1928 - 2019
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June 20, 1928 ˜ March 5, 2019

Shirley Ann Sackman, 90, passed away March 5, 2019 in Vancouver, WA. She was born on June 20, 1928 in Longview, WA to Ralph and Lolita Sackman.
Shirley earned degrees from University of Washington, Columbia University Teachers College, and University of Oregon. A musician despite physical limitations, she took trumpet lessons at Julliard, and went on to play in symphony orchestras. Her passion for the English language led her to summer terms at University of Oxford, and work as associate editor for the Victorian Periodicals Review.
Shirley was an educator at heart and started her teaching career at East Brunswick Girls’ Teaching School in Australia. She subsequently taught at a junior high school in Seattle. In 1966 she began teaching English at Clark College, where her heart found a home for the rest of her life. She retired from full-time teaching in 1992 but stayed on as a part-time instructor until 2006 and as a volunteer in the tutoring center until 2007. Shirley received the Exceptional Faculty Award at Clark in 1996 and was the first Presidential Coin recipient in 2007.
Shirley demanded much of herself and never gave in to the limitations that could have been placed on her both physically and as a woman. She once said, “If you want to be the best, you better be the best. And it takes work.” She had very high standards for herself and passed along that expectation to her students. Many were impacted by her ability to bring out their best and push them to excellence. Shirley loved her Clark College family and those at Touchmark, and recognized the hard work of everyone around her. There are many who call her a friend, mentor, and/or colleague. Her life was so full and vibrant and she will be deeply missed.
Shirley was preceded in death by her parents; and her sister, Barbara Call.
She is survived by her brother, Ralph Sackman and his wife Anne; her nephew, Ron Sackman; and her nieces, Valerie Walden, Melanie Call and Helen Sperling.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Clark College on Fri., May 10, 2019 at 3:00 in the STEM Building.
Donations can be made in her memory to Clark College Foundation.
Please sign her guest book @

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Columbian on Apr. 21, 2019.
Celebration of Life
03:00 PM
Clark College Stem Building
Memories & Condolences
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8 entries
May 11, 2019
I found Ms. Sackman to be one of my best teachers when it comes to English. I will never forget her enthusiasm. It was the highlight of my day to attend her class and/or to meet her outside of Clark.
My condolences to her family and know that she was a wonderful addition to life on this earth and her students.
Deborah Snyder
May 6, 2019
I first met Shirley in the 70's through work. I knew her best however, through Christian Women's Club. Shirley was interesting to listen to, and inspiring in her outlook. And if you took a walk with her, you needed to be prepared to hustle.
Carolyn Acox
April 28, 2019
She was one of my favorite teachers at Clark. She also knew my family and was always encouraging to us.
Ruth Z.
April 27, 2019
MS Sackman was my English 101 teacher. Her instruction still inspires my writing after 30 years. Truly sorry for this loss- I will never forget her.
a j
April 21, 2019
I worked at Clark College in the early 1980's and considered sweet and gracious Shirley Sackman to be a friend. Sending condolences to her family.
Bonnie (Sabel) Welte
April 21, 2019
We have missed seeing Shirley since we moved from the apartment on "X" St. She was a wonderful neighbor and we always enjoyed speaking/visiting with her. So sorry for your loss.
Geri & Robert Stuart
April 21, 2019
Shirley was my English teacher at Clark in the mid-1900's. I enjoyed her unique facial expressions, teaching and our conversations. She was quite the musician and instructor. I was so happy to see her recently when the Marshallaires Choir sang at Touchmark and she was in the audience.
Dr. Mark E Kelly
Battle Ground, WA
Mark Kelly
April 21, 2019
I worked at Clark College in the early 90's and Shirley always shared her smile and had kind words to say each time in encountered her! Blessings to her and her family.
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