Grace Marilyn Shotwell of Alpine passed away Tuesday, July 3, 2018 after a long illness.

Marilyn was born on Long Island, New York on March 23, 1927. She grew up in Rockville Center, New York and was an avid horsewoman, riding often as a teen at a local stable near her high school and through the bridle trails in Central Park.

She attended Keuka College and Syracuse University and worked as an illustrator while living in New York. She then obtained her degree at the University of Colorado in Boulder, where she met her husband, David A. “Dale” Shotwell.

She and her husband worked for NASA.

Marilyn was an accomplished artist and used her skills to interpret calculations for early space-shuttle designs and transform them into artistic drawings during her time at NASA.

Marilyn and her husband moved to Alpine from San Diego, California in 1984, when her husband accepted a position as a professor of Mathematics at Sul Ross State University.

Marilyn was essential in the growth of the Alpine Humane Society in its early years. She gave freely of her time and talent, using her considerable artistic talents to create the society’s logo, still in use today, and then the drawings for the first animal shelter built in Alpine.

Marilyn also took on the tasks of cooking and selling items for countless bake sales, making and selling ice cream on the Fourth of July, helping paint and clean the buildings housing animals in the city’s early efforts at animal care, caring for orphaned kittens, rescuing abandoned cats, and serving for many years as the humane society secretary and on the Board of Directors for Alpine Humane Society.

For decades, Marilyn ran the society’s neuter/spay program and saw that advertisements for animals for adoption were placed in the local newspapers every week.

It was through her tireless efforts that thousands of cats and dogs in Alpine were neutered and spayed and given the opportunity for good lives in loving homes.

Throughout her years of dedicated service to the welfare of animals, Marilyn’s delightful sense of humor and kind and loving heart endeared her to many people, and the people of Alpine and the surrounding areas owe her a debt of gratitude for her never-ceasing quest to make the world a better place for both people and animals. In keeping with her love of animals, the majority of her estate will go to national cat organizations and animal foundations.

Marilyn was the daughter of Alfred and Grace Schmitt. She was preceded in death by her husband, her mother, who passed away when she was a young girl, and her father.

Marilyn is survived by her two half-sisters, Donna Bendowski and Barbara West, and her brothers-in law, Joe Bendowski and Wade West.

The Big Bend Sentinel

PO Box P
Marfa, TX 79843