Marie Freeman

Marie Madeline (Merlini) Freeman of Black Diamond died Oct. 18, 2016, at the age of 84.

Marie Madeline (Merlini) Freeman of Black Diamond died Oct. 18, 2016, at the age of 84.

She was born Dec. 12, 1931, in Black Diamond to Italian immigrants Nello and Oliva (Rossi) Merlini. As a young woman, she worked as a checker for Joe Mezzavilla/Gibbon Store in Maple Valley and in her older years she worked at Pioneer Food Buying in Seattle. But mostly she was content to be a homemaker. Her Italian heritage was manifested in her lifelong membership in the Order of Sons of Italy in America, who recently honored her with a 70th anniversary medallion and ceremony. She was among the first female presidents of her local lodge, Black Diamond No. 1809, which her parents helped found. She also was a state officer of the fraternal organization for many years.

In her final years, she devoted herself to her community center, lodge and to her family, friends and pets. She enjoyed watching old movies and musicals.

She was married to Ted Palmer and then to Charles Freeman from 1969 until his death in 1997.

She is survived by children Darrell Palmer of Black Diamond, Livia Ziebarth (Bill) of Lake Forest Park, Wash., and Randy Palmer of Washington; eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

A private family burial took place at Tahoma National Cemetery. A memorial celebrating her life is planned for 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, at the Black Diamond Community Center, 31605 Third Ave.

In lieu of flowers, remembrances are suggested to the Black Diamond Community Center, P.O. Box 480, Black Diamond, Wash. 98010.

All may sign her online guest book at

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