James Dean Myers of Thousand Oaks, CA passed away Friday, November 26th. He passed naturally after living 98 ½ active and robust years. James was surrounded by his wife of 68 years, Betty, and family.
James grew up in York, Nebraska excelling in athletics, lettering four years in high school football, basketball and track. He was inducted into the Nebraska High School Hall of Fame in 2009. Football observers heaped their praise on Jim ‘Squat’ Myers as he was named Omaha World Herald’s Most Outstanding Football Player in Nebraska in 1941. Described as a “speedy” back who possessed a “slick change of pace,” Myers led York to an undefeated season, scoring 16 touchdowns while leading the state in punting. Myers earned all-state tournament and second-team all-state honors in basketball. He also set the conference record in the pole vault as a freshman, going on to break that record every year. He won the all-class gold medal in the pole vault his senior year. Jim was also honored as Football Player of the Century at the 1970 York Centennial Celebration.
Jim received a football scholarship to attend Notre Dame University. The Lincoln Journal Star’s all-state football team (with Myers on it) was published on the historic date of Dec. 7, 1941. After leaving Notre Dame to enlist in The U.S. Army Air Corps and serving in World War II, Myers returned to play football and run track for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, lettering in 1946 and 1947. He is member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity.
Following graduation from the University of Nebraska in 1949, Jim joined his father’s feed company, M & M Livestock Products Co. in Eagle Grove, Iowa. Early years were spent developing sales territories before an opportunity arose to return to York. For twenty years in York, he led the company’s growth as a Regional Sales Manager and helped develop new feed products while flying his Beachcraft Bonanza to call on customers in South Dakota, Kansas, Iowa and Missouri. He met and married Betty Jane King in York and they started their family. Officiating basketball and football games during these years also gave Jim great joy.
In 1968, the Myers family moved to Iowa with Jim serving as the new CEO & President of M & M Livestock Products Co. for 17 years before retiring at the age of 62 and moving back to York. Retirement was busy with NU Football games, officiating NU Track events, fishing, hunting, golf, and snow skiing, as well as travel abroad and within the United States. Jim and Betty eventually relocated to Lincoln and then on to California in 2014.
James is preceded in death by his parents, Arch and Clara Austin of York, NE, Dean and Margaret Myers of Point Lookout, MO, and his son, Daniel Myers of Eagle Grove, IA.
Survivors include his wife Betty Myers of Thousand Oaks, CA, brother Richard (Carrie) Myers of Lake, MI, children Jim (Lori) Myers of Humboldt, IA, Suzanne Myers Falletti of Los Angeles, CA, John (Brenda) Myers of Los Angeles, CA, daughter in-law Teri Myers of Eagle Grove, IA, grandchildren Joseph Myers of Des Moines, IA, Michael Myers of Humboldt, IA, Thomas Myers of Cherokee, IA, Olivia Falletti of Venice, CA and Stella Myers of Los Angeles, CA.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 1:00 pm, Friday, December 10, 2021 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in York with the Reverend Father John Sullivan officiating. Burial will follow at St. Joseph Cemetery, York. Family will gather one hour prior to services at the church. To conclude, the family invites all to join for an afternoon reception at The York Country Club.
Memorials may be given In Memory of James Myers to the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame Foundation, 500 Charleston St, Suite 3 Lincoln, NE 68508.