DEADWOOD - Former Paris, Texas, resident Myra Smith Fuller, daughter of the late William Harry Smith and Nancy Claudia (Price) Smith, and widow of the late Ellis Dean Fuller, died on August 3, 2003, at age 96, at Kirkwood Manor Assisted Living Facility in Deadwood, South Dakota. Before moving to Kirkwood Manor in 2002, Myra lived in the home of her son, William Harry Fuller, and daughter-in-law, Dorothy Estella Pollard Fuller, in Spearfish, South Dakota. She had been in declining health of late years, having endured a series of minor strokes, decreasing eyesight, and the encroachments of senile dementia which steadily robbed her of a lifetime of memories. However, her recollections of teaching in northeast Texas schools and of horseback riding on Texas roads and pastures remained sharp until nearly the very end of her life.
Born April 15, 1907, in Biardstown, Lamar County, Texas, Myra was the youngest of the Smiths' three children and was the baby of the family. She learned to ride and to love horses early and, in later years, claimed to have learned to ride before she could walk. Second only to riding, teaching was not only her vocation but also a lifelong love. She first entered East Texas State Teachers College in Commerce in 1922 at age 15, leaving about 1924 to teach in a two-room school in Hopewell, Red River County, and then to teach English at Howland High School, near Roxton, from 1927 to 1930.
In 1929, Myra married Ellis Dean Fuller, son of William Thompson Fuller and Lillie Holman Fuller of Paris.
She received her B.A. degree in 1930 and her M.A. in 1937. During these years, she also taught English at Blossom High School, leaving there in 1946 to become an English, debate, and horsemanship instructor at Paris Junior College until her retirement in 1968.