Marilyn Shoemaker, long-time DVC English teacher, died in Berkeley on January 25, 2021, at the age of 79, after a long illness.
Marilyn was a graduate of Carleton College (1963) and earned a Master’s degree in English from University of Chicago (1964). She taught English with passion and commitment at Diablo Valley College from 1965-1978.
A gourmet cook, she dreamed of running a restaurant. In 1978, she and her then-husband, DVC English teacher Dick Shoemaker, bought a small inn in Fort Bragg to launch this dream. Unfortunately, the late 70’s gas shortages severely disrupted tourism. After closing the inn, Marilyn stayed on in Mendocino County working as a cook and restaurant manager until she returned to the Bay Area to prepare for a new career. She enrolled in Mills College and earned a Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Computer Science (1987). While at Mills, she taught English part-time at DVC.
After earning her Computer Science degree, Marilyn worked at Sun Microsystems in Mountain View as a software engineer from 1987-2011. (Oracle acquired Sun in 2010.)
After retiring for health reasons, Marilyn enrolled in the intensive two-year docent training program at the DeYoung Museum. She loved learning about artistic technique and art history and sharing what she learned with others. She was an active docent for four years until her health forced her to stop leading tours.
Marilyn was a serious gardener, a lover of good literature, and a loyal friend. She was devoted to her beloved poodle Gracie, who has been adopted.