Georgia Baciu (1932-2015)

Georgia Baciu (born March 14, 1932), a beloved community leader and family member, passed away peacefully in her San Juan Island home on Saturday, December 12, 2015, at the age of 83.

For the last 30 years, Georgia (and her husband, John Marx, until his death in 2012) has not only been a pillar of life for our island community but has imbued it with her unique generosity and perspicacity to the benefit of all who came in contact with her.

Whether it was contributing in every way possible to the San Juan Island Senior Center during all festivities of the year; organizing and undertaking trips literally from Timbuktu to the Antarctic and the Galapagos, from Seattle to London and Nice and the like; Georgia was always ready to explore new horizons with her fellow San Juan citizens. Truly, she was a global citizen, an inspiration to all, and a local source of knowledge, compassion, camaraderie, and of love.

Whether it was doing her incredible baking or her amazing and comforting knitting; whether it was helping those less fortunate than she; whether it was inspiring all to reach new horizons and letting them know she believed in them, Georgia was resourceful, innovative, open, and a true friend to all in our island community.

The same held true for Georgia as a beloved family member. “Aunt Georgia” was an icon to all of her nieces, nephews, grand nieces and nephews and even great grand nieces and nephews. Not a Christmas, Thanksgiving, or Easter could go by without having a visit from “Aunt Georgia,” whether it was in the continental USA, i.e. New York, Washington, New Orleans, Seattle, all throughout California, etc., or whether it was in Cologne, Germany or Cannes, France. Just as with her friends from San Juan Island, “Aunt Georgia” would knit, bake, babysit, and enthrall all with tales of her visits to the world’s most exotic places.

Georgia Baciu is survived by her sister Eva Jacqueline Shockley and leaves behind four stepchildren and three step grandchildren from her marriage with John Marx, as well as more than 50 nieces and nephews. Georgia was always admired, ahead of her time, and will be missed.

She leaves behind her church, the Senior Center she devoted so much time to, and the countless community activities she and her husband John engaged in with such success. She also leaves behind hundreds of friends and acquaintances whom she met during her travels to more than 100 countries around the globe.

Born in Yelm, Washington, as one of 12 children and the sixth daughter to her Romanian immigrant parents, then accompanying her family to farm in Carlsbad and Banning California, and eventually settling permanently in the coastal community of Santa Barbara California, Georgia was the first child in her family to complete a four-year university education, as well as her Masters at UCB and one of the first pioneers of social work. Georgia Baciu was truly a change-maker, always ahead of her time, but always admired and loved in her time. She will be missed.

From the San Juan Islander