Miriam Evalyn Erwin (nee Sheldon), 98, formerly of Caledonia, Minn., passed away Tuesday, December 25, 2007, at Lake Winona Manor, Winona, Minn.
Miriam was born in Pine Island, Minn., November 25, Thanksgiving Day, 1909, the oldest child of D.C. and Bessie (Churchill) Sheldon.
Raised in Pine Island, Minn., she graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Carleton College in 1931 with a degree in romance languages. In 1935, Miriam was united in marriage with Ben "Ted" Erwin. After briefly living in Winona and LaCrescent, they made their home in Caledonia and lived there together for more than 50 years, unti his death in 1989. She worked for Lloyd Duxbury as a legal secretary and Les Joerg as an accounting secretary, and then became the bookkeeper for Ben Erwin and Son Construction. In the early ‘60s, Miriam went back to school, obtained a teaching degree from Winona State University and then taught elementary school in Rushford and Caledonia until the mid ‘70s. Retirement gave her and Ted time to travel abroad, including Europe and the Middle East. She celebrated her 90th birthday with a trip to Disney World. Miriam was a faithful member of Caledonia United Methodist Church and a fifty-year member of the Aidenn Chapter 86 Order of Eastern Star in Caledonia.
As a young woman, she was a member of the Rochester Symphony Orchestra. Miriam later served on the Caledonia Library Board. She had a strong interest in politics and was active in the local Republican Party. For relaxation Miriam enjoyed playing bridge and has played with the same group of women for over 50 years. She loved to read and had a lifelong passion for education, which she passed on to all her children. Miriam eventually moved to Winona, becoming one of the first residents of Callista Court, until a hip fracture and age related problems caused her confinement to Lake Winona Manor.
She is survived by three sons, Richard (Christine) Erwin of Price, Utah, Dr. James (Gretchen) Erwin of Winona, and Steve (Peggy) Erwin of Plainview, Minn.; a daughter, Dr. Carol Erwin of Brownsville, Texas; 11 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; one brother-in-law, Curtis Weiss of Pine Island; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Ted; children, Janet Louise Erwin (1950), Dr. Bette Jane Erwin (2006); three brothers, Delavan, Allen, and Harold Sheldon; and a sister, Virginia Weiss.
Funeral services were Friday, December 28, 2007, at Caledonia United Methodist Church. Pastor Sharon Goetzinger officiated. Burial was in Evergreen Cemetery. Memorials preferred to Caledonia United Methodist Church or Lake Winona Manor.
Miriam touched many lives during her 98 years. She lived life by the rules, both spiritual and man-made, and will be fondly and sadly missed. May God grant her eternal peace.