Charles Twiggs Myers, longtime Berkshire School teacher and historian, dies at 83


SHEFFIELD -- Charles Twiggs Myers, considered by many the institutional heart and soul of Berkshire School, died June 14 at Berkshire Medical Center from injuries he sustained from fall at his home, the school announced on its website. He was 83.

Myers taught history at Berkshire School from 1953 to 1995. He was also a longtime track and skiing coach at the school and the founder of its cross country team.

Following his retirement as a teacher, he worked as the school's historian and archivist for more than 60 years, almost until his death.

He was uniquely qualified for the latter positions. When Myers joined the school staff, several of the professors who served on the school's original 1909 staff were still working there.

"I knew a lot of the old alumni, also," he said in a 2007 interview. "As I often said, I remember everything about Berkshire [School], whether it happened or not."

In addition to being "the best storyteller I've ever known," reported longtime Berkshire School teacher and coach Peter Kinne several years ago, "[Myers] bleeds Berkshire blue. He's a very humble man who never understood, I don't think, the impact he's had on this school."

Myers was called "the conscience of Berkshire School" by former Berkshire School communications director James Harris.

"Like a lot of old schoolmasters, he never married," Myers said. "His children were the ones who went to school here."

Myers was born Charles Twiggs Myers on Aug. 2, 1930. Twiggs isn't a nickname. His great-great grandfather was Confederate Gen. David E. Twiggs.

For a New England Yankee, Myers had a deep affection for the Confederate heroes of the Civil War. On the walls of his office at the school were photos of J.E.B. Stuart, James "Old Pete" Longstreet and Robert E. Lee -- Confederate generals who served with his great-great-grandfather.

Myers planned on a law career. He graduated from Princeton in 1952 and then attended Harvard Law School the next year. He hated it.

So he decided to become a history teacher. When he eventually applied for a position, only two schools offered him a job. One of them was Berkshire School.

Myers reported in 2007 that he fell in love almost immediately with the school, as he drove up the driveway for his initial interview.

"The thing that was clear to me when I first came here was that this had been a farm before it was a school," he said. "Where you see a lot of the buildings here now, there once were just rolling fields. That kind of appealed to me. I never felt this was a ‘preppy' place, and I liked that. The kids here are very open and friendly. The school has always emphasized the sense of family."

As well as countless former students, former teachers and friends, Myers leaves his sister, Eliza Miller, four nieces, two nephews, 12 grandnephews and nieces and five great-grandnephews and nieces.

A memorial service for Myers will be scheduled in July at a time and place to be determined. Gifts in his memory may be made to Berkshire School or to the Sheffield Land Trust in care of the Birches-Roy Funeral Home, 33 South St., Great Barrington MA 01230.

To reach Derek Gentile:,
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On Twitter: @DerekGentile


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