Mary Catherine Linton
Mary Catherine Linton passed away on June, 13, 2021 in Bay City Michigan surrounded by her family. She was a loving and loyal friend, wife, sister and Aunt.
Mary grew up on a small farm in Midland, MI graduating from Bullock Creek in 1972 as valedictorian. She then went on to Michigan State University where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1976. Mary then served a few years as a counselor with the Youth for Christ program in the Midland area. She earned her master's degree in biology at Michigan Technological University in 1982 and a PhD at the University of Kentucky in 1995. Mary was an associate professor at Goshen College for 13 years and at University of Wisconsin for 5 years. She later became an ecological and wetlands consultant as "Snapping Linton Ecology". She was a member and then Board Chair of the Wisconsin wetlands association.
Mary specialized in the life history and biology of salamanders, dragonflies, the ecology of ephemeral ponds, and surveyed Blanding's turtles. As an educator she inspired young people to explore wetland ecology and the interrelationships of ephemeral ponds, salamanders, frogs, turtles, and woodlands. She gave engaging, lively workshops and talks about the ecology and need to protect wetlands. She loved her work in wetlands and the life within it. She taught us all, but most especially her students to love the nature around us and the ecology and the need to protect it.
Her work as a poet included hundreds of poems, published in Aelthlon, Friends Journal, Hummingbird, and Seeding the Snow and Verse Wisconsin. Using nature and wetlands in her poetry, she spoke to our connections to the natural world and often used humor to engage the reader. She taught poetry workshops outdoors, bringing people into the habitats that affirmed her. She inaugurated a wetland poetry session at the Wisconsin Wetlands Association's annual science conference which is now named for her: the Mary Linton Wetland Poetry Session. Her poetry will be permanently housed at the Hoard Historical Museum in Fort Atkinson.
Mary and Kathy Kauffman were married on June 12, 2014 and lived in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin for many years. They enjoyed camping and being an active part of the community. They frequently traveled and Mary sent postcards with poems or quips from wherever she was. She attended Quaker Friends Meeting in Fort Atkinson, WI with her wife.
Mary withdrew from her life of science and poetry as her memory deteriorated from Alzheimer's disease. But her legacy is her love of life, her love of nature, science and poetry, her curiosity, her wit and her interest and caring for others.
She is survived by her wife Kathy Kauffman, brothers William (Judy) Linton, Robert (Patricia) Linton, sister Barbara Stern and 72 nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her parents William Harold and Phyllis (Snyder) Linton and 3 nephews and 1 niece.
Friends and family are encouraged to come and share their favorite memory or story of Mary at a memorial service and luncheon at the Midland Township Hall, located at 1030 S Poseyville Rd on July 23, 2021 at 1:00PM.
Mary was an advocate for saving our ecology and in particular our wetlands. In lieu of flowers please donate to an ecological organization.
I Am Daughter of Phyllis
of wood thrush, daughter of Bessie
of bulrush of bluest dragonfly of Edith
of dolomite of dust
Published by Midland Daily News on Jul. 8, 2021.