Myrna Seper, a former longtime resident of Prince George’s County and a former principal for Fairfax County Public Schools who also won the “Teacher of the Year” award, passed away Monday, May 2, at her home in Eufaula, Alabama, after a long illness. She was 73.
Born in Cedar Falls, Iowa, on July 23, 1942, she was the daughter of a farm family that grew corn and raised hogs and cattle.
She graduated magna cum laude in 1975 from Iowa State University, receiving a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and political science. She later obtained three masters’ degrees in education from the University of Maryland and Virginia Tech.
Mrs. Seper worked as a teacher, principal and human resources specialist for Fairfax County Public Schools; she was nominated four times as “Teacher of the Year,” and won the award once.
Many of her students kept in touch with her long after they had graduated high school and college, some visiting her at her home in Cheverly, Maryland, and others in Eufaula, after her retirement. She refused to answer emails from her students, insisting instead that they write — by hand and in cursive.
One of her major pleasures in life was making and keeping friends, and she established many lasting and long-term relationships in Maryland and with her colleagues in Virginia. Most recently, she had established additional friendships with her neighbors in “Sweet Home Alabama,” a place she had grown to love.
She loved and looked forward to writing cards to her family and friends for Christmas, birthday, anniversary and other special occasions.
Before her life in education, she worked as the public affairs spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office in Phoenix, Arizona, where she appeared almost nightly on television news shows, held press conferences and directed the media in covering the activities of the sheriff’s office. She was instrumental in establishing a statewide coalition of law enforcement spokespersons to better report on the news, and in creating an alert system to help the news media in covering high-profile events.
Mrs. Seper is survived by her husband, Jerry Seper, a retired award-winning investigative reporter for The Washington Times. Mr. Seper was at her bedside when she passed away at their home after battling her illness in the intensive care unit at a Dothan, Alabama, hospital for nearly a month.
She also is survived by her daughter, Sheri Bro of Ames, Iowa; stepsons Jerry Seper Jr. of Phoenix, Arizona, and Michael Seper of Honolulu; stepdaughters Gi-Ann Seper of Arcata, California, and Lisa Beeks of Hurst, Texas; sisters Mardi Dudash of Denver and Faye Petersen of Des Moines, Iowa; 10 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at the Chapman Funeral Home in Eufaula at 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 14, followed by a short graveside service.