Remembering Ethel Eyrse, 1914-2014, who lived ‘with great wit and curiosity’

The family of 99-year-old Ethel Eyrse, who spent the final fourth of her life here, shares this remembrance:

Ethel Louise (Boyer) Eyrse passed away on April 9, 2014. She was born in Saidora, IL on Dec. 2, 1914, to Harry and Elsie Boyer. Ethel moved to Pekin, IL in her teens and, after graduating from Pekin High School, worked at the Pekin Finance Company. She married Fred Eyrse on Aug. 2, 1936.

Ethel was an active volunteer at the Pekin Hospital League, holding many chairs including League President, and started the Nearly Nu Shop which over the years has raised thousands of dollars for the hospital. She moved to Seattle in 1997, following the death of Fred. She lived her 99-plus years with great wit and curiosity about life.

Always independent, Ethel was able to stay in her own apartment in West Seattle with a view of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains and was as sharp as a tack to the end. A bit of her wit was shared online by her granddaughter, Shanna, through the website Upload Your Grandma.

Ethel is survived by her son, Steven Eyrse of Pekin, daughter Cinda (Eyrse) Christie of Seattle, three grandchildren, Shanna Christie, Severn Eyrse and Margaret Lanphier, and two great-grandchildren, Severn Eyrse Jr. and Hazel Lanphier. She will be greatly missed.

There will be a celebration of Ethel’s life at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations could be made in her name to the Pekin Hospital League, 600 South 13th Street, Pekin, IL 61554.

(WSB publishes obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

6 Replies to "Remembering Ethel Eyrse, 1914-2014, who lived 'with great wit and curiosity'"

  • David April 18, 2014 (11:38 pm)

    I bet she was a hoot just from the picture! Definitely a testament to a life well lived.

  • Alkiboy April 19, 2014 (7:44 am)

    Couldn’t agree with you more David! She looks and sounds like she would be the one to start the party when she arrived. Hugs go out to her family as they celebrate her life.

  • Rick April 19, 2014 (10:46 am)

    Sounds like she had a great run! Condolences

  • Mary Lou Radcliff April 19, 2014 (4:07 pm)

    Dear Cinda–Thank you for sharing–I hadn’t heard. I do know what you are going through, so sorry. We were both blessed with our moms for so many great years, and they went on their terms. Which is so good, I couldn’t have wanted more for mom, she was vital up to the end. Sending you condolences, but also a smile–to remember your mom with–another great one. Hugs, Mary Lou

  • Karen April 19, 2014 (4:40 pm)

    Great Aunt Ethel made her mark in the family. She was never without words and had great wit. While she may have been curious about life, she was also a “book worm” her entire life and knowledgeable about so many things. She lived a full life of 99+ years, and to have been sharp as a tack right up until the day she passed is truly a blessing. I will always remember her artistic talents and creative side as well. Hugs, Karen and Mark

  • Cid April 19, 2014 (6:15 pm)

    Thanks Mary Lou. Both our mom’s gave it a good run. Donated over 300 books to the Seattle Public Library. Can’t count how many New York Crossword puzzles I found…done in INK. Good grief. I’m going to miss her like crazy.

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