. He moved here permanently in 1982, where he and his wife Shirlee Kay-Myers were wed in 1987.
In Aspen, Myers helped found the ambassadors program for the Aspen Skiing Co. and helped start a Boy Scout camp near Ruedi Reservoir. In his 70s, Myers founded and published “Active Times” magazine for people entering the “second half” of their lives, which appeared in newspapers across the country.Myers was an accomplished athlete and outdoorsman. He was a longtime member of the YMCA and other sports clubs, where he won many awards, and was a lifetime fitness buff, tennis player, sailor, skier and fly-fisherman. In later years, Myers relished taking up new sports and hobbies, including hot-air ballooning and kayaking. In the 1990s, he received the Distinguished Eagle Award from the Boy Scouts for outstanding career and civic contributions.Until the last year of his life, Myers was a regular figure on Aspen slopes. Five months following surgery for kidney cancer, he led a group of friends on a sailing trip around Tonga in the South Seas.
Myers was the author of several books, including “Successful Retailing” and “Success Over Sixty.” “The White Scarf War,” Myers’ fictionalized account of his experiences in World War II, was just finished at the time of his death.Myers is survived by his wife Shirlee Kay-Myers; three children, Marilyn Silver of Phoenix, Ariz., and Jacob Myers and Albert M. Myers III of Atlanta; three stepchildren, Bradley Kay of Venice, Calif., Nancy Beevers and her husband Robert Beevers of Highland Park, Ill., and Briana Brumer of Miami; and several cousins and grandchildren.Visitation will be Thursday, Feb. 24, 5-8 p.m. at Boardman Smith Funeral Chapel in Springfield. The funeral will be Friday morning at Temple B’rith Sholom in Springfield, followed by a burial in Oak Ridge Cemetery. A memorial service in Aspen is being planned for two to three weeks from now.
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