MariLea Elizabeth Vela

Mar 3, 1967 – Jul 10, 2014



MariLea Elizabeth Vela, age 47 died peacefully at her home with her family at her side on Thursday, 07/10.  She is survived by her husband of 24 years, Steven; mother and father, Marilyn and Jack Marx; sister, Linda (Mark) Coppa; brother, John (Dorsey) Marx; nephew, Jordan and two kitties, Henrietta and Lovie.  Family graveside committal service will be held on Thursday, 07/17 at 10:00 am at BONNEY-WATSON Washington Memorial Park, 16445 International Blvd., SeaTac, WA.  All are welcome for a celebration of her life to be announced at a later time.


Kevin and Renee Fujii
Seattle, WA
Aug 2, 2014


Renee and I are saddened to hear this news.

You two welcomed us as newbies at LUC and Seattle. You both have been greatly missed.

We send our sincerest condolences to you and MariLea's family.

Please let us know if there's anything we can do.

Steve Vela
Seattle , WA
Aug 2, 2014

Greeting all,

MariLeas celebration of Life will be on Sunday August 17 from 5 to 7 PM at the Alki Bathhouse. Slide show with light food and snacks. All are welcomed. No Flowers please. Thank you. Steve

Jim Streit
Seattle, WA
Jul 30, 2014

Steve ,

My thoughts are with you.

Anjanette and Natascha Mack
Seattle, WA
Jul 25, 2014

Loved flying with MariLea, she was so kind to me when I was brand new at Alaska. Loved watching her at Queen Ann pool with Steve while I waited for Natascha to finish up swim lessons. My thoughts and prayers to all of you.

Susan Howlett
Seattle, WA
Jul 23, 2014

Steve -- My husband David and I remember you from crew at Lake Union. We enjoyed our time with you there (before you got more competitive than us!), and remember when you left to attend to MariLea. We've missed you ever since. Maybe coming back to crew would help you as you discover what life will be, without your beloved wife. In the meantime, know that countless people are holding you in our minds and hearts as you figure out the next step in this journey. Take care.

Shari (Friant) Stovern
Monroe, WA
Jul 22, 2014

I remember MariLea from high school. She was such a sweet and caring person and just loved to swim! She will be greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to all the family and friends who miss her dearly. Keep her in your hearts forever.

Michelle Crosslin
Auburn, WA
Jul 22, 2014

My thoughts and prayers are with your family. MariLea and I were best friends from Second to Fourth grades. I will always remember her smile, laughter, kindness and the fact that I so much wanted to be just like her! I still carry with me to this day a necklace she gave to me as a birthday gift. I will cherish it even more, now.

--Micki Crosslin

Stacy (Melton) Pleskoff
Maple Valley, WA
Jul 21, 2014

I knew MariLea from Tyee High School. She was a great adversary and one tough competitor, always with a smile on her face (because she was better)! I am saddened to know that she could not overcome this challenge. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this most difficult time.

Tom Mellor
Shoreline, WA
Jul 18, 2014


My thoughts and prayer are with you and Marilea's family.

She is truly missed.

Susan Esayian
Seattle, WA
Jul 16, 2014

We were all deeply saddened to hear of MariLea's passing. She was a determined rower and spirited teammate. Our thoughts are with you Steve and family in this time. I remember the last time we saw her and her determination to overcome this disease. May that determination live on in all of us. We will think of her on our next row. Fast waters MariLea.

Your old LUC ladies

John Moe
Shoreline, Wa
Jul 16, 2014

I still remember the kindness and humor I saw in her eyes the days she waited on the bleachers for Steve to start their weekly swim not so long ago, and in those small glimpses I have no doubt how greatly she will be missed by all who knew her. Condolences, thoughts and prayers to Steve and MariLea's family.

Jyunko Samson
Seattle, Wa
Jul 16, 2014

I was privileged to know Steve and Marilea while working at Ballard pool. My thoughts and condolences to the whole family.

Jody Bartee
Seattle, wa
Jul 15, 2014

Was deeply saddened to hear of MariLea's passing. May the Lord's Peace be with you during this time of transition without your loved one. Sending loving thoughts for Steve and all the family and friends MariLea's life touched. Prayerfully yours.

Julie (Mastro) Kerkof
Fife, WA
Jul 14, 2014

I deeply saddened to hear of Marileas' passing. We had so much fun working together at Evans Pool. She taught me so much about swimming and coaching. My heart goes out to the entire Marx/Vela family especially Steve. She will be greatly missed!

Barbara Marsh
Edmonds, WA
Jul 14, 2014

May the Lord's peace be with you through this difficult time. I pray for His hand to be on you as you go through this grieving process. Much love to the family.

Wesley Grose
Granada Hills, CA
Jul 13, 2014

MariLea was a special treasure to our family because of her love for her husband (my cousin Steve), and her kind and loving ways to all of our family. It is never easy to let a loved one go, but we are thankful for her life and our prayers are for Steve and all the family as they face the next season of life without her. May God bless you all with His peace during this difficult time.

Leasha DuPuis
Seattle, WA
Jul 13, 2014

"God saw our friend getting tired and a cure was not to be. So He put His arms around her and whispered "come to me." With tearful eyes we watched you, and saw you pass away. Although we loved you dearly, we could not make you stay. A golden heart stopped beating, hardworking hands at rest. God broke our hearts to prove to us, He only takes the best."

I love and adore you my forever friend and you are dearly missed. I know you are wearing your New wings with such pride!

Mary Davis
Renton, Wa
Jul 13, 2014

I knew Marilea from Alaska Airlines. she was always a pleasure to fly with. I remember one specific flight where we were stranded together in Oakland and I was ill prepared? She was kind enough to loan me a Mariners shirt to sleep in. I know she was a big fan. She will be deeply missed by her Alaska family and I hold her family in my heart and prayers.

John Bryant
Seattle, WA
Jul 13, 2014

MariLea will be greatly missed by everyone who was fortunate to have known her. To whom whose lives she touched, lets all say a prayer for ML's and Steve(s) family.

Dennis Baker
Portland, OR
Jul 13, 2014

Love and prayers to all the families and everyone

she touched with her wonderful attitude and smile and swim coaching abilities.

This obituary is provided by Bonney-Watson, providing caring and compassionate funeral, cremation and cemetery services since 1868. We have a professional staff, four funeral homes, two cremation facilities and one of the largest cemeteries south of Seattle, as well as a comprehensive grief support program.