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Marie Isabella Materi

Marie Isabella Materi died on Tuesday, September 10, at 5 pm, nine months after she was  diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
Marie was born on a farm near a small German/Russian immigrant town named Strasburg in North Dakota on June 21,1934. She was the last child of a family of seven. Sister Agnes was the oldest and then Agnes was followed by five brothers one year apart: Alexander, Peter, Albert, Joseph and Baldwin. Five years later, Marie was born. German was their first language. All of the children attended St. Benedict’s Catholic School in Strasburg. Albert is the only living member of the family remaining.

Marie received her nursing diploma from St. Alexius Hospital in Bismarck, North Dakota in 1955. She completed the nurse anesthetist program at Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane, Washington in l957. She then entered the religious congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace. For twenty-three years she was a vowed member of the CSJPs and an associate member for the rest of her life.

Marie worked in hospitals in Ketchikan, Alaska, Longview, Washington, and Eugene, Oregon. After receiving a Master of Nursing degree in Medical Surgical Nursing from the University of Washington, she served on the faculty of Everett Community College as a nursing instructor for eight years.

Returning to graduate school, she received masters degrees both in Educational Counseling and in Religious Education. She was transferred from the nursing division to the counseling division of Everett Community College where she served for an additional twenty-one years.  Marie co-founded Stillpoint in 1972. This was a house of prayer which provided a quiet space for anyone who wished to spend a few hours or several days in spiritual reflection and contemplation.

In 1982, Marie married the love of her life, Fred Brandauer, a professor in the Department of Asian Languages and Literature at the University of Washington. In 1986 Marie and Fred founded China Friendship to provide low rent housing and friendship to visiting students and scholars from China. In succeeding years approximately 220 Chinese lived in three side-by-side houses located four blocks from the University of Washington.

In 2014, Marie and Fred donated China Friendship to the School of Theology and Ministry at Seattle University to support the education and formation of persons seeking to build and strengthen the Christian Church among Chinese anywhere in the world.

On October 13, 2009, Marie and Fred moved into Skyline at First Hill, a retirement home across the street from St. James Cathedral, Seattle. This they believe has been one of their wisest decisions.

Marie is survived by her husband, Fred Brandauer, her brother, Albert Materi, her step-children Rebekah Jackson and Jonathan Brandauer, and her step-grandchildren Ben, Grace, Vivian, and Faith Edwards.


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