Kind and generous, wise and gracious with a tremendous zest for life through all her 90 years, Marian Rees passed away peacefully at home.
Born in Le Mars, Iowa, Marian moved with her parents Robert and Clarissa Rees to Carroll, Iowa, where she attended high school and graduated valedictorian of her class. She was a proud graduate of the University of Iowa, having majored in sociology.
After graduation, she moved to Los Angeles and began her career in the entertainment industry. After working as associate producer and head of development for various production companies, in 1981 she founded Marian Rees Associates producing movies for television when hardly any production companies were owned and run by woman. Words like “trailblazer” and “inspiration” are tossed around all too casually, but Marian was regarded as the genuine article. Her company produced 40 films, 10 of which were for the Hallmark Hall of Fame. She was a two time Emmy winner, for the MOWs MISS ROSE WHITE and LOVE IS NEVER SILENT, the latter of which represented the landmark casting of deaf actors in leading roes. Additionally, her work was recognized by a Golden Globe Award, and a Peabody, among others. The National Organization of Women acknowledged her fierce and determined work on behalf of women.
Marian was proud to have grown up in Iowa. She attributed the character of her work to her Midwestern roots and the values and standards instilled by her parents of hard work, and the importance of honesty, integrity, social justice and service. She became a mentor to many aspiring filmmakers, most especially giving women a voice at the table. As President of Women in Film for 2 years, she also served as VP of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the Caucus Steering Committee, and VP Television on the Board of the Producers Guild of America.
Marian was known by all to be kind and compassionate. She loved her family, a good story, music, laughter, a good party, champagne and her dog Nel.
In 2007 Marian and her partner, Anne Hopkins, closed Marian Rees Associcates and moved to Bainbridge Island where she set down new roots in a community she loved, made new friends and deepened her faith through her church, Eagle Harbor Congregational Church. She found peace and joy in her new home, the beauty of the garden, and closeness of nature.
Marian is preceded in death by her parents, two brothers (Robert and Dennis Rees). She is survived by her long time companion, Anne Hopkins, her sister Natalie Rees, nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews and recently a great, great niece!
Services will be held on Saturday, October 20, at 2 pm at Eagle Harbor Congregational Church on Bainbridge Island, Wa.
The family wishes to thank Marian’s faithful and compassionate at home caregivers and MultiCare Home Health & Hospice Care.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the University of Iowa Foundation P.O.Box 4550, Iowa City, IA. 5244-4550 or Eagle Harbor Congregational Church 105 Winslow Way, W.,
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110.