Mary Jane Bruton Garth
Mary Jane Garth, 89, of Beaumont, died Wednesday, November 18, 2015, surrounded by family. She was born on June 15, 1926 in Texarkana, to David D. Bruton Sr. and Harriet Mann Bruton.
In her early childhood, Mary Jane’s family moved to Houston. She attended The Hockaday School in Dallas and was the only woman in her high school graduation class at The Schrieners Military Institute in Kerrville. She attended Rice University where she met her future husband, Tyrrell Garth, Jr. After marriage, they moved to Beaumont where Mary Jane raised her family and began many wonderful friendships that lasted the rest of her life.
In 1966, Mary Jane relocated to her beloved Aspen Valley Ranch, which she owned and actively managed for forty-one years. She became an early advocate on behalf of the Aspen, Colorado art
and cultural community, serving as a founding member of the Anderson Ranch Art Center, president of the Aspen Art Museum and supporter of the Aspen Music Festival and the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. Mary Jane thoroughly enjoyed her time volunteering at the Aspen Valley Hospital. She was also a significant supporter and commercial dealer of the arts in Aspen, and New York City for many years. The Aspen community will never forget the huge and phenomenal Fourth of July Picnic hosted by Mary Jane at The Aspen Valley Ranch.
Mary Jane returned to Beaumont in 2006, where she renewed old friendships and made many new ones. She immediately began making a difference in the South East Texas community by committing her time, talents, and resources to many charitable and public service organizations; including serving on the boards of the Art Museum of South East Texas, The Symphony of Southeast Texas, and Gift of Life. She also served on the Alter Guild of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, and took a great pleasure in supporting many other community outreaches, including The Garth House, The Junior League of Beaumont, where she was proud to be a sustaining member, Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital, the Triangle Aids Network, and the Beaumont Bridge Studio, where she achieved Life Master status. She also endowed a scholarship at Lamar University that will continue her spirit of cultural enrichment. The Mary Jane Garth Regents’ Scholarship benefits undergraduate students in the school of Arts and Communications.
Mary Jane will always be remembered for her adventuresome spirit and as a compassionate and vibrant person who overcame life’s challenges with dignity and wisdom. She loved to receive friends and patrons into her home to share her fabulous contemporary collection of artworks. She will be fondly remembered for her gift of hospitality, especially her annual bridge club party and festive New Years Day celebration.
She is survived by her three children, Terry Garth and wife, Lee Ann, of Beaumont; Harriet Garth of Beaumont; and David Garth and wife, Canice, of Austin; four grandchildren, Jessica Garth Whitney; Tyrrell T. Garth; Kitridge B. Garth; and Laurie Johansen; and ten great grandchildren.
The family greatly appreciates the wonderful support staff that cared for Mary Jane during her lengthy illness; particularly her attending physician, Dr. Benjamin Beckert, her household manager, Karen Buchanan, and her household staff and care givers, Sandra Dugas, Loretta Young, Mae Rosales, Dorothy Henry, Veronica Leslie, Florence Jordan and Joje Frantz.
A gathering of Mrs. Garth’s family and friends will begin in The Cloister, at 10:00 a.m., with her funeral service to follow at 11:00 a.m., Monday, November 23, 2015, at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 680 Calder Avenue, Beaumont. Her cremation will be held under the direction of Broussard’s Crematorium, Beaumont.
At the family’s request, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions honoring Mary Jane be given to St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 680 Calder Avenue, Beaumont, Texas 77702; The Garth House Mickey Mehaffy Children’s Advocacy, 1895 McFaddin Avenue, Beaumont, Texas 77701; Julie Rogers Gift of Life, 755 South 11th Street, Beaumont, Texas 77701; or to a charity of one’s choice.
Complete and updated information may be found at: broussards1889.com.
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