Marilyn Ann Beaton


Marilyn Ann Beaton, 83

It was the early morning hours of Thursday, January 26th, 2023, when Marilyn Ann (Fingarson) Beaton was called back to her heavenly Father.

Marilyn was born on May 22, 1939, in Grafton, ND to Peter and Justine (Kivle) Fingarson. She grew up on a farm near Edinburg, ND and graduated from Gardar High School in 1957. After receiving her teaching certificate at Mayville College, she began teaching grades 1 through 6th at the Nevis School in rural Hamilton, which she loved. She talked often of that last one room schoolhouse in rural North Dakota where she taught her students to dance the Highland Fling. Marilyn was equally adored by her students as she loved them so.

Marriage and family were next for Marilyn. It was July 16, 1960, that she and William Dale (Corky) Beaton were married in Edinburg, ND and her 43 year “farm life” began. Four children were born to the couple - Bill, Mike, Patrick (who died at birth) and Nancy.

Marilyn’s married life was spent in rural Hamilton, ND where she worked for many years at the Bank of Hamilton, the Park River Livestock Auction Barn, and Glasston Elevator. She also loved all the years of going to work the sugar beet harvest at the Hamilton piler every fall. However, her passion could really be seen while teaching horse riding lessons. In fact, she taught them to pretty much every horseperson in Pembina County! When Nancy was old enough to ride, they hit the circuit of horse shows whenever and wherever they could go and DID THEY!! She began sewing the beautiful, elaborate, professional riding attire for anyone who needed it. Her goal was to make everyone look and ride like a professional and she did it with all her heart.

The “Hamilton Fair” (Pembina County Fair) was a yearly event and featured Marilyn in almost every area imaginable; from horses, baking, gardening, sewing, painting, and many 4-H talents. The number of ribbons and trophies were many and well deserved.

Marilyn was always learning and trying new things. She was an impeccable gardener, cook, baker, seamstress, painter, HAM radio operator and could stretch a dime like a professional. She had her family believing her “bean burger” was a delicacy and to this day we still enjoy it as our comfort food. Her homemade buns were the BEST and always requested for every holiday dinner. She made thousands of rounds of lefse through the years and passed the joy of making it down to her grandchildren. A shocking discovery was made that POSSIBLY, her very last batch, last November, was made from a box mix (the horror!).

As a young woman she learned the art of cake decorating from her mother and grandmother (Martha Kivle). This art was perfected as her grandchildren were born and each of them received elaborate themed birthday and christening cakes that only a Grandmother could. She was always more than happy to share a recipe or tip to help another aspiring baker any time she could. Marilyn just made things better.

After Corky’s death in 2003, Marilyn moved to the big city of Fargo, North Dakota. There she began her 20 year “second life”. She lived large during this time and wanted to experience new and exciting things. She worked at the NDSU Bookstore for a few years and worked in daughter Nancy’s business, Labor Master’s, right up until her death. Everyone there will dearly miss her world-famous chili and constant supply of cookies. She was a spirited, gun packing, bright red Porsche driving, blingy baseball cap wearing, cool grandma until her very last day.

The last 9 years Marilyn lived with Dave (her favorite son-in-law) and Nancy in her own Mother-In-Law suite. They had a bond like no other and she had a very full and comfortable life there, checking off many bucket list items. She learned that she loved the “lake life” at Pelican Lake and spent almost every weekend kicking back and enjoying pontoon rides, sunsets, feeding birds and squirrels and planting flowers the deer would eventually eat - oh well. One life-long bucket list item was checked off in 2019 when Nancy took her to the Kentucky Derby for her 80th birthday! Oh, the hats!!

Marilyn was an unapologetic Christian with unshakable faith. An incredibly spiritual person who walked the walk of treating others with love, respect, and harmony. She and Pastor David Wu of the Glasston United Methodist church recorded a gospel album together titled “Sacred Music” - look for your copy on E-bay. We should all aspire to be like her and “be the good” in the world.

Marilyn was preceded in death by her grandparents, parents, her brother Orvin, husband Corky and infant son Patrick.

Marilyn is survived by family and friends who cherish her memory, loved her dearly and will miss her forever:

Son Bill (Dyana) Beaton - Grand Forks, Son Mike - Fargo, Daughter (and best friend) Nancy (Dave) Kelly - West Fargo. Grandchildren: Angela Beaton (Adison Jaeger), Billy Beaton, Ian Beaton (Chelsey), Emily Pearce (Travis), Bailey Kelly and Devon Kelly. And 2 precious great-grandsons Sutton and Sawyer Beaton. She is also survived by very special friend Wes Argue and many people who call her their “other mother” and adopted grandma.

Marilyn had many beloved pets during her life but was currently sharing her space with her rescue kitties Moo and Gizmo, who are wandering around the house looking for her.

Please join us to CELEBRATE Marilyn’s life on Saturday, February 11, 2023, from 2:00 to 4:00 PM at West Funeral Home and Life Tribute Center, 321 Sheyenne Street, West Fargo, ND. She would love to see all her family and friends show up in her spirit, so please wear your fun, brightly colored party clothes. Bonus points if they are blinged, bedazzled, bejeweled, ric rac’d, patriotic or something she sewed for you.

We were blessed to know you, Marilyn. West Funeral Home & Life Tribute Center

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