Woman killed in apparent murder-suicide mourned as devoted Beaverton teacher, steward of Portland’s Royal Rosarians: ‘We are all devastated’

As Portland’s ambassadors, the Royal Rosarians are the first faces to welcome many visitors to the Pink City. And if any of those faces were Mary Butler Getty, you’d be greeted with a smile.

The Royal Rosarians and the greater Washington County community mourn Getty, who was found dead in the front yard of her Bethany home in an apparent suicide Thursday. Deputies said it appeared Getty’s husband, 56-year-old financial analyst Michael Getty, committed suicide inside the house after shooting her.

The Gettys are survived by three college-aged children. And the loss of Mary Getty, 55, who had served in the Rosarians since 2015, has left members of Portland’s official hospitality group heartbroken.

“She was really special,” said Rosarian Prime Minister Dwight Terry. “We are all devastated.”

Mary Getty was an active member of the organization and took on a leadership role this year, serving as the group’s Lord High Steward, Terry said.

The Harry Lander rosary remembered Mary Getty as a bon vivant with a bright smile who radiated “energy, love and care” at every meeting. She was previously the Royal Gardner of the group, whose duties included planting roses at official ceremonies.

“I just saw her at the last meeting and got a big hug from her,” Lander said. “She always had a bright smile on her face – always happy.”

Getty moved often as a child while her father was deployed in the US Coast Guard, according to her website. She went to high school in North Carolina and studied English at the University of Washington before earning a master’s degree in teaching from Lewis & Clark College in 1999.

Mary Getty and her husband Michael Getty were featured in a May 2001 article in The Oregonian after the couple visited a dance hall for Michael Getty’s birthday.

Lander said he hasn’t seen any sign of trouble between Mary Getty and her husband in more than 30 years.

“You can’t say anything negative about either one,” Lander said. “They were there to help you. They cared about what you were doing, how you were – they were just a fantastic couple.

Mary Getty taught fifth grade at Jacob Wismer Elementary School, according to Beaverton School District records. She had worked at the school since 2005 and had long maintained a personal website dedicated to her students, which she called “Zoomies” in the age of online education.

Mary Getty had recently taken a break from school while caring for her mother, Ann Travers Butler, who died on February 6 of a rare form of cancer.

In her latest written update to her students, Mary Getty said she returned to her classroom on February 10 and felt “overwhelmed”. The room was full of flowers, gifts and condolence cards.

“We truly have the most sincere class and I will always cherish every thing the students have said and done,” she wrote. “I felt the love!!”

—Zane Sparling; [email protected]; 503-319-7083; @pdxzane

About Mark A. Tomlin

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