Marion (Marnie) Lewis Black

Feb. 17, 1952 – March 18, 2017

Marnie Black was born in Seattle to Elizabeth and Lyman Black. She was raised at Wing Point on Bainbridge Island with her two sisters Lynn and Susan, her cousins, and many friends. Marnie received her high school diploma in 1970 from Helen Bush School and in 1975 her Bachelor of Arts degree from Antioch College. After returning to Seattle, she briefly attended the University of Washington for post-graduate studies, until her life changed abruptly with paralysis from a rare spinal inflammation. Despite her disability, Marnie always fiercely guarded her independence and strove to live as normally as possible. In doing so, she managed to lead an extraordinary life.

Marnie earned a degree from the Law School at the University of Puget Sound. Afterward, she went to work at the State of Washington Department of Ecology, where she was employed for 24 years. She developed a parallel career to satisfy her love of small animals, pursuing extensive training in animal massage and T-Touch therapies in her off-hours. She started her own business, Animal Matters, to pursue this passion, and volunteered with animal welfare organizations such as Rabbit Haven in Olympia. She was a board member of the Delta Society and served as an adviser to the State of Washington on physical disability issues. Over the years, her three successive Welsh Corgi service dogs, Bartleby, Daphne, and Ellie, accompanied her on supportive visits to patients in local hospitals and care facilities. Besides all this and more, Marnie was an avid quilter and an accomplished batik artist.

Marnie treasured many years of friendship with people from every part of her life. She is survived by her sisters Lynn (John) Cooper of Bainbridge Island, Susan Black of Seattle, her two nephews Morgan (Holli Suga) and Jonathan Cooper (Cristina Urrutia), and six nieces and nephews: Kayla, Madison, London, Clara, Rylan, and Mika. A celebration of Marnie’s life will be held this spring. She would love the idea that any gifts in her memory might be made to an animal charity of the donor’s choice.

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