Marlys Marie Baalman, born August 24, 1978, in Pasco, Washington, died suddenly and unexpectedly in Portland, Oregon, on May 29, 2013, of a malignant brain tumor. A gifted writer of creative nonfiction, Marlys lived and tended bar in San Francisco, Olympia, and Eugene before settling in Portland with her husband Brian Deebel late in 2012. Her sharp mind and endless curiosity led her to many do-ityourself hobbies including farming, knitting, microbrewing, and cheese and yogurt making.
She loved the outdoors, camping and hiking every chance she got. She was very careful to stay healthy and was enthusiastic about maintaining an active and nutritious lifestyle. Always longing for warm weather, she was rarely seen without a scarf. Though she could seem quite quiet and introverted, Marlys was passionate about issues of fairness and exploitation, rarely backing down from a political debate. She loved good wine, interesting restaurants, and the hidden beauty to be found tucked away in thrift shops and flea markets. Though her travels took her from the west coast to Vermont and Spain, she yearned to see every square inch of the world.
Marlys could be subtle, sarcastic, or scathing with language, both online and in person, but never belittling or mean-spirited. Above all, she was impossibly funny, with a relentless love for comedy in every form; she possessed a wit like a sharp, delicate blade.
She is preceded in death by her father, Jim Baalman (2010) and her brother Jason (1975). She is survived by her husband Brian (Portland); her mother Dianne Nece (Camarillo, California); her sister Kristin Baalman (Portland); her grandmother, Rose Baalman (Richland, Washington); her stepmother Patti Baalman (Deer Lodge, Montana); her stepbrothers Ryan (Denver, Colorado) and Kyle Hersel (JB Lewis Mcchord, Washington); her aunts and uncles and numerous cousins. She will be dearly missed by all.
A memorial service was held in Portland on June 1. Burial will take place at Sunset Memorial Gardens in Richland.
Published in Tri-City Herald on June 9, 2013