McAuley Alumnae Blog

McAuley High School, Toledo, Ohio

Class of 1963 – Martha (Marty) Preston Beck

Posted by mcauleyhighschool on May 25, 2009

Beck, Martha “Marty” (Preston)
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BECK Martha “Marty” CTR, LPN Martha “Marty” (Preston) Beck died Friday, May 22, 2009, in her South Toledo home nine days after her 64th birthday. As a breast cancer survivor for more than 17 years, Marty exemplified courage, grace and hope. Marty was born May 13, 1945, of the union of Wanda (Toronski) and John Preston. She grew up in the East 71st Street Polish neighborhood of Cleveland, where alleys became playgrounds and people walked to the grocery store, bakery, theater, school and church. In 1958 her family moved to Toledo, where she would meet her high school sweetheart, best friend and husband of more than 42 years. She graduated from McAuley High School and attended the University of Toledo. After holding jobs in retail and banking, she started work in the medical field as a Licensed Practical Nurse in 1981. As an LPN, Marty worked for Flower Hospital, home care provider Caring Services, and Foundation Park Alzheimer’s treatment facility. In 1991, Marty became a third-generation member of her maternal family to be identified as having breast cancer. She was also the primary advocate for her daughter, Megan who was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma within two weeks of Marty’s diagnosis. After Megan’s death in 1992, Marty was a volunteer for St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center’s Oncology Outreach program before embarking on a new career as a Certified Tumor Registrar. CTRs help build a national database that is used to develop more effective cancer treatments, including the surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and other treatments that Marty received herself. Marty served two years as the treasurer of the Ohio Cancer Registrars Association and with husband, Denny was a co-presenter at OCRA’s 2001 annual meeting. In 2005, she was named Northwest Ohio’s Breast Cancer Survivor of the Year during the annual Survivors Breakfast. This remarkable woman was the unconditional caregiver to family and friends in need. When her time of need came, she felt uncomfortable being the care-receiver and continued to show her concern for others. She built many friendships by teaching people how to embrace life through laughter and love and in spite of life’s tears. She had a flare for fashion and jewelry that often made her sense of “casual” seem downright dressy to others. She truly appreciated her PT Cruiser (aka “Petunia”), was very fond of cats and dogs, and was a grand traveling companion, especially on annual summer trips to Southern Ontario. Marty is survived by husband, Denny; daughter, Meredith (Brad) Kaufman; grandchildren, Nicolas, Catie and Jeremy; brother-in-law, Rev. David Beck; sister-in-law, Andrea (Clay) Warling; nieces, Leslie Beck and Margie (Tarek) Dernaika; nephew, Donny (Millie) Beck, and cousins, Barbara, Gene, Tim, Dolores, Bernie and Bob. Friends and family will meet to celebrate Marty’s life on Tuesday, May 26, from 2 to 9 p.m. at Coyle Funeral Home, 1770 S. Reynolds Rd., Toledo, OH 43614, where a Prayer Vigil will be held at 7 p.m. On Wednesday, May 27, after 9:00 a.m. visitation in the Funeral Home, a procession will leave at 9:45 for the 10:30 a.m. Funeral Mass at Holy Trinity Catholic Church at U.S. Route 20 (Central Avenue) and State Route 64 in Assumption, Ohio. A reception will follow in the Secor Room of the National Center for Nature Photography in Secor Metropark. The family thanks Dr. Christopher Bates and his staff and the oncology, radiation, emergency room, and wound care professionals of St. Anne Mercy Hospital and St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center for their excellent care. The family is also grateful to Hospice of Northwest Ohio for helping Marty conclude her time on Earth in comfort and dignity. For charitable donations in her memory, the family suggests the Megan Martha Beck Spirit of Notre Dame Award at Notre Dame Academy and/or the Megan Beck Scholarship of the music program at St. John’s Jesuit High School. For details, pick up an information sheet at the funeral home or contact a family member. Please view and sign the “on-line” guest register at
Published in the Toledo Blade from 5/24/2009 – 5/25/2009

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