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MYRA KOSTER (published on September 13, 2008)

MYRA KOSTER (SYMES) Myra passed away peacefully on August 14, 2008, at Champlain Manor in Orillia, Ontario. She was predeceased by her first husband, singer and musician Wally Koster, in 1975. She was also predeceased by her parents, Howard George and Louise Nina Symes, her brothers, Geordie and Art, her sister, Lucille, her son, Wally Jr., and, in 2008, her second husband, Robert Luke. Myra was born and raised in Winnipeg where her family operated the Beehive Grocery in St. Vital. Myra married Wally Koster in 1946. Soon after, Myra and Wally moved to Toronto where they were involved in radio, music, theatre, and the early years of Canadian Television. As Wally performed live to tape in shows such as Cross Canada Hit Parade and World of Music, Myra was busy entertaining the many American stars hosted by the CBC, such as Sarah Vaughan and Marian Anderson. She also could be seen on screen in commercials for Tide, Salada Tea, and Canada Savings Bonds. Myra and Wally made many lifelong friends in show business, including Terry Dale and Alan Miller, Norman and Dixie Jewison, Joyce Hahn, Lois Maxwell, Robert Goulet, Lorne Greene, Jackie Ray, Barbara Hamilton, Shirley Harmer, Austin Willis, Jack Duffy, Mart Kenney and Norma Locke, and Phyllis Marshall. In the 70s, Myra channeled her intelligence, energy, and charm into a stellar career in real estate, quickly becoming one of Ontario's most successful agents. Even in the midst of her career, however, music and service were of utmost importance to Myra. This continued into her retirement years in Orillia where she performed in and produced shows for Mariposa Arts, was on the Board of Directors of the Association of Community Theatres of Ontario, and sung in the choir at St. Paul's United Church. Myra will be missed by many family and friends, but most especially by her only surviving sibling, her sister Gene (Carl) Olson of Winnipeg; her dear friends Terry Dale (Miller) of Toronto, Ollie and Henry Nauta of Stouffville, Ontario, and Pat Fuller of Florida; and her beloved nieces who had the privilege of looking after her for the past five years, Gerri (Martin) Fowler of Mississauga and Louise Olson of Winnipeg. Myra embraced life; her sparkle and spirit will live forever in our hearts. I sing because I'm happy; I sing because I'm free.

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