Myrtle Janelle (Sigsby) Viertel, 93, of Boonville, Missouri, passed away August 9, 2021, at Katy Manor in Pilot Grove, Missouri.
A visitation for Janelle will be held at Howard Funeral Home on Monday, August 16, 2021, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Family services will be held at Woodland Heights Cemetery in Rector, Arkansas on Tuesday August 17, 2021, at 11:00 a.m.
Myrtle Janelle Viertel was born November 13, 1927 in Rector, Arkansas, to Louis B. Sigsby and Vesta (Tidwell) Sigsby. Janelle came from a musical family and discovered her love for teaching while in high school, giving lessons in piano and voice. After graduating from Rector High School in 1945, she went on to earn her B.M.E. degree at Arkansas State University with an emphasis in voice and piano. She was a member of Alpha Gamma Delta and also received numerous student awards for her piano performances and was a noted soprano as well. After graduation, she began teaching in the public schools in Arkansas, first in Dumas, then Helena; as choir director, piano instruction and Spanish. In 1967, having been widowed for several years, Janelle decided to return to school. She and her three children moved to Cleveland, Mississippi, where she earned her M.M.E. degree from Delta State College. After graduation she accepted a position in Magnolia, Arkansas, teaching at Southern Arkansas University. In December of 1971, Janelle married Jesse P. Viertel, Jr, a native of Boonville. At SAU, Janelle directed many student presentations of Broadway musicals and was particularly fond of the Rogers and Hammerstein shows. Janelle was instrumental in bringing the Orff Schulwerk teaching methods into the department's curriculum, along with an assortment of Orff instruments. Janelle remained at the school for 26 years before retiring. Janelle and Jesse relocated to Boonville after both had retired. Soon after, she began private teaching from her home.
As a member of the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Boonville, Janelle served as choir director and as leader of a weekly music class for preschoolers. She was very active in the Boonville arts community through her association with the Missouri River Festival of the Arts, the Boonville River Rats for the Arts and other projects, such as the "Love Notes" show . Janelle also enjoyed the visual arts, mystery novels, birds and fishing, which she found relaxing. She especially loved travel, visiting over 25 countries. She was greatly loved and will be deeply missed.
Janelle was preceded in death by her parents, husband Jesse P. Viertel, Jr., brother Bert E. Sigsby, and sisters Oneida Tull and Lyndall Hardin. She is survived by her daughter Devora (Deckelman) Gandy of Willis, Texas; sons William Mark Deckelman of Boonville, Missouri, and Lewis Paul Deckelman of Boonville, Missouri; sister Glenna Bookout of Rector, Arkansas; grandchildren Jori (Chris) Pate and Justin (Rosemary) Gandy; great grandchildren Jenna and Travis Pate, and George Gandy III and Lily Gandy, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorial contributions are suggested to Immanuel Lutheran Church.
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