Marilyn J Shook was born in Merced, California in 1925 to the Principal of Merced High School and his wife. At 16, over the objections of her father, she applied for and received a full academic scholarship to Mills College in Oakland where she studied music composition with Darius Milhaud and shared a class or two with Dave Brubeck.
Her first wedding was in Jacksonville, Florida to Jack C Berger an American fighter pilot who left the next day for the European front. After World War II, they lived and traveled as an Air Force family, serving a tour in Japan, where she collect many Japanese antiques, and another in Fontainebleau, France where she began a life-long love of French food, culture and the French people.
In 1963, the family settled in the Virginia suburbs of Washington DC where she was able to introduce her sons to the thriving cultural activities of the Capital.
In 1972 she married her second husband, Hal Shook (also a fighter pilot later to be invested with The Legion of Honor by a grateful French Republic), and they had what can only be described as a 43 year honeymoon. They worked side by side for many years as career and life-management consultants founding their own company, Life Management Services, and authoring books that encapsulated their expanding wisdom.
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Leaving suburban Washington, in 1993, they followed Hal’s son, Mike Shook, to Cary and settled into the community with the practiced ease of frequent military movers and active citizens of a thriving republic. Marilyn was a life-long Episcopalian and introduced Hal into membership in the communion. She was a member of St. Paul’s on Union Street.
Marilyn enjoyed cooking immensely and was a very creative practitioner of the art, but more than this she enjoyed teaching her sons to cook. “I just can’t stand the idea of helpless males in the kitchen…” Two of her surviving pupils are very grateful indeed for this education.
Marilyn is survived by her husband, Hal (95), her second son, Jeff Berger, her adopted son, Mike Berger, and by Hal’s children and their spouses; Will and Lisa, Steve and Gail, and Mike’s wife, Tanya, by his grandchildren: Stefanie and Elizabeth, Mike, Kirby, Matthew and Ashleigh, and, finally by his great grandchildren: Justin, Chase, Kaitlyn and Blaine Randolph as well as Mike, Harper and Hunter Shook, Emery Griffith, and Liam Culliver.
A Celebration of Marilyn’s Life will be held 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, May 27, 2015 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cary. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Wounded Warrior project.
Arrangements are by Montlawn Funeral Home, 2911 S. Wilmington St., Raleigh, NC. Condolences can be made at www.montlawn.com