Mary Beth Monroe of Reagan Wells, TX passed from this life to be with her Lord Jesus on August 27, 2013 after a lengthy and courageous battle with cancer at the age of 65. She was born November 15, 1947 in Bryan, Texas to Hardy Lewis Todd and Jimmie Roe Stewart Todd. She married James Eugene Monroe on December 31, 1977 at the Reagan Wells Baptist Church where they would worship together for over thirty years.
A teacher as her lifework, she was the professor of physics at Southwest Texas Junior College at Uvalde for some thirty eight years, dedicated to her students and to the development of their scientific studies. Active in the American Association of Physics Teachers, she served in various offices and capacities, having been voted national president elect when failing health forced her to step aside. To honor her many years of service, the membership elected her President Pro Tem in July 2013. A highlight of her career, in 2010 she was awarded the coveted Melba Newell Phillips Medal, the AAPTs highest recognition for member leadership and service. Retired from teaching, Mary Beth lived her final time at home at Flying J Ranch in her loved Dry Frio Canyon.
She is survived by her husband son James Todd Monroe and wife Leslie, of Eureka, MO, and daughter Julie Elizabeth Bastuk and husband Michael of Corning, NY, as well as grandchildren Alexander Michael Bastuk, Graham Ethan Bastuk, Aislie Frances Monroe, Landon James Bastuk, and James Reilly Monroe, and several cousins, nieces and nephews.
Also sistersinlaw, Carol Monroe Brown and special friend Robert Bristol, Laura Monroe Malke and husband Johnny, and brotherinlaw David Monroe and wife Sherry, and a host of friends and colleagues.
She was preceded in death by her parents and one brotherinlaw Howard Emil Brown, Jr.
Services will be held on September 2nd at 10:00 a.m. at the Reagan Wells Baptist Church with burial to follow in the Heard Cemetery. Brother Robert Garland will officiate.
Funeral arrangements are by RushingEstesKnowles Mortuary. Memorials may be made to Reagan Wells Baptist Church or to the charity of ones choice.
Mary Beth is the person who introduced me to the AAPT community. Mary Beths love of teaching, willingness to share her knowledge and skills, and her friendship will always keep her in my thoughts.
Greg MulderCORVALLIS, OR
My love and sympathy to Mary Beths family.
Earl ZwickerAppleton, WI
Mary Beth was a wonderful addition to this world and to physics education. She helped me when I was starting my career in the 80s, and was always willing to give guidance in my teaching. My thoughts and wishes are with the family during this difficult time.
Jeffrey WatsonPalestine, TX
James, Julie and Todd,
Knowing how much she gave to the physics community, and APPT in particular, I can only imagine what this wonderful woman was like as a wife and a mother. You have a special family. As much as she regretted not being able to continue to serve as AAPT president, she can rest easy knowing that she prepared us, strengthening us and developing leadership capabilities in many who did not know that we had them. I can only hope that her memory and continuing presence in your lives will sustain you, as it will AAPT, on the road ahead. We wish you blessings of peace and comfort.
AAPT Past President
Jill MarshallAustin, TX
I was fortunate to have meet Mary Beth at a Texas Section meeting while I was a student and to get to know her better upon coming back to Texas to teach. She was a great physics teacher who cared for students and who had a tremendous impact on AAPT. She was also a wonderful person who was always a source of kindenss, encouragement, and wisdom to other teachers. I will greatly miss seeing Mary Beth at future AAPT meetings.
Daniel MarbleStephenville, TX
Mary Beth will be so very missed. She has contributed so much to everyone around her. I was privileged to teach Mary Beth when she was a graduate student, be a guest lecturer in her classes, and work with her as a friend and colleague. In everything that she did she stood out for her integrity and leadership. We all miss her.
Jack M. WilsonBoston, MA
I will forever remember Mary Beth for her grace and her warmth. She was dedicated to the American Association of Physics Teachers and worked tirelessly on behalf of her colleagues at Two Year Colleges nationwide. With my deepest sympathy to her family and friends,
Chitra SolomonsonKent, WA
Melanie and I extend our deepest sympathies to Mary Beths family. I had the privilege of working with Mary Beth for most of the 13 years that I was at AAPT. She was a dedicated teacher, passionate about the opportunities that an education at a twoyear college provided, and a loyal, dedicated and tireless worker for AAPT and its members. Mary Beth always had kind things to say to Melanie when they met at national meetings.
She will be always be remembered by her many friends and colleagues in AAPT.
Warren and Melanie HeinFenton, MI
I am deeply saddened at Mary Beths passing. She was a kind and strong advocate for educating all students well in physics, not just the most privileged. Weve all learned something from Mary Beth her good works will continue long after her passing. May she rest in peace and be blessed many times over for having left the world a better place.
Suzanne BrahmiaMilltown, NJ
One of the great women of physics teaching and mentorshipshe will be greatly missed. Sincerely, Gary White
I had the privilege to work with Mary Beth in many capacities at AAPT American Association of Physics Teachers. She was very talented and a pleasure to work with. Her talent and cheerful attitude will be missed in the AAPT community.
Gordon P RamseyFrankfort, IL
Mary Beth lived life to the fullest. Dedicated to her family, her students and to the physics community, she lived life glorifying her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I miss her, and I count myself blessed for the time spent together and the wisdom she shared. AAPT meetings will not be the same without her, but she will live on through the great work she did for the organization.
Scott schultzMidland, MI
I am deeply saddened to learn of Mary Beths passing. She and I were very good friends growing up in Huntsville and went through school together. We spent many hours at each others homes. She was a gentle, kind person who loved the Lord and touched many lives. The last time I saw her was when her mother passed away and I visited with her at the funeral home. I am not surprised at all that she had such an outstanding teaching career and helped pave the way for women physicists. I am thankful to have known her. I extend my deepest sympathies to her family.
