Thrinley DiMarco | 1936-2020

Thrinley (Lois) DiMarco, beloved artist, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, Dharma practitioner and friend to so many, passed away peacefully at home on April 12, 2020. She was 83 years old.

At a time in her life when Thrinley was searching for her next artistic and spiritual home, she visited San Juan Island, Washington, and knew she was home. What she didn’t know at the time was that she would become a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner and eventually run the Sakya Kachod Choling retreat center for over 20 years. “Run” doesn’t do justice to the work she did for the center. At her retirement party she said “Managing Sakya Kachod Choling became a huge part of my spiritual practice and like any truly worthwhile endeavor, it’s been joyful, inspiring, funny, educational, very hard and deeply rewarding.”

Throughout her life, Thrinley was always working to balance her life as an artist and creating art with being a mom, making a living and managing the retreat center. As a young woman she attended Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She began printmaking, and later she studied ceramics and apprenticed with master potter Karen Stoner in Port Orchard, Washington. After moving to Friday Harbor, she shifted from functional ceramics and moved to working with clay sculpture, mixed media and collage.

This quote from a collage workshop she taught captures the essence of Thrinley the artist: “The mystery and magic of creativity is simply seeing what everyone sees but thinking what no one else has thought. Out of the commonplace images all around, if one looks at them carefully and sensitively, one can create extraordinary images. Train yourself to see, not merely look. To see means to slow down and pay attention, to be aware. All art is about communication, no matter what form you use … visual art, music, writing, etc. To make a work of art you need three things: your ideas and the courage to explore them and the tools to express them.”

Thrinley is survived by her six children Sharon, Tim, Nancy (John), Jeff (Maggie), Jen, and Mike (Tamara); along with her five grandchildren, Diana, Claire, Hannah, Aidan and Severn. She also leaves behind her sister Lynn and many nieces and nephews.

There are no words to describe the outpouring of love, prayers, support and comfort from all those whose lives were touched by our loving, generous, kind, determined and yes, even stubborn mother. So many people praying her all the way to her next radiant life and beyond. The prayers, warmth and love are a gift and a legacy left to every one of us by Thrinley.

The family is planning to have a Celebration of Life at a later date and will be in contact with details once we have them.