Jeri Bemis recollection of Sharon Dunkle Marks
As freshman year was ending, Sharon approached me to ask if I would room with her. I was pleasantly surprised that someone as vivacious as she would want to share so much time with quiet me. It turned out we also lived with Renee Kistemaker, a foreign student from The Netherlands. Sharon had a lot of fun with Dutch-American expressions! Sharon took in stride Bill Pugh’s visit one evening; Bill had found an ingenious way to climb the outside wall. His ingenuity didn’t include, however, getting out. But that’s another story.
I’m not sure exactly how it happened that Sharon got to know my mother. They met only one time I can recall while we were in school. But in the years soon after graduation, Sharon would call my mom from the West Coast often at late hours to chat and share ideas. Sharon seemed so utterly comfortable with her. Through this, I learned Sharon had a great sense of a person’s character.
I will always draw back an image of my roommates Sharon and Renee in our 3rd floor Nourse dorm room where we learned of President Kennedy’s death on Sharon’s birthday, November 22.
I saw Sharon at our 25th reunion and had fun running with her to breakfast and heard her speak up at several meetings.
After hearing that we’d lost Sharon, I wished I’d been more in touch with her over the years. I would love to hear more about her. I would like to extend to her daughter, her family or friends that I would enjoy connecting with them.
She was wonderfully intelligent and brutally honest and a great soul. Her contribution to our 25th reunion in describing the treatment of women at Carleton was so important to me and to many others.
Lawrie Cherniack ’66
Sharon was a powerful and talented woman who taught her daughter unconditional love and generosity. She worked in different fields – as a dean of admissions, as a therapist and teacher, as a writer and entrepreneur. She designed and hand-built her own house in Hawaii with other women carpenters. Throughout her life she created and nurtured an extended family.
Sharon inspired many people to live more fully, to face challenges with more bravery, to laugh until they cried tears of laughter, and to love with their whole heart. Her wisdom, intelligence and abundant joy for life are missed every day by the people who had the gift of being close to her
Photo is of Sharon and Ray Marks on their wedding day, circa 1969.