Even as a child, Myrtle Clarice Storer would persuade her classmates to sit down as she gave them a lesson in whatever it was the young girl felt it was important for them to learn.

That early on-the-job training would lead to a long and productive teaching career that spanned 33 years.

“She always wanted to teach, from a very early age,” said her stepniece, Penny Cary of Saco.

Miss Storer died Friday at the Hawthorne House in Freeport. She was 90 years old.

Miss Storer was born, raised and lived most of her life in Brunswick, in the Raymond Road house that her father built.

She graduated in 1938 from Brunswick High School as class salutatorian.

After earning her master’s degree from Boston University, Miss Storer taught English in Brookline, Mass., then in Gorham and later in Portland where she also taught social studies at Lincoln Junior High School — now known as Lincoln Middle School — for 24 years.

“English was her first love. She was the consummate English teacher, but she was also a maiden lady. She was adamant that her students call her ‘Miss,’ ” Cary said.

“She never married, but loved kids and teaching, which were right next to her church and faith,” Cary added.

Miss Storer took Cary and her brother on many trips as children, including one memorable family visit to Quebec.

Cary remembers that adventure well because her grandmother, who had accompanied them, inadvertently left her pocketbook at a picnic area outside Quebec City. She did not realize her personal identification papers were missing until the family had returned home to Maine.

And while her grandmother was deeply concerned, it was Miss Storer who soothed her frayed nerves.

“Myrtle had faith. She reassured my grandmother that someone would find her pocketbook and send it to us. And someone finally did,” Cary said.

Her faith sustained her through much of her life, taking on an important role, especially at her church — the United Methodist Church of Brunswick.

Miss Storer chaired numerous church committees, was a Sunday school teacher, Bible study group leader and a member of the church building committee.

She also sat on the board of directors for the Maine Council of Churches and was treasurer and president of the Brunswick Area Interfaith Council.

Cary said her aunt had been a member of the church since she was 6 years old, but had reservations when church leaders decided to vacate their Pleasant Street building for a new church they wanted to build on Church Road.

“Myrtle could have said, ‘I don’t want this,’ but she decided if the future was going in that direction (a new church), then she’d go with it,” Cary said. “She was a very devout person. Her faith sustained her all her life.”

Cary said her aunt also developed a passion for training golden retrievers.

She trained her dogs to do crowd-pleasing tricks, including opening doors and balancing objects on their noses. The most impressive trick was training the dogs to pray.

Miss Storer would place a chair in front of the dog, which would sit on its hind limbs and place its paws on the chair. The dog would then put its head down, and would not move until she said “amen.”

Cary credits her aunt with convincing her to pursue a career in teaching. As a girl, Cary would help Miss Storer correct student papers and develop lesson plans.

Cary went on to teach English at Sanford High School and at Southern Maine Community College in South Portland.

“We shared a great deal,” Cary said.

A memorial service will be held Aug. 13 at the United Methodist Church in Brunswick.

Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at: [email protected]