Dreschler Sharp, Dr. Marybeth Joy Passed away on June 5, 2018 in her hometown of Oak Lawn, IL. She fought a courageous 19-month battle with breast cancer and shared her joys, sense of humor, struggles, wisdom and emotions, with friends and family in conversation and - always an inspired and inspiring writer - on her blog. She spent her final days enveloped in the love of her husband, parents, sisters, family and friends. Born in Olympia Fields, IL, on February 6, 1978, to her loving parents, Richard and Mary (Limberg) Drechsler, Marybeth spent her early years picking flowers in the softball outfield, jumping on her great aunt Gen's bed, playing squirrel family with her sisters among the neighbor's evergreens, visiting the zoo, being a tumbling "superstar," singing in show choirs, reading books by Piers Anthony for hours, cheerleading, performing in theater and speech, and perfecting her hair while simultaneously preventing her sisters from using the bathroom. The cleverness she used to pin blame on her sister Jeanine would become the wisdom that those close to her would call upon for guidance and comfort. Mary and Richard instilled in Marybeth a dedication to family and learning. Her education brought her to Decatur, IL, Columbia, MO, and Washington, DC, where she met the love of her life and partner in adventure, Sean Sharp. With Sean, she deepened her passion for wildlife and photographing the beauty of nature - if not the digging of catholes. Marybeth and Sean moved to Loveland, CO, in 2015 - their basecamp for many expeditions to see and be among the red dogs, cubs of the year, and the high mountain pikas and marmots she adored. Marybeth was a devoted daughter, sister and aunt, a wonderful friend, an enthusiastic fan of nature, and a loving partner. In addition to being survived by Sean, her beloved husband of 7 years, and her parents, Mary and Richard Drechsler, Marybeth's loss is felt by her sisters and brothers-in-law, Jeanine (Rick) and Deanne (Vinay); three nephews (Grant, Charlie and Colton); many, many friends and family members; and her sweet cat, Lizzie, whom Marybeth pretentiously named after Elizabeth Bennet, the intelligent, witty and spirited young woman in Pride and Prejudice. In addition to always being - or at least believing herself to be - the funniest person in the room, Marybeth became the first doctor in the Drechsler family, earning a Ph.D. in College Student Personnel from the University of Maryland, College Park. Her career took her to the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education, where she served as the Executive Director from 2012 until her passing. Marybeth was an active member of many professional associations and was recognized by ACPA-College Student Educators International with their Diamond Honoree and Annuit Coeptis awards. A beloved mentor to countless college educators, Marybeth was also awarded the University of Maryland's William "Bud" Thomas Mentoring Award. Through her professional work and her academic works - including her dissertation and other publications - she made a difference in the lives of students, colleagues, and the profession of student affairs as a whole. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to the National Park Foundation. A private collection is also being gathered to fund a park bench in her name at the National Zoo in Washington, DC. To contribute, please send checks made out to "Friends of the National Zoo" to Kristan Cilente Skendall, 5654 46th Pl, Hyattsville, MD 20781. Services will be held on Saturday morning, June 9, 2018, at Grace Fellowship Church 11049 LaPorte Rd, Mokena, IL 60448 with visitation from 9:30-11:00 a.m. and service from 11-12. There will be additional opportunities to celebrate Marybeth's life at student affairs conferences in the spring.
Published by Chicago Sun-Times on Jun. 9, 2018.