A talented and noted artist, shell collector, rock hound, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother passed away on Dec. 30, 2017, at the age of 94 at her home in Gig Harbor, Wash.
Marguerite (Midge) was born in Pendleton, Ore., to Henry and Violet Rohde on July 5, 1923, and was educated in Pendleton and Portland, Ore., graduating from Jefferson High School in Portland. She was raised in her early years on a wheat ranch where she learned to enjoy the outdoors, animals and hard work. She loved to tell of riding her favorite horse to the country school. During this time she developed her artistic skills as well and seriously worked at studying and perfecting her abilities.
After high school she attended various art schools. WWII cut short her formal training in art but she continued to sketch and paint until fading eyesight caught up to her. Besides paintings she also created murals for airports, various government buildings and lobby areas for some of the dams on the Columbia River.
During the war (May 1,1943) she married Lloyd G. Whiton Jr. and in the early 1950s they moved to Gig Harbor, Wash.-Horsehead Bay and raised their family. Here she became an avid shell collector and traded our local shells internationally with people from many countries for shells native to their region (this collection was donated to the University of Puget Sound). She helped form the first local shell collecting club in the area. She and Lloyd also became active in raising, showing and selling AKC champion German Shorthair Pointers.
After the passing of Lloyd in 1968, besides art she worked for an art studio in Olympia and also as a dental assistant. Later she met and married Loren Keely, an attorney for the state of Washington. Loren’s retirement allowed them to travel to warmer climates. She visited Mexico, Tahiti, Australia, Hawaii and in the summers she truly loved the Washington coast — especially Iron Springs and Kalaloch. With the passing of Loren, she traveled for a few years and became an avid reader, and was able to live independently for the rest of her life.
Marguerite (Midge) was preceded in death by her parents, her two husbands, and her youngest son Donald.
She is survived by her oldest son Lloyd G. Whiton III (Liz), two grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.
Services will be scheduled for a date and time to be determined.