A Letter from Marianne's Family
Marianne Marks was a dedicated employee at VA Puget Sound Healthcare System for 27 years before her unexpected death in March 1999. For her family, friends, and co-workers Marianne was the sunshine that lit up a room. She was an avid gardener who loved the sunshine. Around Mother’s Day, when the Seattle days got a bit warmer, was Marianne’s magic time to start planning what was going to adorn the flower pots around the yard. There was usually a color scheme that would materialize after some wandering through the aisles at the nursery. Gardening was something Marianne loved to share with everyone. Gardening gave our family time to talk and share what was going on, bonding together during the hard work of planting. It was a time for a neighbor to come over with a cup of coffee and supervise the arranging. Gardening was also a way for Marianne to relax. Everyone who knew her thought she was powered by batteries; it was hard for her to rest as she was always thinking ahead, full of ideas about what should happen next.
Marianne’s family and friends wanted to memorialize her in a special way that showed her character. When the Fisher House was being built Marianne’s daughter, Melanie, originally approached management with an idea for a structure in the yard where families at the Fisher House could go for comfort and peace. Time went on and other ideas came and went until the idea of the vegetable garden was born. We thought Marianne’s Garden was a perfect place to bring people together and have a place of purpose, so that for years to come people can enjoy what Marianne loved most: gardening and the camaraderie of friends and family. Marianne loved her time at the VA and had great pride in helping our Veterans. Her family grew up knowing that she went to work every day to help the heroes of this world that gave us the freedoms that we know. Marianne would be so honored to have a garden at the Fisher House. Please enjoy the garden and the vegetables it has to offer. They were planted for you and your family.
Melanie Kriezis & Ryan Marks
Marianne's daughter Melanie (left) at the dedication of Marianne's Garden