Mary Lou Blackwood, executive vice president of the Malibu Chamber of Commerce from 1988-2000, died Wednesday.
Originally from Texas, Blackwood moved with her husband Jack to Malibu in 1973. They chose Malibu because it was the most affordable area at the time.
Blackwood primarily stayed home to raise her children, and later opened an antique business. The business closed, but she came away with an understanding of the needs of business owners and the community, lessons that helped her during her time at the Malibu Chamber of Commerce.
Blackwood served on the Chamber of Commerce for 12 years, coordinated the annual Malibu Arts Festival and was involved with a number of local organizations, including the Library Task Force. She also received a Citizen of the Year Dolphin Award in 1992 from The Malibu Times. Blackwood also served on Pepperdine University’s advisory board for the Special Collections and University Archives of the Malibu Historical Collection from 2008 to 2010.
In 2000, Blackwood told Times she found the city to be “magic, mystic.”
“It is famous and infamous…a place where everyone wants to live,” she said.
When Blackwood resigned from her position at the Chamber in 2000, Mark Ball, a past president of the chamber, told The Times, “She was not only a colleague, but a mentor, her impact on Malibu is going to be sorely missed.”
“The community is going to miss her immensely,” Councilmember Pamela Conley Ulich said. “She was like the rock of Malibu, she’s going to be greatly missed.”
Ulich served with Blackwood on the Library Task Force.
“I worked really closely with her. It’s sad that we just started renovations and I wish she could be here to see it,” Ulich said. “Hopefully, she’ll see it from above.”
Plans for memorial services will be announced at a later date. Check www.malibutimes.com or the print version next week for more information.