Remembering West Seattle writer Mark Bourne, 1961-2012

Though his accomplishments and interests were certainly much broader, West Seattle writer Mark Bourne came to WSB attention over these past several years because of one quirky phenomenon: “The West Seattle Grouchos,” those Groucho Marx-photo cutouts that occasionally appear on local slopes. We pointed to his website just four weeks ago, after he wrote about a sighting at Walking on Logs, one of several times he had written about The Grouchos (including a 2008 article on

This morning, Amy e-mailed to share the news that Mr. Bourne died suddenly last weekend. She included the link to this website mentioning that family and friends were gathering for a small formal funeral this morning, with a larger celebration-of-life event being planned for later. Checking WSB archives, we also had mentioned Mr. Bourne several times when running and re-running a memorable photo of the Alki Statue of Liberty, pre-Plaza, that he shared back in 2007:

Mark Bourne was just 50 years old.

5 Replies to "Remembering West Seattle writer Mark Bourne, 1961-2012"

  • JanS March 1, 2012 (12:01 pm)

    I love that picture…sorry to hear of his passing…

  • Aman March 1, 2012 (3:13 pm)

    R.I.P. Mark. Condolences to your Family, Friends, & Colleagues.

  • Jim Todd March 2, 2012 (3:55 pm)

    This is sad news indeed. Mark and I worked together at the OMSI Planetarium and developed some entertaining and educational planetarium shows. I remember him best for his strong writing and creative skills. It was a great pleasure to know and work with Mark. Our condolences to Mark’s family, friends, & colleagues.
    Jim Todd
    OMSI Planetarium Manager

  • Andi Shechter March 2, 2012 (7:08 pm)

    I don’t have the right to speak for all of Mark’s friends but I thank you on their part anyway. There was a small science fiction convention in Seattle last weekend, and many of us got the news while sitting around with some of our best friends. When Mark was hospitalized 3 years ago, I was one of a bunch of people who visited him. I spent a couple of hours one afternoon, while Mark was lying there comatose (but apparently aware) and yes, read Groucho Marx to him. Letters, essays, articles. We’re in shock still. He was so damn witty, warm, enthusiastic, talented, nice, whimsical. Thank you West Seattle Blog, for remembering him here.

  • Wendy Ice March 2, 2012 (10:16 pm)

    Mark was one of those exceedingly rare individuals who possessed abundant intelligence, wit, talent, and kindness. I felt privileged to be his friend. It’s some comfort to know that, when I miss his company, (and that will be often) that I can turn to his entertaining, insightful, and timeless writing at I hope that visitors to this page, who haven’t already discovered it, will take some time to explore that remarkable collection.

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