Local Artist Succumbs to Cancer

  • 01/10/2014
  • Reporters Desk

By Andrea Serna, Contributing Writer

The San Pedro arts community recently lost a strong advocate.

Debbie Marr, an award winning artist and owner of the Lazy Dog Gallery at 361 W. 7th St. in San Pedro, died on Jan. 3, 2014 at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

An accomplished painter, Marr was recently included in a national photo realism exhibition in Tempe, Arizona.

She studied art at El Camino College and later graduated from the University of California Los Angeles with a degree in computer animation and illustration. She worked as a graphic artist and also as an interior designer before launching her San Pedro studio. Her varied interests included astrology and in 2013, she organized a lecture by astrologer Steve Judd at MaGriffe Gallery.

Although she was a resident of Inglewood, her primary passion was the art community in San Pedro. Many of her paintings focused on the rich history of her adopted home, which she wished to preserve. She published an art book titled, San Pedro: Faces and Places. The volume is a compilation of work by five local artists portraying local landmarks and residents.

She had been fighting and aggressive form of cancer that began in her bladder for more than a year. Once the cancer metastasized, her treatments included radiation therapy to her brain. Before her death, she considered creating an exhibition based on her cancer treatments.

“At UCLA she was fitted for molded head gear that covered her face and head and made it possible to pinpoint the radiation to her tumor,” said her brother, Ron Darling said. “She asked the technicians if she could keep the mold. She was excited about using the mask to create an art show dedicated to living with cancer.”

“My sister was such a strong individual. She was a valiant fighter. Once she made her mind up about something it was inevitable that she would succeed.”

Debbie Marr was born Nov. 11, 1955 in Wilmington.

She is survived by her uncle George Marr, brother Ron Darling, sister Bobbie Ritter aunt Gwen Jennings and nephew Corey Marr.

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