Myrle Ostergren, longtime Plaquemine resident, dies at 107
Myrle Rivault Hebert Ostergren, who rose from humble beginnings to spend much of her life as a prominent Plaquemine resident, died last week. She was 107.
The Addis native was surrounded by her family when she died April 18 at her Elm Street home, where she lived nearly 75 years.
Her life spanned 18 U.S. Presidents (starting with Woodrow Wilson), floods, the Great Depression, two world wars, the introduction of radio and TV, man’s first steps on the moon, creation of the worldwide web, the 9/11 attacks, two global pandemics and many other milestones.
In her birth year of 1915, Addis was incorporated as what was primarily a rural railroad village with a population of 400.
They did not have telephones or electricity, and paved roads were few and far between. Their home was heated by a wood fire during winter.
“It’s a time in my life I’d rather forget,” Myrle told POST/SOUTH in a December 2022 interview. “We were poor, as were most people, but we never thought of ourselves as poor during those days.”
Myrle graduated valedictorian in 1932 from Brusly High School, in a wooden building near where she attended classes for grades 8-11 in a two-story wooden building with a football field behind it.
She graduated during an era when 11th grade was the final year of school. She received the American Legion medal of honor, and she was voted prettiest in the class and most likely to succeed.
She attended LSU, where she planned to major in Education.
Myrle said she enjoyed her years at LSU and made plenty of friends. But she had to quit school in 1935 – her junior year when her father lost his job with the railroad.
Ostergren landed a job with the state Department of Public Welfare in Port Allen, and her father managed to buy a car for the commute, a used Chevy.
It was during the commutes to Port Allen when she met Plaquemine resident Roy Anthony Hebert.
Myrle said Roy “was the love of her life.” They married in June 1938.
After several frugal years as an employee for Kansas City Bridge Co., he started Hebert Brothers Engineering & General Contractors with his brother Hiram, who was an electrical engineer.
Myrle and Roy moved to a home on Elm Street in 1948. They were devout members of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, and Myrle joined the Plaquemine Garden Club upon its inception in 1955.
“I won “Best Yard” five times over the years,” she said.
They also joined the two Plaquemine Mardi Gras krewes – Le Krewe du Roi (1965) and Krewe of Okeanos (1979). Aside from the Plaquemine carnival balls, they attended Mardi Gras celebrations in Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
She was well known for her social life and the gatherings she hosted for friends and children when they got married.
Rose was also known as one of the best bridge players in Iberville Parish.
“We played almost every day and we always socialized … we were enjoying life,” She was also active with scouting for both Dianne and Ronnie. A trip to the National Boy Scout Jamboree in Colorado Springs and Philmont Ranch included an opportunity to meet President Dwight Eisenhower.
Myrle and Roy remained active until Roy died unexpectedly Aug. 12, 1978.
In 1989, she married Clancy Ostergren, a Purple Heart medal recipient in World War II.
They enjoyed traveling. Their favorite destinations included Biloxi, Ocean Springs and Las Vegas.
Clancy Ostergren died in January 2002.
Myrle remained an avid sports fan. She was best known for her love for NASCAR, and her favorite driver, Jeff Gordon. She was also a football fan. While she did not particularly like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, she loved retired Tom Brady.
Myrle drove until she turned 100, and continued to enjoy life – which she considered the secret to her longevity.
“There’s no point being on earth if you’re not going to enjoy it,” she said. “Other than that, I didn’t do anything to live this long … It just so happens that the Lord picked me to live a long time.”
She is survived by her children, son-in-law and daughter-in-law, grandchildren, grandchildren's spouses, and great-grandchildren with so many memories and stories to cherish of their life with "Momo Myrle." Her family was truly blessed to have had her as long as they did.
Myrle was preceded in death by her parents, Cinclare and Lillie Maude Rivault; husbands Roy A. Hebert and Clancy Ostergren; siblings Nell, Harry, and Bobbie; and grandson David G. Hebert. She was survived by her two children, daughter Diane and her husband Don Bergeron, and son, Ronnie and his wife Debbie Dupont; her eight grandchildren and their spouses, Amy and Todd Trosclair, Stephen and Emma Bergeron, Chris and Deidre Bergeron, Mark and Gina Bergeron, Andrew and Stephanie Bergeron, Daniel and Angelle Hebert, and Cinclare and Brady Sessums; her 19 great-grandchildren, Adam Roth, Patrick Roth, Madeline Brons, Annelise Bergeron, Chloe Bergeron, Emily Bergeron, Christopher Bergeron, Gregory Bergeron, Katherine Bergeron, Elizabeth Bergeron, Thomas Bergeron, Anna Bergeron, Chandler Bergeron, Andrew Bergeron Jr., Joseph Roy Hebert, John Daniel Roy Hebert, Anna Kern Hebert, Elizabeth Cinclare Sessums, and John Brady Sessums Jr.; and her four great-great grandchildren, Jack Roth, Ivy Kate Roth, Davis Donald Roth and Caroline Breaux. She is also survived by her sister, Gloria Rivault Wilbert, and niece Paula Wilbert.