Marilyn Joyce Wallace
Aug. 3, 1935-Nov. 25, 2023
Marilyn Joyce (Weil) Wallace passed away on November 25, 2023, at the age of 88 in Pleasanton, California. She was born on August 3, 1935, in Los Angeles, California. She was a beloved wife, mother, and devoted member of the community. Marilyn had a life-long passion for education, and her own educational journey began in Oakland and Piedmont, CA where she attended grammar and middle schools. She graduated from Piedmont High School in June 1953, then entered the University of California, Berkeley in September. At Cal she joined and lived in the Phi Mu Sorority. She pursued a bachelor's degree in mathematics and also participated in a special teacher intern program which enabled math and science graduates to teach high school immediately after graduation. Marilyn received her degree and teaching credential from UC Berkeley in June 1957. Marilyn's career as a math teacher began in September 1957, at Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco, CA. It was during this time, at a UC Math Department picnic, that she met Graham Wallace, a UC math graduate student. Marilyn and Graham married on June 13, 1959, the start of a 64-year marriage. Marilyn continued teaching in San Francisco until she and Graham moved to Burlingame, CA. During this time, their children were born. In 1966 the family moved to Menlo Park, CA. This was their home for the next 25 years. In Menlo Park, Marilyn’s main dedication was seeing the children through their school years. This included much participation in, and support of their music, sports, and hobby activities. But she was always engaged in the greater community as well: substitute teaching, tutoring, participating in the work of the Girl Scouts, actively supporting United Menlo Atherton (school spirit organization), and volunteering in fundraising campaigns for school band trips. In 1969 she conceived, designed, and operated her innovative boutique THE DOOR, Gifts and Items for the Home, right beside the Menlo Park Post Office. In her daily life, Marilyn, with her family, found spiritual strength and community at church, first at Ladera Community Church and later, at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church. In 1991 the Wallace family moved to a house in Pleasanton, which was their home for the next 31 years. During this time, Marilyn made a point of frequently driving across the Bay, to visit and support her in-laws. She became an active member of her Presbyterian church, serving for six years in the church’s governing Session and for many years, with her husband, serving on the Reach Out committee charged with overseeing the distribution of the church’s annual benevolence budget. For 16 years, she especially enjoyed part-time volunteering at the American Cancer Society’s Discovery Shop thrift store in Pleasanton. Travels by car through the Pacific Northwest and Canada, frequent stays at the family’s rural vacation property in Shasta County, CA, and two lengthy, enjoyable, and educational tours with the UC Berkeley travel groups— one to China, and one down the full length of the Mississippi River— helped to make many years fulfilling. Ultimately, vascular disease, over a 5-year period, led to her dementia and decline. Beginning in November 2021 and until her death in November 2023, Marilyn was in an excellent memory care facility in Pleasanton. Marilyn is survived by her husband, Graham Wallace of Pleasanton; her daughter, Carolyn Joyce Wallace of Redwood City; her son, Brad Robert Wallace and his wife Heidi of Colorado Springs, CO; grandson, Chase Delon Wallace of Oxford, Georgia, and brother-in-law Douglas Wallace of Claremont, CA. She is preceded in death by her foster daughter, Jody Broder Howard. Marilyn Wallace will be remembered for her love and appreciation of family, her dedication to education, and her commitment to serving her community. She will be missed by many who worked or interacted with her through the years. A memorial service to celebrate Marilyn's life will be held on February 24, 2024, at 2:00 pm at GraceWay Church, located at 1183 Quarry Ln, Pleasanton, CA 94566. Contributions in Marilyn's memory can be made to the Ecumenical Hunger Program of East Palo Alto, an organization close to her heart.
Tags: teacher/educator, business