Sometime during her sleep on April 27, 2017 Myrtle Irene (Gustin) Buff slipped her earthly bonds and stepped into her next life surely greeted by her beloved mother, Daisy V. Gustin, and her long loved husband, James Buff. Myrtle was born to Daisy V. Gustin (Minnesota) and Ralph Gustin (South Dakota) during a storm-forced rest stop at a hotel in Dunn Center, North Dakota.
Myrtle and Jim married in 1940 and, during WWII, they worked in the Portland shipyards where Myrtle became "Rosie the Riveter" as she was the first woman able to catch "hot steel" rivets. Jim passed away in 1965 due to complications from heart surgery.
Myrtle began her work as a civil servant in the construction of the dams on the Columbia River as part of the Corp of Engineers working at Monumental and Little Goose Dams. She also worked for the VA at the hospital in Houston, Texas. During her time in Texas Myrtle took up biking, was an avid bowler, and competitive ballroom dancer. Her mother Daisy June moved with her to Texas and lived with her until her death at the age of 95 in 1992. Myrtle worked as a secretary in several areas of Jonathan M. Wainwright Memorial VA Medical Center in Walla Walla until her retirement in 1989, with more than 37 years of faithful service. She had learned to take minutes with court reporting equipment which was quite unique at the VA at the time. Myrtle's last assignment was as secretary to the Chief of Nursing Services. Myrtle became well known and loved by all of the head nurses and nursing staff. She considered her last job her best job in spite of having to change bosses 3 times the last year and retype many policies with each change of management.
After retirement Myrtle tapped into her creative side making many beautiful quilts that were award winners at the Frontier Days Fair in Walla Walla and Kootenai County Fair. Myrtle also became an avid wood carver making many Santa's, award winning geese, ducks, and other items. She was a great cook and a generous hostess, had a heart of gold, and did a great deal for her family and friends. She was an avid Mariners fan and an animal lover, especially of dogs whom she cared for until she was no longer able to do so.
Myrtle is survived by two nephews, Edward and Lawrence; six nieces: Ellen, Sandy, Patty, Karen, Diane, and Grace; and many great nieces and nephews.
Memorial services will be 2:00 P.M. Saturday, May 6, 2017 at Life Care Center, Post Falls. A graveside urn committal will be 1:00 P.M. Saturday, May 13, 2017 at Desert Lawn Cemetery, 1401 S. Union St., Kennewick, Washington.
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