MARJORIE (MARGIE) L. MEARES
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ASHEVILLE - On Monday, August 8, 2011, Marjorie (Margie) L. Meares took her last breath, having lived with cancer for three years. Margie will be held in the hearts of her loving partner and dearest friend Ruth Ostrenga, her siblings, nieces and nephews, the members of Anattasati Magga Zen Sangha, and a huge and diverse community of friends.
Born October 30, 1960, Margie once wrote of a dear colleague that the brightest stars often burn out first, little knowing she was one herself. Her professional life began with a degree from Duke University, and continued with counseling adjudicated youth at Camp Woodson, working with the Air and Water Quality Divisions of NCDENR and later becoming the Executive Director of the Clean Air Community Trust in Asheville, which transformed to GO Asheville. She worked as a proponent of the Clean Smokestacks Act, was appointed to the Community Energy Advisory Council, elected to the Woodfin Water Board and was the Chairman of the Evergreen Charter School Board of Directors. As Margie's work interests expanded to buildings and sustainability she developed one of the country's first Eco Development Programs for realtors. As a Senior Associate with Mathis Consulting Company she worked on numerous projects to improve the energy efficiency of buildings, teaching the provisions of the energy code to NC Building Inspectors and working with the NC Building Code Council to draft the NC 2012 Energy Conservation Code. On the day of her death she received a personal letter from NC Governor Bev Perdue thanking her for her work that led to the Governor's signing of State Bill 708 enacting the new energy conservation code for the state.
Some would say Margie's life work was to transform people's understanding of the importance of the environment and to help develop environmental mindfulness, but her greatest gift was in helping people understand themselves. Recently ordained as a Lay Teacher in the Buddhist tradition, she wove her true life's work of knowing and teaching the Dharma into all she endeavored. She was a natural teacher who sought first to make a connection and win the heart; then to present the issue. She will be remembered for seeing life as an adventure, her quick yet kind wit and her playful nature.
A memorial service in her honor will be held this Saturday at 3 p.m. at the Daoist Traditions - College of Chinese Medical Arts, 382 Montford Avenue in Asheville.
Donations offered in Margie's honor should be addressed to the Margie Meares Fund, P.O. Box 18055, Asheville, NC 28814. A portion of all donations will be given to two non-profit organizations that were very close to Margie's heart - the Center for End of Life Transitions and Green Opportunities (GO) Asheville.
Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times from August 11 to August 13, 2011