Myra Coggeshall

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Myra D. Coggeshall, 92, of Belleville, IL, born August 11, 1931, in St. Louis, MO, passed away Tuesday, September 19, 2023, at her home.

Myra was a member of St. Peter’s Cathedral Catholic Church in Belleville. She attended Central Methodist College where she fulfilled class requirements to take and pass the National Examination in Medical Technology in 1953. She worked at hospital laboratories in several cities around the U.S. while her husband, John, was in the United States Army and earning his master’s degree.

Myra spent nearly 30 years in the pathology department at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Belleville, during which she earned her baccalaureate degree from McKendree University.

After her retirement, she joined her husband, John, as they worked for more than a decade as volunteers at two Florida state parks, Myakka River State Park and Highlands Hammock State Park. For 12 more years following her husband’s passing, she continued her park volunteer work (notably, as the character Grammy Cracker exploring Florida history for park guests). Myra started a program at Highlands Hammock to introduce park guests to examples of the park’s flora and fauna. She spent her life as an avid nature lover and passed on that love to her large family.

She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 57 years, John H. Coggeshall, whom she married on June 8, 1951, in Webster Groves, MO. She was also preceded in death by her father, Donald Dally; her mother, Mary Dally; her sister, Ann Ogawa, and a granddaughter, Christine Marie Coggeshall Khachiev.

She is survived by her six sons, John Michael (Cathy Robison) Coggeshall of Clemson, S.C., Mark (Teresa Corcoran) Coggeshall of Englewood, FL., Stephen (Theresa) Coggeshall of San Diego, CA, Douglas Coggeshall of Belleville, IL., Timothy (Julie) Coggeshall of Belleville, IL., and Joseph (Jean) Ostermeier of Swansea, IL.; nine grandchildren, Elizabeth, Eric, James, Caroline, Morgan, Nathan, Daniel, Eileen, and Benjamin; and 14 great-grandchildren, Anya, Rafael, Annabel, Tara, Emma, Michael, Adeline, Seraphina, Isaac, Rose, Isabella, Zachariah, Emily, and Katherine. She is also survived by special family friends, Nancy Bakay and Robert Rosner, Linda Guetterman, Dennis Collins, Kevin and Alice Evans, Carla and Phil Sherwin, Rhonda Hatton, Ellen McKissick, George and Judy Molinaro, and rangers and volunteers at two Florida state parks.

The family is grateful to the Reverend Monsignor John T. Myler, and special friends and helpers Twana Turmon, Megan Hall, Hospice of Southern Illinois (Orange Team), and Right At Home caregivers.

Memorials may be made to the Belleville Area Humane Society, to Myakka River State Park, or Highlands Hammock State Park, both in Florida. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

 Visitation: Friends may visit from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, September 24, 2023, at George Renner & Sons Funeral Home, Belleville, IL, and from 9 to 10 a.m. Monday, September 25, 2023, at Cathedral of St. Peter Catholic Church, Belleville, IL.

Funeral: A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, September 25, 2023, at Cathedral of St. Peter Catholic Church, Belleville, IL, with Msgr. John Myler officiating.

Burial will be at Green Mount Catholic Cemetery in Belleville, IL.


12 Comments on Myra Coggeshall

Jodi/John Antosia said : Guest Report Sep 30, 2023 at 4:25 PM

I volunteered with Myra Highland Hammock's Exploration Station for several years. She became a good friend and I was constantly amazed by her incredible knowledge and dedication. My husband John (also at the Park) and I send our sincere condolences to her large family and many friends. She will be greatly missed.

  • Inman
  • Sc
Robert Lammers said : Guest Report Sep 26, 2023 at 8:47 PM

I met Dode at St. Elizabeth's Hospital Lab in April 1966. We hit it off immediately and became fast friends for over 55 years. I loved Dode and will miss her always.

  • Marietta
  • Geogia
Robert Lammers said : Guest Report Sep 26, 2023 at 11:20 AM

I miss you Dode,a loyal @ true friend.

  • Marietta
  • Georgia
Robert Lammers said : Guest Report Sep 26, 2023 at 11:17 AM

I met Dode in April 1966 in the lab @ St. Elizabeth's Hospital.We hit it off right way. When I was drafted into the army in 1968. Dode & I kept in touch.She had everyone in the lab sending letters & care pachages.I miss you Dode.

  • Marietta
  • Georgia
Judy and George Molinaro said : Guest Report Sep 26, 2023 at 10:06 AM

Damit Dode. We never wanted to say good bye. We loved morning coffee and afternoon wine with friends. Walks in the park with your knowledge and wit. The best was Monday nights trivia. You were competitive and fun. Our condolence to your family and many friends. We will be talking to you when we see Johns bench, knowing the two of you are there tohether.

  • Sebring
  • Fl
Kim & Mike Anderson said : Guest Report Sep 26, 2023 at 8:09 AM

We met Myra at Myakka in 2004 where we all volunteered. She actually helped train Kim in the ranger station. She truly was a force of nature and beautiful person to the core. We will miss her down to earth wisdom and her infectous smile.

  • Montverde
  • Fl
Carla said : Guest Report Sep 24, 2023 at 10:27 AM

The measure of a person may well be how well they are loved. Myra was beloved by all who knew her. An exceptional volunteer, she also thrived on travel, exploring and discovery. Much of her time was spent on park nature trails and she generously shared her observations and what she had learned with others. An adventurous spirit, she was fully open to life and could be found visiting castles in England or on a back country truck tour of Kissimmee Prairie. Myra was truly a force of nature.

  • Arcadia
  • FL
Lisa M. Filing said : Guest Report Sep 22, 2023 at 2:17 PM

I miss Myra. Though, I only knew her for a short time, she made a positive impact on me. I am so happy to have gotten a chance to spend some time with her. My condolences to the entire family. Mark and Teresa, thanks for sharing her with me!

  • Englewood
  • FL
Anne Howe said : Guest Report Sep 21, 2023 at 3:30 PM

I became friends with Myra when we volunteered together at Myakka River SP. I learned so much from her about plants and birds and in return I gave her my recipe for Scottish shortbread which she always said was one of her favourite cookies. We kept in touch by e-mail and I am going to miss her very much. My sincere condolences to the family.

  • St. Davids
  • Ontario, Canada
Moe & Teresa Moriarty said : Guest Report Sep 21, 2023 at 12:35 PM

Met Myra in the fall of 2010 I believe it was while camping at the Hammock, she was one of the nicest people you could ever meet, always invited us to her annual family reunion at Sam A Baker state park in Mo. The Hammock will not be the same.

  • Dexter
  • Missouri
Lisa Bramlage said : Guest Report Sep 21, 2023 at 12:01 PM

Myra showed me that strong Women don’t have attitude they have standards and that insight was an important building block for me. I share in your loss of this Great Lady.

  • Sarasota
  • Florida
Chris Fournie said : Guest Report Sep 20, 2023 at 1:54 PM

Dode was an outstanding leader and mentor for students entering the laboratory field. My sincerest condolences to her family.

  • OFallon
  • IL

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