Mary Turnbull, beloved bookseller, literary champion, and patron of the arts for 40 years, co-founder of the Depot Bookstore & Café in Mill Valley and the legendary Tides Bookstore in Sausalito, died peacefully of natural causes on September 30.
Longtime resident of Stinson Beach, she was a true original, loving, exuberant, opinionated, tender, elegant, playful and down-to-earth. She had the greatest laugh. Her children, grandchildren and friends were her great passion, but she also loved world travel, the arts, cooking, nature, bohemian life, opera, and dogs. She was a passionate supporter of peace, the environment, human rights and women’s issues.

A lifelong lover of the written word and authors, Mary’s first foray into bookselling began in 1957 when she and her first husband, Herbert Beckman, founded the groundbreaking Tides Bookstore in Sausalito.

In 1987, Mary and her husband William Turnbull (of North Point Press) founded the Depot Bookstore & Café together as a place where, as she put it, “book people could meet, relax with coffee or wine, laugh, cheer each other on, and talk about great writing. Heaven, in Mill Valley.” 

Surviving are her sons, Eric Beckman, Christopher Beckman; daughter Nicole Ricci and adopted daughter Annie Lamott and her grandchildren.

There are no words for how deeply she will be missed.

Memorial contributions may be sent to Doctors Without Borders, 333 7th Avenue, New York, NY 10001-5004.

The Depot Bookstore & Cafe is hosting a reception in memory of Mary on Wednesday, Oct. 28 after 5pm at the Depot.

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