Summertime memorial planned for Jack Block, 1934-2020

Earlier this month, we reported that Jack Block had died. Today, we have this remembrance from his family, including plans for a summertime memorial:

Legendary former Seattle Port Commissioner Jack Block died of cancer on All Saints Day, November 1, 2020.

Jack was 86 and born on September 17th, 1934. Jack graduated from West Seattle High School, attended the University of Washington, where he pledged Sigma Chi, and received his BS in International Trade, then into the US Navy to complete his military service for several years.

Jack ran and lost four races for public office in 1965, 1966, 1969, and 1971. Jack won his 1973 race to become a Seattle Port Commissioner and served for 28 years, the longest-serving Seattle Port Commissioner. The Jack Block Shoreline Park in West Seattle was named for him as a tribute to his service by the Port of Seattle.

Between 1974 and 2001, Block’s leadership helped transform the Seattle waterfront into a world-class port, wooing shipping lines to Seattle, bringing cruise ships to Elliott Bay, and modernizing cargo handling with huge cranes. As a longtime fisherman, environmental issues were close to his heart. Expanding public access along the waterfront, cleaning up toxic sites such as Terminal 5 and 18, and along the Duwamish River shoreline, were priorities for him.

Block is survived by wife Vicki Schmitz-Block, daughters Joey Mabe, Natalie Ramelow, and Heidi Wallace, and son Jack Block Jr., plus eight grandchildren and three greats! He was preceded in death by Fran Block, his first wife.

A public celebration and memorial will be held at the Jack Block Park in West Seattle on the 4th of July, 2021, COVID rules permitting.

Donations can be made in Jack’s name to the Washington State Council of Firefighters Burn Foundation, the Seattle Seafarers Center; or Long Live the Kings, a salmon restoration nonprofit.

Please share memories of Jack and condolences with his family at

Arrangements Entrusted to Emmick Family Funeral Home of West Seattle

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to

1 Reply to "Summertime memorial planned for Jack Block, 1934-2020"

  • WS Peeps November 23, 2020 (7:05 pm)

    RIP Jack.  A truly nice man.

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