Obituary: Marilyn Van Demark

Longtime Prescott resident Marilyn Van Demark died on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, in Prescott, Arizona. She was born in Dayton, Ohio, on Oct. 27, 1931. At the age of 6, she was sent to live with her aunt, Jeannette Elivian, who adopted her in 1945 after her dad’s death during World War II in an airplane crash.

She attended Washington School, Lincoln School, the Academy and Prescott Junior High before moving with her aunt to Flagstaff and then Phoenix. She was a freshman at Flagstaff High School and graduated from North Phoenix High in May 1949.

Marilyn attended the University of Hawaii for one semester and then graduated with an AA in 1951 from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. Her next two years were at (then) ASC in Tempe, Arizona, where she graduated in May 1953 with a Bachelor of Science degree.

Her next year was spent in New York City attending the Tobe Coburn School for fashion careers. Upon graduation in 1954, she was hired by Neiman-Marcus, Dallas, Texas, where she worked for three years as a department head then Assistant Training Director.

She returned to ASU to get certified as a teacher so she could apply for an exchange teaching in job in Europe. Instead of achieving that goal, she met and married Charles (Chuck) E. Van Demark on Dec. 27, 1957.

They moved to San Francisco in 1958 where Marilyn worked for The Emporium, got certified to teach in California at San Francisco State, taught in San Francisco one year and then taught in the Jefferson Union High School District for 10 years.

In 1970, they returned to Prescott, Arizona. That year, Marilyn worked at Smith’s Fabric’s teaching sewing classes in the back room plus doing special local television programs for Teleprompter Cable. When Chuck returned from a job in Hawaii, they moved back to Phoenix, where she worked developing the training program for Goldwater’s and then went back to teaching at Tempe High School. She retired in 1990 and she and Chuck returned to Prescott. Chuck died in August 1994. Marilyn was a great inspiration to all of her family and friends and will be greatly missed.

While there are no services scheduled at this time, a Celebration of Life will be on the horizon for spring or early summer. In lieu of flowers, consider a donation to a Hospice of your choosing. Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Ruffner-Wakelin Funeral Homes. Please log on to to sign the online guestbook and share a memory with the family.

Information provided by survivors.

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