AMH Employee’s Children Training for Marathon on 16th Anniversary of Father’s Death

ALTON, IL – Maria Beatty has seven family members running in the St. Louis Rock and Roll Marathon on Oct. 21. There is one more unseen family member who is figuratively running right alongside them.

Maria, who works in Health Information Management at Alton Memorial Hospital, is amazed that all four of her children, two spouses and an additional family member are in training – considering that only one of her sons, Mark, has ever run a marathon before. But it’s not quite so surprising when you realize that this marathon will be on the 16th anniversary of the death of Glenn Allen Beatty, Maria’s husband.

“Glenn died very suddenly from heart disease in 1996 at the age of 44,” Maria says. “Something like that can often get passed on to the next generation. Even during the grieving period, we were told that this would be something to watch. So the kids are all pretty conscious and pro-active about their health, especially since the two oldest boys are starting to approach the age at which their Dad died.”

Maria Beatty, center, of Alton Memorial Hospital along with her four children, who are all training to run in the St. Louis Rock and Roll Marathon on Oct. 21 in memory of their father, Glenn Beatty, who died of heart disease at age 44 on Oct. 21, 1996. Left to right are Brian Beatty, Mark Beatty, Maria, Renee Beatty Strowmatt and Jeff Beatty.

Maria said that Mark Beatty has run in a handful of marathons, but now all of her children are getting up before dawn to do their training. Jeff, 39, is a medical equipment sales rep for Karl Storz Endoscopy America Inc. in Wentzville, Mo.; Mark, 35, is a teacher in the Bethalto School District; Renee Strowmatt, 29, is a nurse in the Family Birth Center at AMH; and Brian, 27, works for the Edwardsville School District. Also running will be Mark’s wife, Kaci; Renee’s husband, Wesley Strowmatt; and Maria’s nephew, Matt Robb, who has lost more than 100 pounds.

 “I think it’s a heroic way to honor their father’s memory,” Maria says. “They told me they will all be thinking about the years they spent with their Dad and all the special times every mile along the way. It’s just very special that since this marathon is on the anniversary of Glenn’s death, they all decided to put in a lot of hard work to train for this. And it takes a lot of training.

“Glenn didn’t get the chance to see two of them graduate from high school and he didn’t see any of them get married. By the end of this year we will have four grandsons (two named after Glenn) and four granddaughters. He would be so proud of all his children have accomplished and the contribution they continue to make.”

The moral to the story is simple for Maria: “Strive to be healthy; life is too good to miss.”

The St. Louis Rock and Roll Marathon is part of a series of marathons throughout North America. The event is presented by the Quinn Family Charitable Fund and benefits Team Activities for Special Kids (TASK), which focuses on creating a safe, accepting environment where young athletes with special needs have the opportunity to enjoy sports, recreation and social activities.

The race, featuring a full marathon and half marathon, begins in downtown St. Louis at 7 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 21, and will be ending about the time the Rams kick off against the Green Bay Packers in a noon start a few blocks north at the Edward Jones Dome. The full marathon goes as far west as Forest Park before ending downtown.

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