Mary Lou Blackwood

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Mary Lou Blackwood, executive vice president of the Malibu Chamber of Commerce from 1988-2000, died Wednesday last week. She was 77.

Originally from Texas, Blackwood, who was born May 20, 1933, moved with her husband Jack to Malibu in 1973. They chose Malibu, she had said, 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 The Malibu Times that she found the city to be “magic, mystic.”

“It is famous and infamous…a place where everyone wants to live,” she had said.

When Blackwood resigned from her position at the Chamber in 2000, Mark Ball, a past president of the chamber, had told The Times, “She was not only a colleague, but a mentor, her impact on Malibu is going to be sorely missed.”

Blackwood served with the Chamber once more briefly in 2003.

“The community is going to miss her immensely,” Councilmember Pamela Conley Ulich said last week. “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.”

Former council member Tom Hasse worked with Blackwood on many city issues.

“Mary Lou Blackwood was the Malibu Chamber of Commerce for many years. She was a dynamic woman and straight shooter and I enjoyed many lunches with her during my years on the planning commission and city council and worked with her closely on Malibu’s Business Roundtable,” Hasse said. “My deepest sympathy to her family and many Malibu friends.”

A private memorial is taking place.