Carol McKee NicholsHuntsville, TX
My deepest condolences to you and your Dad. Your Mom was indeed a remarkable person. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Mrs Cecilia T MartinezUvalde, TX
Mary Beth was secretary of AAPT during my tenure as president of the association. She was a great help to me and during meetings of the executive board I was sure to sit near her so I can be keep up to speed on agenda items. Like so many others, Jane and I are disappointed that she could not serve her term as president of AAPT as she had much to offer and was so knowledgeable of issues related to physics education in this country. I extend to her family my delight at having had the change to know and work with Mary Beth.
Jim Jane NelsonGainesville, FL
I express my most sincere condolences to the Monroe Family. Mary Beth and I have worked together and have been close personal friends for so many years. She will be missed deeply by the national physics community and, especially the TYC community. Her work stands as a significant contribution to so many teachers and students throughout this country.
Jack HehnCollege Park, MD
I am so sad to hear of Mary Beths passing. She was someone I valued through AAPT and had hoped to get to know better. My sympathies to her family.
Julia OlsenTucson, AZ
Mary Beth was an extraordinary person, an exceptional teacher, a talented leader and a very good friend. I will miss her ready smile, her advice and her quiet wit. May she rest in peace.
James H StithMitchellville, MD
My sympathies go to all who knew and loved Mary Beth.
I was privileged to have known Mary Beth through PEPTYC and SPINUP projects. She made such a difference for twoyear college Physics programs. Her journey touched so many. I wont forget how she helped me grow as a physics educator. I wish comfort and strength to the family.
Denise WetliRaleigh, NC
I was saddened to hear of Mary Beths illness and subsequent passing. I very much appreciated and enjoyed her contributions to AAPT. Please accept our deepest sympathies.
Janelle BaileyBlackwood, NJ
As a former student of Mary Beth Todd Monroe 19781980 my deepest sympathy to the family.
Denise Grunewald Benavides, TX
Mary Beth was a living embodiment of physics education. I met her first when she picked me up to attend the first TYC physics mbl workshop that Tom and Curt had hosted at Baytown in the early 90s. Kindness and compassion was the hallmark of her interaction with all. She served physics education selflessly
J.B. SharmaGainesville, GA
We all appreciated all her hard work in the name of physics education. May she rest in peace.
Jearl WalkerCleveland, OH
Many thanks for your always thoughtful suggestions for improving teaching, and especially for advocating for the interests and concerns of less fortunate students and schools.
Dave PritchardCambridge, MA
I knew Mary Beth through the AAPT and enjoyed working with her. My heart fell down a notch when I heard of her death. Best wishes to all who are close to her.
Mary LoweBaltimore, MD
Dear James, Todd, and Julie,
My deepest condolences upon the death of your wife, and mother. Mary Beth had definitely been in my prayers during her illness, and especially since the recent Portland AAPT meeting where I really missed seeing her sharing the love for physics with her friends and colleagues. I had to leave Portland early as my own Motherinlaw passed away while I was attending the meeting.
I have such fond memories of the hundreds of conversations we had while I spent summer sessions with her at Texas AM for the PEPTYC program or at all of the various TYC Physics events she chaired. She and I shared many notes about our children as they were growing up and she was so proud to talk about yall and her life on the Ranch. she taught me Yall My thoughts and prays are with you and I really want you to know how much I need to thank you for letting your mom help pave the way for young Physics teachers in our country to find success in their chosen careers. She will be missed by so many. I really to feel your pain at this time, and wish you the best as you grieve this loss.
Godspeed Mary Beth.
Todd LeifConcordia, KS
James, not often do we meet people that touched us as much as you and Mary Beth did at our visits to START. We will miss you. Our prayers are with you and family at this time of sorrow.
Betty Johnny LairseySan Antonio, TX
Mary Beth was beloved by physics teachers all over the country because of her incredible warmth and kindness. My thoughts and prayers are with her family at this time.
Bill HoganJoliet, IL
Kathy and my thoughts and prayers are with the family.
Tom OKumaChannelview, TX
James, We were so sorry and saddened by Mary Beths death. May God hold you and the family in his love at this difficult time. Bill and Mary
Bill and Mary EarleyNacogdoches, TX
Go with God in Peace and Love. Your Cousin, Darla.
Darla Stewart HarrisPuyallup,, WA
The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Stephen F. State University is deeply saddened with the loss of our physics colleague, Mary Beth Monroe. We will never forget the sacrifices and great service she provided for the physics community and in particular the AAPT and the TSAAPT. She was a role model in service and leadership for all the members of these two organizations. God bless her family and her extended physics family who will miss her greatly. Our meetings will not be the same without her.
Harry DowningNacogdoches, TX
Our deepest condolences to the family. Sorry to hear of your loss of your loved one. May the Lord give you peace and comfort during this difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family.
L. MartinezKnippa, TX
James, Todd, and Julie
Mary Beth will be missed by many physics teachers at community colleges all over the country. I am sad that I will not have another chance to talk to her about problems and issues that community college physics teachers are dealing with now and tomorrow. I am happy that I had a chance to know her and work with her. I know that your loss is much greater but I just wanted to let you know how valued she was in the physics community.
Curtis HieggelkeChicago, AL
james: sorry to hear about your wife, please accept our condolences. may she rest in peace.
lupe lopezuvalde, TX
Todd and Julie, sorry to hear about your Mom. James
James KramerKNIPPA, TX
Our thoughts and prayers are with your family.
Jimmy and Pam Lee
Jimmy and Pam LeeNacogdoches, TX