Donald “Don” Paul Myrtle, 81, of Ballinger, graduated from this earthly life on Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019.

Don was born to George and Sarah Myrtle on Nov. 21, 1937 in Wenatchee, Washington. He was one of four siblings. Don dropped out of school in eighth grade to help support his family. He joined the Navy as a young man and spent time in Pearl Harbor as a medic also getting his LPN license. Don then was advisor of the opening of Tongue Point Job Corp center in Astoria, Oregon. He then moved to Clearfield, Utah and became deputy center director there. Don was instrumental in establishing, building and improving the Thiokol Job Corp program (MTC).

In 1968, he moved to Gulf Port, Mississippi, where he ran the Self Help Housing Project and Job Corp center. At that time he was the preacher of The Church of God church and produced a radio show twice a week.

He also played Triple-A baseball for the Cincinnati Reds, with the likes of Pete Rose, Johnny Bench and Tommy Lasorda. Don and his family moved to North Carolina after they survived hurricane Camille to run another of many job corps centers. Don returned to high school and received his diploma in 1979.

He would later go on to get his bachelors, master and doctorate degree at the age of 57. Don would go on to become Vice President of the Job Corp MTC Corporation and was invited to the Pentagon as a result of his advocacy for the Job Corp program. Don was an animal lover, and advocate for the mission for multiple sclerosis and the wounded warrior program. He was an amazing grandfather, father and husband. Don was always helping somebody else, wherever they were in their path of life.

Don is survived by his wife, Elisa Myrtle; his sister, Linda White of Soap Lake, Washington; his son Craig (Mary Jo) Myrtle of Fresno, California; and his daughter Dorene (Rick ) Grippi of Roy, Utah. He is also survived by a daughter and four sons that he gained when he married Elisa: Veronica (Cesar) Padilla of Mertzon, Marc (Adriana) Wagoner of San Diego, California, Tim (Jaime) Wagoner of Harrisville, Utah, Karl (Crystal) Wagoner of Glendale, Arizona, and Matt (Jennie) Wagoner of Ballinger; and many grandkids.

He was preceded in death by his first wife, Kathy; his parents, George and Sarah Myrtle; his son, Duane Myrtle; his brother, Cecil Myrtle; and his grandson, Evan Myrtle.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13 at the Jesus Christ Church, 407 S. 7th St. Ballinger.

The family extends sincere gratitude to Ballinger Hospice for their care and compassion.