Ellen Meyer, whose curiosity and lifelong devotion to learning led her to many professional and intellectual pursuits, wrote histories about life around Lake Minnetonka.
Meyer, who grew up in Deephaven and lived much of her life in Wayzata, died April 29 in Sarasota, Fla., where had she lived for the past 10 years.
The former high school and piano teacher was 95.
For many years, her column "Tales from Tonka" appeared in the old Wayzata Weekly News and formed the basis of one of her books.
Starting in the 1970s, she wrote seven histories, including "Happenings Around Excelsior," "Picturesque Deephaven," "Excelsior Amusement Park -- Its Rise and Demise" and "Lake Minnetonka's Historic Hotels."
Most have been reprinted because of their popularity, said Betty Peck of Shorewood, a leader of the Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Historical Society.
"Ellen had a lovely style," making history interesting to the reader, said Peck.
"Her books were also very well researched," said Peck, adding that Meyer donated the rights to her books and sales revenues to the Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Historical society.
Meyer, who graduated from the old Deephaven High School in 1929, became an accomplished pianist.
She continued to perform as a pianist and a cellist at the University of Minnesota and graduated with a natural sciences degree in 1934.
But in that era, men were getting the biology and botany teaching positions, so she wound up teaching secretarial skills at high schools in Elmore, Detroit Lakes, and Cloquet, as well as at the Minnesota School of Business, said her daughter, Ruth Kruse of Northfield.
In 1943, she earned a master's degree in educational psychology at the university.
A year later, she married Arnold Erickson, a biologist with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and lived in Deephaven.
For more than 20 years, she taught piano in her home, earning a music degree along the way.
Arnold Erickson died in 1962.
In 1970, she married Clifford Meyer, a dairy owner, and moved to Wayzata.
Her son, Rolf Erickson of Plymouth, said she stayed positive through her life.
"She just liked to learn," said her son, and she was "always trying something new," taking up the harp at the age of 87.
Clifford Meyer died in 1997.
In addition to her son and daughter, she is survived by her sister, Ruth Wilson Montgomery of Sarasota, Fla.; stepsons Richard Meyer of Independence, Minn., and Frederick Meyer of Wayzata; stepdaughters Sandra Bodkin of Crane Lake, Minn., and Carol Filipczak of Columbia, Md.; three grandchildren; 11 step-grandchildren and 40 step-great-grandchildren.
Services will be held at 1 p.m. Friday at Wayzata Community Church, 125 E. Wayzata Blvd., Wayzata.