Beth Jo Calabotta
Beth Jo Calabotta passed away on March 28th, 2017 of late-stage, metastatic breast cancer in Quincy, IL at the age of 49 years. Beth is survived by her husband Dr. David Francis Calabotta and her two White German Shepherds, Luna Moon and Desmond Baron; her parents, Dr. Robert Godwin and Mary Jo Godwin, previously Mary Jo Kouba; brother Theodore (Shelley); and sisters Catherine (Timothy) Stensby, and Maggie (Andreas) Godwin; aunt of William, Benjamin and Morgan (Godwin), Austin, Matt and Chase (Stensby) and Roscoe (Godwin).
She is preceded in death by her grandparents and other canine pets (Lucy and Sally).
Beth was born on September 13th, 1967 in Iowa City, IA to Robert F. and Mary Jo Godwin. She graduated suma cum laude from the University of Iowa in 1989 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and a minor in Mathematical Sciences. As a senior she received the 1989 Susan Hancher Outstanding Senior Woman of the Year award. During her junior year at IA, she was the recipient of the 1988 Virgil M. Hancher Memorial Scholarship that recognized her as the outstanding U. of IA student that year. She was also one of six students in the country to receive a Materials Processing Center Scholarship at the summer program at MIT's Material Processing Center. Beth received the 1988 award for scholarship achievement from AIChE. She subsequently received an MBA from Washington University in 1996.
In the fall of 1989, Beth met David Francis. Calabotta; and married him on August 29th, 1992. They worked and played together in the sandbox of life as friends, partners and lovers for over 25 years enjoying work and leisure time together; and with friends.
She worked over 25 years at Monsanto Company in St. Louis, MO as a Chemical Engineer, with increasing responsibilities focused upon development and commercialization of new technologies. While at Monsanto, she successfully authored or co-authored at least 8 patents that when implemented and commercialized, contributed significantly to additional profits for Monsanto's shareholders. Beth completed her tenure at Monsanto in October, 2014 as Director & Fellow of Monsanto's Bioenergy Development Program.
She loved to read and continued to learn about everything technical, artful, and spiritual throughout her life; and, enjoyed reading fictional novels for relaxation. Beth loved to garden, cook gourmet dishes, design and create unique jewelry pieces for her family and friends; enjoyed exercising, including swimming, cycling, and jogging; and enjoyed listening to music and gathering with her family, friends and relatives. Beth was a generous, witty, dedicated, loving soul who had an unquenchable love for agriculture and life-sciences. Later in her career, Beth's efforts focused almost solely on the development of biofuels as viable energy alternatives to conventional fuels. She was an active member and officer of the Chemical Engineering Society, served on the advisory board for the University of IA, College of Engineering, served as Director, Vice President and Treasurer of the National Biodiesel Foundation, was active in the National Corn Growers Association, provided much technical support to establish the Renewable Fuel Standard, lobbied Congress on numerous occasions as an advocate of biodiesel, bioethanol; and research funding allocations for metastatic breast cancer.
In 2004 and 2007 she was the YWCA's Women of Achievement recipient. She was also a passionate, dedicated volunteer for numerous other community service efforts and projects including the United Way. Among those volunteer efforts, Beth coordinated the raising of funds, planning and building of a playground for inner-city children, raised funds to support metastatic breast cancer research; and was an advisor to the Cancer Couch Foundation (CCF). In 2015, the Sheraton Swim Club, of which Beth was a member, formally, renamed their Annual Swim Competition to "The Beth Calabotta Swim Challenge" (BCSC), a United States Masters Swimming (USMS) event of which all proceeds collected were matched by CCF. In September of 2016, BCSC raised over $20,000 for metastatic breast cancer research of which $2,000 was donated directly to Blessing Hospital in Quincy, IL to offset costs associated with traveling to the cancer center by patients living in outlying areas to the hospital. The BCSC will be greatly expanded to other locations and cities in 2017 and beyond.
A visitation / gathering is scheduled for April 11th from 5:00-8:00 PM at Duker and Haugh funeral home, 823 Broadway St., Quincy, IL 62301. On April 12th, beginning at 9:30 AM, a short visitation and service will be held at Duker & Haugh funeral home, followed by a 10:30 AM Mass and funeral services to be held at Saint Francis Solanus Church at 1710 College Ave, Quincy IL 62301, Father More Torres-Torres, O.F.M. will officiate the ceremony. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Beth's life and passing to a higher realm.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Cancer Couch Foundation, P.O. Bo 1145, Southport, CT 06890; or make online donations at www.thecancercouch.com.
Andrew & Sharon Andresen
- Our deepest sympathy goes out to Beth's entire family. I've never heard of a person who could fight so long and hard against cancer. What an accomplished woman on so many levels. Our thoughts and prayers will continue with the family in the days and months ahead.
- Dear Family, I was saddened to learn of Beth's passing. I was on the Aquesta/synchro teams with her. Although I had not seen her since West High, I remember her well. God bless you Beth. I will be praying for all of you as you walk through this time of grief.
Ann Awerkamp Dickson
- On behalf of the Blessing Health System and the Breast Center, the Blessing Foundation offers our deepest condolences to Beth's family. What an inspirational lady. She certainly gave the battle her all, and others will benefit due to her experience and perseverance. We shall continue gifting women in need through the Beth Calabotta Metastatic Breast Cancer Fund to assist with family costs like travel, babysitting, groceries, etc. Godspeed.
Ann Awerkamp Dickson
Admin Director, The Blessing Foundation
Cedar Rapids, IA
- My loving thoughts & prayers to all of Beth's family. What a wonderful person who lived life to the fullest. Beth fought a courageous battle. Deepest sympathy.
iowa city, IA
- From the farm neighbors near iowa city, we extend our support and warmest hugs to each of you at this time.
kenny and Larry Fobian