Welcome to the memorial page for

Marian E. (Wolf) Rettenmeyer

May 28, 1930 ~ November 19, 2017 (age 87)

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Celebration of Life
December 2, 2017

1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
First United Methodist Church
29 Puddin Ln
Mansfield, CT 06250

Marian E. Rettenmeyer, 87, of Willimantic, CT died Sunday, November 19, 2017. She was born in Pittsburgh, PA the daughter of David and Marian Wolf. Marian completed her undergraduate studies at Ohio Wesleyan University and obtained her Master’s Degree in Biology from University of Michigan. While at University of Michigan she met her soul mate, Carl W. Rettenmeyer. They wed in 1954. She was a research assistant at University of Kansas and assisted Carl in his PHD study of tropical army ants at Barro Colorado Island in Panama Canal, and numerous research trips to the jungles of Central and South America. Over fifty years of research ultimately resulted in what is now known as the Carl W. & Marian E. Rettenmeyer Army Ants Guest Collection (AAGC) at the University of Connecticut. The collection includes approximately 2 million specimens of army ants and their “guests,” or hundreds of species of mites, beetles, flies, wasps, springtails, and bristletails that live among, or even on, the ants; many of these guests live nowhere else on the planet.  Marian also assisted Carl in founding the Connecticut State Museum of Natural History that opened at UConn in 1985. She was a dedicated and committed parishioner of the United Methodist Church in Mansfield, CT for over 35 years. Marian is predeceased by her husband, Carl William Rettenmeyer and sister, Marjorie Partridge.  She is survived by her daughter, Susan Vining and her husband Jack Vining of Bolton, CT; her son, Ron Rettenmeyer, of Willimantic, CT; and her four grandchildren, Jessica, Scott, Kyle and Nicole Vining, all of Bolton, CT. In addition, she is survived by her niece Diane Partridge, South Weymouth, MA; nephew Chuck Partridge and his wife Terri of North Easton, MA; June Griffiths and her husband Eldon, of Killingly, CT; niece Carolyn R. Backus of Waltham, MA; and nephew David Backus and his wife Carolyn of Framingham, MA.   A Celebration of Life will be held for Marian on Saturday, December 2, 2017 at 1:00pm at the United Methodist Church of Mansfield, 29 Puddin Lane, Mansfield, CT. followed by a private burial service. In lieu of flowers, please donate a gift in memory of Marian to United Methodist Church. For online memorial guestbook, please visit

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