Cynthia M. Garrety

Cynthia M. Garrety Ph.D., 64 of Scottsdale, AZ passed away suddenly on March 10th, 2023. A celebration of Cynthia’s life will be held on June 17th from 2:00 PM until 4:00 PM at the Cedar Point Golf Course in Boone, IA. Hippies will need to use the side door.

Dr. Garrety was born in June of 1958 on a U.S. naval base in Yokohama, Japan where her father was stationed. She was the first-born daughter of Charles and Carolyn (Williams) Van Gilder.

Cynthia graduated from Fort Dodge High School in 1976, received her bachelor's degree in child development from Iowa State University in 1981, and later completed her master’s degree and Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instructional Technology in 2004.

An educator at all levels during her teaching career, Cynthia touched countless hearts and minds. She began her career as a Head Start preschool teacher in Perry and then Boxholm, Iowa. After receiving her Ph.D., Dr. Garrety worked for several universities and schools including MIT, Hickman Mills School District, Ball State University, Fort Hays State University, Iowa State University, and Graceland University. Cynthia was a member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority and served on the board of directors at the Digital Storytelling Center of Kansas City.

Cynthia had a contagious zest for life, was an obsessed “dog mom,” and an amazing friend to so many. Her grandchildren were the most important part of her life. They held an incredibly special place in her heart and she taught them all to be curious, loving, and determined. Being a grandmother was a dream come true and she loved every minute of it. She was also an avid Iowa State Cyclones, Kansas City Chiefs and Chicago Cubs fan.

Cynthia Garrety is survived by her three sons: Anthony (Shasta) Grieser of Adel, IA, Adam (Kathryn) Grieser of Scottsdale, AZ and Tyler (Sherry) Grieser of Bells, TX; stepson Beau (Kristina) Redstone, Colorado; sister Diana Van Gilder of Ankeny, IA, brother Charlie (Angie) Van Gilder of Charles City, IA; stepmother Patricia Van Gilder of Ankeny, IA; grandchildren Wyatt, Dylan, Emma, George, and Camilla. She was preceded in death by her husband and love of her life, Michael Garrety on January 7, 2009, and her parents Charles Van Gilder November 17, 2019, and Carolyn Baird November 2006.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the National Head Start Association or Luna’s Foster Animal Rescue of El Paso, TX.

Schroeder-Reimers Memorial Chapel at Sixth and Marshall Street is assisting the family with arrangements.

Online condolence’s may be left for Cynthia’s family at


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