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Merrill Shattuck

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Merrill Shattuck Obituary
Merrill B. Shattuck

July 9, 1925 - September 24, 2018

Merrill B. ("Mel") Shattuck died at age 93, of natural causes and associated Alzheimer's Disease. He lived and was cared for in Southern Calif. the last several years, near daughter Wendy E. Shattuck, son-in-law Erik J. Stromvall, and adored granddaughter Siri Merrill Stromvall. He is also survived by brother and sister-in-law Whitney W. and Sheri Shattuck of Mass.; daughters from a first marriage, Deborah Holman and Suzanne Miller of Calif., and their sons; and nephews and nieces. Mel was greatly affected by the loss in recent years of his wife of 52 years (occasional Chronicle freelancer) Norma J. Shattuck, and youngest brother Seth M. Shattuck of Mass.; and of beloved son Keith Carl Shattuck in 1979. An Eagle Scout living an especially active, outdoorsy, "boy's life" of the day, Mel left his home in Mountain Lakes, NJ, at age 16 for Brown University, eventually earning a bachelor's degree in psychology, Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa. His studies were interrupted when he enlisted at 18 in the Army Infantry, serving in World War II in communications and then the Paratroops (now the Airborne). After earning a master's degree in industrial psychology from Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, he began a long career, mainly as an executive search consultant in San Francisco and heading his own firm for many years. He was very proud of his work helping to fill the executive leadership ranks of early Silicon Valley tech firms including Digital Equipment Corp. and Varian Associates. He lived happily with Norma in Berkeley and Oakland from the 1980s, where they enjoyed the Berkeley Symphony, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and the Oakland Museum of California. For a time, he served as president of Phi Beta Kappa, Northern Calif. Mel prized education, facts, and fairness, and had he still been able to fully comprehend and retain what he read in his daily paper (a lifelong habit that never waned, despite his illness), he would have been appalled at the turn his nation has taken. As it was, he remained cheerful, kind, and funny; he was a shameless punster until nearly the end. He loved time with family above all. In earlier years he enjoyed cooking, gardening, and music, and he sang baritone in choirs as a young man. He was a very talented amateur photographer and loved nature – especially Lake Tahoe, and animals – especially dogs. His family would be very appreciative of donations made in his honor to the East Bay SPCA or The Nature Conservancy of Calif.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Oct. 13, 2018
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