Hereford, Myra Conner

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Myra Joyce Conner Hereford (April 4, 1932 – May 12, 2023)

Her beloved aunt Tip called her “Mida” and, as the treasured only child of Ada Stegner and Myron Conner, she ruled the roost in Grandpa Stegner’s grocery store and the family’s home up the stairs. The Great Depression had the world in its grip, but that home over the store was abundant with grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and love. Myra held her cherished memories of growing up in Ft. Thomas, Kentucky close to her heart for the rest of her life. She returned often to visit the old places and special friends of her youth.

Myra was a bright, beautiful teenager – on the debate team at Highlands High School and singing in the glee club with that Jo Stafford voice of hers. It was from the choir that she first spied the tall, dark, lanky young man walking through the church door and down the aisle. She was sixteen. She married Karl Hereford after graduating from high school and they took on the next forty-eight years together, raising three children in the process, until his death in 1999.

Karl’s career in education took the family from Staten Island to Michigan and Guatemala City, from Ohio to Virginia. In Blacksburg, they built a home and turned their twelve acres into a vineyard and winery while Karl established Virginia Tech’s College of Education and Myra embarked on her secretarial career in the university’s library.

Brave and intrepid, Myra used her widowed years to explore the world she’d planned to see with Karl in their retirement. Driving alone 3,000 miles to California and back to visit cousins and friends; sailing the rivers and exploring the cities of Europe while creating special memories for the lucky one (or more!) of her children she would often invite along for the ride.

Her daughter, Sarah, and son-in-law Dan Latham, devoted their home and their lives to Myra’s care and comfort over the past seven years that she could no longer live independently. Myra died in hospice care on May 12, 2023, at Commonwealth Senior Living at Stratford House in Danville, Virginia. She was 91. The family is grateful for the skilled and kind devotion of her carers and the staff at Stratford during those tough final months.

Myra never lost touch with the love she had for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Along with Sarah and Dan, she is survived by daughter, Maury and son-in-law, Eric Israelson; daughter-in-law, Lanita Aldrich Hereford, whose husband and Myra’s only son John died in 2020; her “virtual children,” Ben Johnson and Janice McBee; grandchildren, Andrew and Matthew (Stephanie) Israelson, Michel (David) Roberts, Jaime (Kelly) Hereford, Nathan (Lauren) Long, Erin Long, Jake (Jenny) Aldrich, Kynada (Justin) Boland, “virtual granddaughter,” Kate McBee-Johnson; and 11 beautiful great-grandchildren. Her furry best friend and constant companion, Cali, preceded her in death and they will never again have to be parted. It is a sure thing that the first sound Myra heard when entering the “other room” was a joyous MEOW.

Please sign the online guestbook on the Memory Wall at

The Hereford family has entrusted arrangements to Townes Funeral Home and Crematory, 215 West Main St., Danville, Va., 434-793-1211.