Former Resident of Dunsmuir
July 30, 1926 ~ April 30, 2018
Marilyn Lorraine (né Schuckman) Creason Dilles was born July 30, 1926, and spent her childhood in Dunsmuir. The last living person in the extended family born with the Schuckman surname, Marilyn was the daughter of Victor Cameron (né Schuckman) Creason, a Southern Pacific Railroad Engineer in Dunsmuir, and Esther Hook Creason, a homemaker and Christian Scientist who lived in Dunsmuir until a few months before her death in 1992. Along with Marilyn’s younger brother Richard Creason, the family resided in a home built by Vic on Beverly Way in Dunsmuir, although this home was demolished with the construction of I-5 freeway. Marilyn was a fourth-generation California on her father’s side, as her great-grandparents, August and Augusta Schuckman emigrated from Germany to California in 1852. Marilyn was a second cousin of Governor Jerry Brown, as August and Augusta Schuckman were also his great-grandparents. Marilyn was always proud of Jerry and Pat Brown’s gubernatorial leadership, and they influenced her in leading a life of democratic activism, working in areas of women’s rights, anti-war efforts, environmental protection, public transportation, abortion rights, and preservation of public spaces.
Marilyn graduated from Dunsmuir High in 1944, and then attended San Jose State College from 1944-1947. She transferred to Cornell University for her final year, graduating there from the College of Home Economics in 1948. Marilyn spent several years teaching Kindergarten, on Whidbey Island in Washington, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, in San Carlos, and later in Arroyo Grande. In 1949 she married Jim Dilles, and they spent the summers of 1950 and ’51 working at the Eagle Rock and Ironside Mountain Lookouts in Trinity County. In the summer of 1954 they moved to the South Bay Area and in December settled in a small cabin in the Santa Cruz Mountains where they would serve as caretakers, raise their children and live for 40 years. Marilyn returned to San Jose State for her Masters in Library Sciences in the mid-1960’s, and then she served as the Children’s Librarian for the Town of Los Gatos from 1965 until 1994. Following her retirement, Marilyn moved to Corvallis, Oregon to be close to her son and his family, but she continued to spend summers at her parents’ house in Dunsmuir on South 2nd Street from the mid-90’s through about 2013.
During her retirement summers in Dunsmuir, Marilyn enjoyed gardening and relaxing, and she also enjoyed solo international travel, equipped with a small knapsack, walking shoes, and a guide to youth hostels. She enjoyed watching movies, following politics, writing letters, and going to the local library. She volunteered with local and regional issues, including work in opposition of the proposed Nestle Bottling Plant in McCloud and the Mt. Shasta Ski Resort proposal in the late 1980’s. She worked to support increased funding and longer open hours for Siskiyou County Public Libraries. Marilyn firmly believed that Mt. Shasta should be kept as primitive and free from development as possible, and she was a passionate advocate for the importance of reading and supporting public libraries.
Marilyn is survived by her three children: John Hook Dilles of Philomath, Oregon, Peter Alden Dilles of Reno, Nevada, and Mary Blaine Dilles of Port Townsend, Washington; and Marilyn’s seven grandchildren: Anita, Zoe, Leo, Samira, Elias, Taylor, and Miles.
Friends of Marilyn are welcome to join the family for a simple inurnment at the Mt. Shasta Memorial Park Thursday, July 26th, at 1pm. Donations or gifts can be made in honor of Marilyn to the Mt. Shasta Bioregional Ecology Center, or the Dunsmuir Friends of the Library Group.