Marie Haves Schutz

SchutzMarie Haves Schutz, 98, on August 21, 2020, at Friends House retirement community in Santa Rosa, Calif., home for the last chapter of her long, full, and loving life. Marie was born on April 30, 1922, a fourth generation Californian. A child of the Depression, her early need for eyeglasses went unfilled and she learned to depend on the spoken words of her teachers, rather than the blackboard, to build her memory skills.

The eldest of six in an Irish Catholic family, she rejected the expectation that she would join the convent. Instead, the eruption of World War II led to service in the U.S. Navy WAVES, working to decipher Japanese weather codes. Her experience in the Navy opened the door to future possibilities, as did her joining International House at the University of California, Berkeley. The vibrant, diverse community there was the backdrop for her departure from the Catholic Church and the development of a passion for library work. It was also there that Marie met Robert “Bob” Schutz, and together they embarked upon a life of community building and social action.

Marie and Bob raised four children who well remember the love and security she brought to their childhood. Everywhere the family went, libraries received the blessing of Marie’s skills and passion, from Albany and Woodside High Schools to UC Berkeley and the periodicals department of the Hoover Institution. She built two libraries from scratch: one for John Woolman School in Nevada City, Calif., and one for Friends House. Long after her diminishing eyesight prevented her from reading, Marie continued to devour books by various means, including a daily reading group at Friends House and the seemingly endless resources of the Library for the Blind.

In the early days of their young family, Marie became involved with American Friends Service Committee, and found that Quakerism suited her. Realizing it suited her children too, the family joined Berkeley (Calif.) Meeting. The Schutzes were longtime members of Berkeley and Palo Alto Meetings, and eventually Marie and Bob transferred their membership to Redwood Forest Meeting in Santa Rosa, where Marie served as recording clerk and informal meeting historian. Her role as curator of the meeting library pleased her, and she enjoyed making gifts of books to new members from her own prodigious Quaker library.

Marie mentored many young Friends of Pacific Yearly Meeting and served on the Faith and Practice Committee. In College Park Quarterly Meeting she was instrumental in the State of the Meeting Clinics, helping to listen and guide troubled meetings to wholeness. She was a faithful Friend to Friends General Conference, serving on the Central Committee and the Ministry and Nurture Committee.

After their kids were grown, Marie and Bob helped establish Monan’s Rill, an intentional community outside of Santa Rosa now in its fourth generation. With Marie’s death, the last of the 13 founders is gone.

After 17 years at Monan’s Rill, the pair moved to Friends House, where Bob died in 2001 and Marie continued to enjoy a wonderful quality of life until the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. The inability to be in the company of dear friends and family, the physical diminishment suffered from lack of pool exercise, and the lack of agency—these challenges took their toll. But her indomitable spirit and gracious generosity persisted and lives on in those who knew her and in the many organizations she supported.

Marie is survived by four children, David Schutz, Mico Sorrel, Roberta Schutz, and Karla Herndon; seven grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

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