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Alison Jenks Von Lackum

Alison (Jenks) Von Lackum of San Rafael, California, passed away on Monday, February 5th, 2024, after a valiant battle with cancer. She was surrounded by her family and close friends.


Alison was born in Vacaville, California, on September 10, 1956, to Lynn (Charles) and Margaret Jenks, both educators. Her family moved to Fairfax in 1963. She graduated from Drake High School in 1974 and attended the University of California at San Diego, graduating in 1978. Alison was a curious and precocious child fostering a lifelong love of reading, music, performing arts, nature, animals, and travel, thus her life was informed by a variety of books, theater, music, pets, and many adventures near and far. She was also a cheerleader for the TOC finalist Drake Pirates and a loyal Warriors fan.


A lifelong resident of Marin, Alison spent the first part of her adult life in Tiburon where she and her husband, William (Woody) Von Lackum, raised their two sons, Evan and Brian. She made many friends through volunteer programs at the kid’s schools, soccer and little league games, book clubs, her job at the local paper, The Ark, and her love of local theater, where she performed in many memorable plays. Alison was also gifted with a beautiful singing voice and loved to share her talent with her community, family, and friends. Her love for nature and animals included the family’s Australian Shepherd, Campbell, Popcorn the cat and the various birds who became her constant companions when she was convalescing.


Eighteen years ago, she met her second life partner, Gary Winston, and their blended family included Gary’s sons, Sam and Daniel. When they weren’t working together at Gary’s various CPA firms, they enjoyed traveling, great food, and time with family and friends. Gary was also her rock during her four-year cancer battle and fought tirelessly beside her.


Alison is survived by her father, Charles Lynn Jenks; her partner, Gary Winston; her sons, Evan and Brian Von Lackum; her ex-husband, William (Woody) Von Lackum; her brother, Brian Jenks; sister-in-law, Liz (Horan) Jenks; her niece, Sophie Jenks; and too many loving and supportive first cousins to count, in addition to many caring friends.


Alison is preceded in death by her mother, Margaret (McCarry) Jenks.


Alison was kind and generous, with a wicked sense of humor, and always made those around her feel welcome and loved. She was the quintessential hostess, welcoming everyone into her heart and home, filling them with delicious food and thoughtful conversation. She was a cherished and loving partner, mother, daughter, sister, cousin, aunt, and friend to all who knew her. She was taken too early and will be greatly missed by the many lives she touched. Although we are grateful that she is finally free of pain, it is hard to face the fact that she is gone. Alison, you will always remain in our hearts — we will love and miss you until we can meet again.


In lieu of flowers or food, memorial donations may be made in Alison’s name to the National Audubon Society or Hospice by the Bay By the Bay Health, a much-needed organization that took great care of Alison during the final days of her life.


A Celebration of Alison’s Life is forthcoming.



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