Mary Elizabeth "Beth" Jorgensen
Mary Elizabeth "Beth" Jorgensen, 63, died Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, at her home surrounded by family. Private family services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church. Burial will follow at Oakland Cemetery in Iowa City. Beth's service will be livestreamed on Saturday afternoon and can be viewed at the service time or anytime later. To view, please search "Remembering Beth Jorgensen" on Facebook and request to join the group. A public visitation for family and friends will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service. Memorial gifts can be made in Beth's memory to St. Andrew Presbyterian Church for memorial tree plantings on the grounds of St. Andrew. To share a thought, memory or condolence with her family, please visit the funeral home website at www.gayandciha.com.
Mary Elizabeth Tompson was born Oct. 13, 1956, in Columbia, Mo., the daughter of Dr. Clifford Tompson and Mary (Humphrey) Tompson. She loved animals and grew up chasing puppies and looking for toads in the park across from her childhood home. She graduated from Rock Bridge High School in Columbia, Mo., in 1975. She went on to study at Cornell College in Mount Vernon and then to the University of Missouri at Columbia, graduating in 1979 with her bachelor of science degree. On July 28, 1979, she married Thomas Philip Jorgensen in Columbia. The couple moved to the Iowa City area, where Beth attended the University of Iowa, going on to receive her K-12 teaching certificate and later her master's degree from the College of Education. Beth spent 31 years as a classroom and ELP teacher in the Iowa City Community School District, teaching at Horace Mann, Weber and most recently at Wickham Elementary School until her retirement in 2019. She influenced the lives of all students who passed through her door.
Beth was destined to be a teacher. Her love of education and passion for children came together in her life's work as a teacher. Beth was not only recognized within the community but also nationally as the recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics teaching. In addition to teaching, Beth participated in the Iowa writers project among many other pursuits. She enjoyed writing curriculum and short stories. Beth was an avid reader who loved to curl up with a good book, and cherished her book club time with her grandson. She loved the outdoors and had a passion for nature and animals, especially her beloved pets. She enjoyed quilting, sewing costumes and dresses, and baking birthday cakes for her grandchildren. Above all, she so loved being best friend and love to her husband, Tom; Mom to her children, and Grandma to her grandchildren.
Her family includes her husband, Tom; their children, Brooke (Paul) Braem, Amanda (Brandon) Mize and Ethan Jorgensen; their grandchildren, Noah, Eli, Emily, Isaiah, William, Samuel, Benjamin and Alyssa; her parents, Clifford and Mary Tompson; sister, Julie (Tony) Johnson; brother, Clifford (Mae) Tompson Jr.; mother-in-law, Jane E. Jorgensen; and her dog, Pepper.
Beth was preceded in death by grandparents, Willard and Nellie Gray (Vaughn) Tompson and Francis and Bassett (Davis) Humphrey; and her father-in-law, Philip Jorgensen.
Social distancing standards will be in place along with the expectation of all in attendance to wear a mask. If you arrive without a mask, one will be provided to you by the funeral home. Thank you for supporting Beth's family with your presence and being conscientious in doing so.