Virginia Meyer loved to learn and yearned for a college degree, so she went back to college at 67 years of age.

Meyer earned her bachelor’s 10 years later, in 2000, from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She died Sunday at a skilled nursing center in the Elkhorn area at 96.

Meyer, originally of Gordon, Nebraska, had a long career in Lincoln as an executive secretary and retired in 1988. Her son, Dr. Galen Meyer of Omaha, said she was antsy in retirement.

“She was a type A-plus personality,” Galen Meyer said. She and husband Robert decided that she was excellent college material, so she enrolled at UNL.

Galen Meyer said she had some credit hours from attending the University of Denver for a while as a young woman. She took a part-time load at UNL, he said, and enjoyed studying and writing papers.

“She worked hard,” he said. “It was great, getting to see her graduate.”

UNL records indicate that from summer 1996 through fall 2018, two people in their 80s, two in their 70s, and 17 in their 60s received bachelor’s degrees.

She and her husband also traveled throughout North America and Europe. Daughter-in-law Mary Meyer called her “a lifelong learner.”

Mary Meyer said her mother-in-law enjoyed reading and was frustrated when she lost much of her sight in old age.

Virginia Meyer wanted tasks done well. “She was meticulous,” Mary Meyer said. “It was almost impossible to wrap Christmas presents with her. She had a whole process and a table.”

Besides son Galen, Meyer is survived by numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and other relatives.

The funeral will take place 11 a.m. May 25 at Butherus, Maser & Love Funeral Home at 4040 A. St. in Lincoln. Memorials may be directed to the Nebraska Alzheimer’s Association in honor of her late husband.

Her granddaughter Michelle Meyer graduated from UNL early this month. Two days before Virginia Meyer died, Michelle and family members visited her in the nursing home. They took photos of Michelle in her graduation gown with Virginia, and the family’s commitment to learning lived on.

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Rick covers higher education for The World-Herald. Follow him on Twitter @RickRuggles. Phone: 402-444-1123.

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