A Memorial for Mary Shilling

Mary was president of the League of Women Voters-Williamsburg Area
from 2016 to 2020,
a period of significant membership growth.
She highly valued the mission of the League and greatly appreciated this opportunity to serve.

The life of Mary Schilling will be celebrated on Saturday, November 27, from 3:00 to 5:00 pm at the Woodlands Conference Center, 105 Visitor Center Drive, Williamsburg. 

One of the facilities of Colonial Williamsburg and located near the Colonial Williamsburg Welcome Center, it is most easily reached off Highway 60 (Bypass Road). Passengers can be dropped off at the main entrance; there is plenty of parking in adjacent areas. 

There will be a simple reception following the memorial. Given the continuing threat from COVID-19, all attendees age 14 and above need to be vaccinated and masked.

For those unable to attend in person, the memorial will be broadcast on Zoom. If you would like to receive a link to the event, please send your request to Bobbie Falquet and the link will be sent to you.

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    Williamsburg resident and former Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs at the College of William & Mary, Mary E. Schilling, died Wednesday, February 24. The cause was ovarian cancer.
    Schilling joined the college in 1999 after two decades leading women’s programming, affirmative action, and career development at Denison University (Granville, OH). Throughout the 1990s, she presided over regional and national councils for pre-law advisors and advisors for the health professions.
    As Executive Director for Career Development at William & Mary, Schilling implemented a vision that was both pragmatic and transformative. Taking charge of an office that students saw as a job placement center, she sought to sustain advising relationships across students’ lifetimes and to forge lasting bonds with faculty and campus recruiters alike. This vision took shape in a campaign to move career services from a cramped, below-ground suite to its new home.
    Inaugurated in 2010, the Sherman and Gloria H. Cohen Career Center reflected the openness and engagement Schilling associated with the College’s mission. Upon retirement in 2014, she received accolades from the William and Mary Wren Society, Seven Society, and Omicron Delta Kappa, as well as an Honorary Lifetime Award from the Virginia Association of Colleges and Employers.
    Mary Elizabeth Putt was born on Dec. 25, 1942 in Lebanon, Illinois, a small town in tornado alley surrounded by cornfields. Her father was a high school science teacher; her mother, a homemaker. While a sociology major at Southern Illinois University, she took part in a life-changing trip in summer 1961 to a half dozen European capitals. Her work with the United Methodist Church following M.A. studies in religion at Northwestern led her to meet her future husband, Donald Schilling, now Professor Emeritus of History at Denison University. In retirement Mary enjoyed international travel, tennis, board games, and courses on the U.S. Supreme Court and on Broadway musicals.
    A lifelong advocate for women’s participation in the public sphere, from 2016 to 2020 she led the League of Women Voters – Williamsburg Area, which more than doubled in size during her presidency. In addition to her four sisters, Schilling is survived by her loving spouse of 51 years, Don; their sons Derek, of Highland Park, NJ, and Thad, of Arlington, MA; daughters-in-law Ana and Julia; and grandchildren Nora, Adrian, and Mac.
    Contributions in memoriam can be made to Women for Women International (womenforwomen.org), the National Women’s History Museum (womenshistory.org), the International Rescue Committee (help.rescue.org), or The Clearity Foundation (clearityfoundation.org).