Mary Beth Garavel, 69, of Southbury, longtime resident of Danbury, passed away on Friday, January 10, 2020.
Mary Beth was born in Danbury on July 18, 1950; daughter of the late James and Rosalie (LaCava) Garavel. She attended St. Peter School and Immaculate High School, graduating in 1968. Mary Beth went on to attend Clarke College in Dubuque, Iowa where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in French and pursued her Montessori training in Iowa and Chicago. She earned her teaching certification from the Midwest Montessori Teacher Training Center in Dubuque and taught there, before returning to Danbury to teach at Park Avenue School.
Mary Beth purchased the Anderson Montessori School in Danbury from Mrs. Jane Annable in 1974. She was the director of the Anderson Montessori School in Danbury for over 30 years and devoted her professional career to teaching preschool and kindergarten. “Miss Mary Beth”, as she was affectionately known, had a deep appreciation and understanding of the goals to be set for young children and worked tirelessly to achieve them.
Mary Beth was an avid reader and enjoyed needlework, jogging, and watching the New York Yankees. She was a member of the Big Brothers and Big Sisters Program, the American Association of University Women, the American Montessori Society, the Danbury Jaycees, and she was once honored as the Queen of the Danbury Fair.
Mary Beth was a loving mother; as her children were her greatest joy in life. She is survived by her three children: Danielle Jowdy of Philadelphia; Christopher Jowdy and his wife, Casey Hannon of Danbury and Rebecca Jowdy (Tom Havelka) of Newtown. Mary Beth will also be remembered as a wonderful “Grammie” to her grandsons, Patrick and AJ Jowdy.
In addition, Mary Beth is survived by her former spouse and best friend, Daniel P. Jowdy; her brothers, Robert and Paul Garavel as well as many cousins, colleagues, friends and former students.
Mary Beth was predeceased by her parents, James and Rosalie Garavel as well as a brother, Jimmy Garavel.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, January 16, 2020 at 10:30 AM at St. Peter’s Church; 121 Main Street, Danbury. Interment will be private; there will be no calling hours. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center Foundation: 282 Washington Street; Hartford, CT 06106, www.connecticutchildrensfoundation.org or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital: 501 St. Jude Place; Memphis, TN 38105, www.stjude.org
Jowdy-Kane Funeral Home, Danbury is in care of arrangements.
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