1 November 1952 – 19 January 2021
Cynthia Marie Creasey, broker at Lake & Company Real Estate since 1991, died on January 19, 2021 in Seattle WA from complications following a spinal cord injury suffered six months earlier. She was 68 years old.
Cynthia was born in Akron, Ohio on November 1, 1952, to Ruth (Bales-McCleerey) Creasey, a homemaker and later a school psychologist, and Jack Creasey, a chemical engineer.
Family travels took Cynthia to Denver and Indianapolis before she graduated from Pullman (WA) High School in 1969. She earned a BFA in Sculpture from the Museum Art School (Class of 1974) in Portland (OR), and an MFA in Sculpture in 1978 from Pratt Institute in New York City.
Following her graduation, she and artist Linda Day converted an abandoned shirt factory in Manhattan’s Lower East Side into live/work spaces, where Cynthia created figurative sculptures in concrete while working as a waitress in Wall Street three-martini-lunch places. In 1982, Cynthia decided that she wasn’t enjoying the lonely studio life of a starving artist as much as she had dreamed, so she bought a set of Spanish-language tapes and booked a one-year round-trip ticket to Barcelona.
A few weeks before her trip, she met future husband, Mack McCoy, while playing softball. “I was like, c’mon, let’s get this show on the road,” Cynthia would say, “but he kept looking over my shoulder to see if someone better was coming along. So I went off to Spain!”
Cynthia taught English as a second language to Spanish businesspeople and bicycled around town for a year, then came back to New York to check on the studio and see her friends – and Mack proposed.
“Of course, he was the one I was after, so I canceled my plan to return to Spain for another year,” she’d say. Cynthia stayed in New York, and the couple married at their Staten Island apartment in 1984. They moved to Seattle in 1985, because, as Cynthia would say, “I just knew we’d never be able to afford to buy a home in Manhattan, and Mack didn’t want to live in the boroughs any longer.”
Upon their arrival, Cynthia worked as a carpenter, because “no decent restaurant wanted to hire a waitress in her thirties.”
In 1987, Cynthia joined Kamas Realty, which closed their Green Lake office in 1990. Her manager, Barbara Nelson, told her, “Go talk to Mike Skahen at Lake & Company.” He hired her on the spot, and Lake became a second home for Cynthia; even though she always had a beautiful workspace at home, she preferred “going to the office” to work and she found garden space there to cultivate, maintaining planter pots for staging houses with her brother, Calvin, who also tends the Lake garden.
“You gave us a great place to work,” Cynthia told Mike recently, “great guidance, and you always put integrity at the forefront.”
While selling real estate, Cynthia found time to play softball and soccer, throw lunch and dinner and cocktail parties, host mid-summer Plant Exchange bashes in her carefully-maintained garden, practice yoga, and go on garden tours with friends.
In 2000, Cynthia teamed up with Brian Tschider of Cobalt Construction to develop the 42nd Street Condos, a 4-unit project in Fremont. Dwell Magazine named them “Nice Modernists,” and they were feted in a ceremony at New York’s Cooper-Hewitt Museum, and the project earned an AIA award for Bjakro|Serra Architects.
Cynthia served on the Board of Directors of PlantAmnesty, was a Big Sister, she helped organize one of the first Utne Reader Salons, was active in the Re-Tree Ballard movement of the early 1990s, and was a big proponent of organic gardening and supporting local farmers.
She got to travel to a dozen countries, and she took a six-month sabbatical in Rome with her husband in 2007. Cynthia was looking forward to extended stays in Spain and Chicago, even after her injury.
Cynthia’s creativity extended to writing copy for her real estate listings, curating a quietly colorful wardrobe, and doing color and home design consults for friends and clients. She was a feminist, she was a visual person, she was generous, she enjoyed ballet and musical theatre and reading good novels; she liked to sit in the sun or at sidewalk cafes and she loved fine dining and walking through parks and gardens.
Cynthia is survived by her husband, John “Mack” McCoy, her older brother, Calvin Leigh Creasey, and her nephew, Samson Creasey. Her younger brother, Conrad Anson Creasey, died in 2015.
Memorials in her name can be made to PlantAmnesty. A Virtual Memorial / Celebration service will be held on March 20, 2021 at 10:00am PST. Details coming soon.
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