In memoriam: Missionary emeritus Marilyn Black, 63

Marilyn Black, 1957-2020

Marilyn Joann Black, an International Mission Board missionary emeritus who shared the gospel among Southeast Asian Affinity Peoples in Thailand, died July 6, 2020, in Emporia, Kansas. She was 63.

Marilyn was born on March 16, 1957, in Toledo, Ohio, to the late John and Doris Dunbar Suess. She received the Bachelor of Science in education from the University of Toledo, Ohio. She married James Darrell Black on June 25, 1985, in Toledo, Ohio.

Involved in church from childhood, Marilyn wrote when seeking missionary appointment that she made a “Lordship commitment to Christ” in her early teens. At the university, her participation in the Campus Crusade for Christ (now Cru) “grounded me in the Christian disciplines and gave me a vision and a plan for reaching out to others.”

After graduation, she worked for Cru for almost six years, mostly in Emporia, Kansas, where she met Jim, who was the Baptist Student Union director at Emporia State University. She first felt called to missions as a result of two trips to Romania while working for Cru. In 1997, the Blacks served several months in Thailand with the International Mission Board.

In 1999, IMB appointed them to return to Thailand as missionaries, where they served 17 years.

Black was a member of Twelfth Avenue Baptist Church, Emporia.

Surviving family members include her husband of 35 years, James Darrell Black of Emporia; sons, Conrad Black of Wake Forrest, North Carolina, and Ryan Black of Dallas, Texas; daughter, Anna Black of Emporia; six grandchildren; and brothers, Tommy Suess and Jeff Suess of Toledo and Casey Tabor of Costa Rica.

A memorial service was held July 13 in Emporia.

Memorial donations may be made to the children’s ministry at Twelfth Avenue Baptist Church, 2023 W. 12th Ave., Emporia, KS 66801.

Read an obituary here.