Marilyn Schotte

Obituary of Marilyn Jean Schotte

Marilyn Schotte, 73, was released from pain and cancer on September 8, 2020. Her passing ended a life thirsting for knowledge and adventure, and left a lifetime of wonderful memories for the countless hearts she touched.

Growing up in Southern Oregon with camping trips, hikes, and having the ocean, river and woods to explore, Marilyn developed an early passion for biology. After graduating from Grants Pass High School, Marilyn achieved a degree from Antioch College in Ohio. The next four years were spent teaching international students in the Netherlands and Switzerland. When Marilyn returned to the U.S., she completed her graduate studies in environmental science at Cornell University in New York, adding to her passion for scientific insight. Her natural artistic abilities also gave her the additional skills as a scientific illustrator.

An assignment in the Florida Keys became her first adventure into the world of marine research. That was followed by a job with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, where she spent most of her career. As a Research Collaborator, she helped catalog vast numbers of marine creatures, great and small. Marilyn co-authored the book “Guide To The Marine Isopod Crustaceans of The Caribbean”, and also co-authored and illustrated several marine biology publications. She discovered a new species of marine isopod crustacean, one of which now bears her name. Marilyn also served as an invasive species advisor to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Her work with the Smithsonian included 24 research works with 1,290 citations and 6,163 reads.

Marilyn’s travels for research and pleasure included trips to India, The Republic of Seychelles near Madagascar, Australia, Turkey, Vanuatu near Fiji, Mexico, cruises with her husband, David, and most recently England, always delighting in the cultures and art from her travels.

After both Marilyn and David retired from Washington D.C. careers, they moved to Marilyn’s beloved Oregon, finding Eugene the perfect home for their many interests.


Upon settling in Eugene, Marilyn quickly embraced her devotional path with Self-Realization Fellowship, her friends at Chapel and her personal service to the SRF Eugene Meditation Group.  Her path of faith with SRF was very important to her, providing her with an extended spiritual family.  Marilyn created so many dear friendships, reflecting her own wonderous range of interests, some of which include hiking Oregon trails and her many visits to the Oregon coast. Her community interests and memberships included Audubon Society, the Master Gardener Program, the Eugene Opera, the Delgani String Quartet, Eugene Ballet Company, and her volunteer work with the Wounded Warriors Project and the Willamette Valley Cancer Institute as a Reiki practitioner.  

Marilyn’s very blessed life with David included their love of nature, classical music, collecting art and their many trips to Mexico, spending time in Sayulita  and Guadalajara.  Her commitment to her family was strong, always staying connected and in touch, and always available to help when needed.

Marilyn's loving and courageous spirit will remain forever in our hearts.

She is survived by her husband of 22 years, David Mendoza, and sisters Shirley Hill, Sharon Goin, and Marlene Schotte, and six nieces and nephews.

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