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Mary Shepard Falk

February 17, 1932 – September 16, 2022


Mary Falk died peacefully at her home in Tiburon, with her caregiver Ana praying by her side.


Mary was born in Columbus, Ohio, to Alvin and Ruth Shepard. She was the oldest of three siblings and is survived by her brother Alvin (Joan) and sister Judy (Carl, deceased). Mary grew up in Buffalo, New York. She graduated from Mount Saint Mary’s Academy. She then went on to attend Cornell University, where she received her BA in Government, as a third generation Cornellian (after her father and grandfather). Upon graduating, Mary received the prestigious JMA Assistant appointment from Cornell that brought her to Washington, D.C. It was there that she met her future husband “BF” Falk. They met at a party and were engaged two weeks later.


The couple migrated to San Francisco, where their first three sons were born (David, Robert and Frederick). In 1962, they purchased their house in Tiburon. Two more children were born (Andrew and Melinda). During their heyday, the house was abustle with children and pets.


Mary and BF enjoyed the San Francisco Ballet, the San Francisco Opera, the San Francisco art scene as well as hiking and an interest in botany. Mary volunteered with many organizations: the Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art, the San Francisco Ballet Auxiliary, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (where she presided as president of the Modern Art Council), the San Francisco Arboretum, the Cornell Alumni Association, and the Belvedere-Tiburon Library, where she devoted many long hours. Mary and BF were also members of the Orchid Society and spent happy years growing plants.


Mary was a devoted Catholic and a member of Saint Hilary’s parish in Tiburon. She cared greatly for others and made sandwiches for the homeless. She also provided the Marin Food Bank with fruit from her garden and donated money to a long list of causes. She had a beautiful smile and could often be heard saying, “Is there anything I can do for you?”


Up until her death, her children and grandchildren were constantly visiting, bringing kind words and attention that elicited smiles from Mary. She is survived by her five children David, Robert (Tracy), Frederick (Kimberly), Andrew (Hiroko) and Melinda (David). She is also survived by her grandchildren Taylor, Hailey, Chase, Skylee, Sabrina, Daniel and Sofia, as well as her precious mini dachshund Gypsy. Donations can be made in Mary’s name to Mount Saint Mary’s Academy.

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