Myrtle Gracia Amott

09/30/2010 12:00 AM |

Myrtle Gracia Van Valkenburg Amott, 89, of Umatilla, Fla., transitioned from her earthly life in the early morning of the autumn equinox and full moon, Sept. 22, 2010.

Myrtle was born in Mineola in 1921 to Paul I. and Mildred (Smith) Van Valkenburg and grew up in Rockville Centre and East Marion. She was graduated from Umatilla High School in 1939 and went on to Florida State College for Women in Tallahassee and Brooklyn College of Nursing.

She married Robert Amott Sr. on May 13, 1944, in Glenwood Springs, Colo., where her husband was a member of the 10th Mountain Division, and where Myrtle provided nursing services during World War II.

After the war, the couple settled in Levittown and raised three children. While the children were young, Myrtle was a homemaker and community volunteer. She helped found Levittown Public Library, served as PTA president and was a Girl Scout leader. Later, she had careers as a commercial artist and technician and a travel agent and ran her own Bed and Breakfast, Rampant Hedges.

Myrtle was socially aware, with an intense interest in everything and everyone around her. She was an avid reader, a news junkie and a computer whiz, with a large roster of e-mail pals. Myrtle was a member and officer of the Van Valkenburg Association.

A lifelong designer, Myrtle created and decorated her homes and gardens, and crafted clothing, furnishings, jewelry and ceramics. A birdwatcher and animal lover, she had a succession of beloved pets, culminating in her relationship with dear Sweetie, her cockerpoo companion.

Inheriting her father’s “Peterson’s Field Guide to the Birds” and his love and awe of everything in nature — plants, animals, and the celestial majesty of the heavens above — Myrtle was a consummate child of the universe.

Myrtle is survived by her three children, Sherry Tippey, Penny Faul and Robert Amott Jr.; her sisters, Bea Brandi and Marion Tilebein; her sister-in-law Helen Jerram; cousins Richard Baase, Carolyn Ferry, Robert Van Valkenburg and Nancy Seroff; nieces Barbara Moore, Lenore Serencko and Charlene Van Soest; nephews Lee Brandi, Ray Brandi and Leonard Jerram; grandchildren Michael Faul, Timothy Faul, Jennifer Morgan and Jake Tippey; 10 great-grandchildren: Jessica, Juliana, Jonathan, Nicholas, Timothy, Jocelyn, Samuel, Elliot, Clover and Violet; and her caregiver, Gloria Brown.

A private remembrance for Myrtle’s family and friends was held at her home Sept. 26.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Cornerstone Hospice of Lake and Sumter Counties or the Audubon Society. Online condolences may be made at