Marie Pavish

May 13, 2024


Marie Pavish passed away at home with family members on May 13, 2024. She was under the care of Hospice of Jefferson County for the last two months of her decline due to dementia. She was 77 years old.

Marie once wrote, “If someone offered you a lifetime of encounters with fascinating people, what would you do? When the offer was made to me, I asked no questions. I said ‘yes’ emphatically.” She lived her life this way, making friends with everyone. Those who knew Marie will never forget her. Her smile charmed everyone, and she had a way with words both in person and in her well-known correspondence that made people feel special, whether they were longtime friends or passing acquaintances. She was a lifelong learner, and her curiosity and zest for knowledge were never sated. She had a playful spirit and a tender heart, and the world was warmer with her in it.

Marie was born in Walla Walla, Washington on April 22,1947 to Stanley (Stan) Stephen Pavish and LaVerne Lee (Lynch) Pavish. The family traveled throughout the Northwest following her father’s work as a manager at Sears until settling down in Walla Walla where her parents started a cleaning service for businesses and homes (American Services) in 1954. Marie was very close to her family and as a teenager helped raise two of her brothers. This turned out to be good experience when raising her own family.

After graduating from Walla Walla High in 1965, she left home to attend the University of Washington in Seattle. She loved the learning experience and opportunity to meet a wide variety of students and professors from all over the world. Marie readily made friends of those she met who could not resist her smile, warmth and unique style. She was also known for her engaging hugs and handshakes and her resonant voice. After earning her B.A. degree in Slavic Studies/Anthropology in 1969, she changed her focus to science and earned an M.S. in Geological Sciences in 1973. A summer spent doing fieldwork at an anthropological dig in South Africa (Plettenberg Bay) led to further graduate studies at the University of Chicago where she worked at the Field Museum and earned an M.A. in Geography in 1974.

The West Coast then beckoned her home where she rekindled a friendship with Bill Deutsch whom she had met as an undergraduate at UW. They were married in October 1974 in San Diego where Bill was in graduate school. Following a move back to Seattle in 1975, Marie joined the U.S. Geological Survey office in the University District. Work and family followed as Elizabeth was born in 1976, Emily in 1979, and Annika in 1985. Marie had a soft spot for animals, especially the family dogs Charley, Kipling, and Dulci.

Over the years, work took the family to many parts of the country: the Tri-Cities (Washington) in 1979, Albuquerque in 1985, the San Francisco Bay Area in 1987, Vashon Island and West Seattle in 1988, the Maine coast (Brooksville) in 1999, and back to the Tri-Cities in 2002. To facilitate the children’s education, Marie began training to become a Montessori teacher in 1984 and ultimately taught at Montessori schools until 1999. During their time in Maine, Marie focused on Annika’s education and designing the home they built.

In 2007, Marie and Bill settled on the Olympic Peninsula. Marie put her impeccable editing skills to good use in these years, helping Bill develop and run Geochemistry Services LLC. They have lived in Port Townsend since 2010, where Marie made many friends attracted to her cheerful personality. Her last days were spent at home supported by her family and the staff of Jefferson Hospice to which her family are grateful.

Marie is survived by her husband of 49 years Bill Deutsch, daughters Elizabeth, Emily and Annika (Scott Paradis), and grandchildren Kingsley, Hardy, Arlo, Maeve and Stanley. She is also survived by her siblings Stephen, Teresa, Tim, and Chris. A celebration of Marie’s life will be held later this summer.

Family and friends are invited to share memories of Marie and sign the online guestbook at