Obituary: Mary Beth Garton
Mary Beth Garton, 72, a resident of the Rhinelander area for over 46 years, passed away peacefully surrounded by family at Ministry St. Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield on Sunday, July 22.
Mary Beth was born to Donald and Eleanor Jenny in Rice Lake, on March 18, 1940. She attended Catholic and public schools in both Rice Lake and Menomonie graduating from Menomonie High School in 1958. From there, she went on to studies at St. Mary’s School of Nursing in Rochester, Minn., graduating in 1961 and becoming a Registered Nurse. Soon after, she married Gary Garton on Sept. 2, 1961, in Menomonie. Her nursing career included positions as an operating room nurse starting in Eau Claire and then at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rhinelander for many years. She also assisted doctors at the former Bump Clinic as well as the Marshfield Clinic in Woodruff and finishing her career as an Employee Health Nurse for Petersen Health Care in Rhinelander. After early retirement, she and Gary worked in Yellowstone National Park for two summers and volunteered at a federal wildlife refuge in New Mexico for two winters.
Bethy, as she was called by many, was a talented singer and piano player. She put her sewing talents to use making beautiful sewn craftwork for local craft shows. She was also an avid outdoorswoman who loved to walk each day with her husband, hiking, cross country skiing and bird watching. Mary Beth, along with her husband, traveled extensively over the past 42 years, having traveled to most of the states including Alaska and Hawaii plus trips to Canada and Mexico. A highlight of her life was taking a small 17 foot raft through the Grand Canyon, down 230 miles of rapids on the mighty Colorado River with her husband and others in 1992. She was also very proud of her accomplishment, at age 69, of hiking to the top of 10,243 foot Mt. Washburn in Yellowstone Park, encountering grizzly bears enroute for added excitement.
Mary Beth is survived by her husband of 50 years, Gary Garton of Rhinelander; two daughters, Deborah (Ferdinand Schlapper) Garton of Boise, Idaho, and Becky (Rick) Lovelace of Rhinelander; her father-in-law, Leonard Garton of Menomonie; two sisters, Linda (Don) Kuester of Menomonie and Susan (Tom) Kuziej of Hayward; and a brother, Richard (Nancy) Jenny of Essex Jct., Vt. She is further survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and other family members. She was preceded by her parents, Donald and Eleanor Jenny; as well as several aunts and uncles.
With her strong faith and trust in God, she is now at Peace.
A funeral mass for Mary Beth with be offered on Friday, July 27, at 11:30 a.m., at Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church / St. Joseph Site in Rhinelander, with Father Tom Thakadipuram officiating. Visitation will be from 10:30 a.m. until the time of mass on Friday at the church. For those who would wish to honor Mary Beth, a memorial will be established in her name and contributions may be directed in care of her family.
(Carlson Funeral Home)