Funeral held for North Carolina Rep. Maryann Black

Rep. Maryann Black. Photo via NC General Assembly

DURHAM — A private funeral was held Friday for North Carolina state Rep. Maryann Black, who died this week at age 76.

Black, a Democrat who joined the state House in early 2017, died Wednesday at her Durham home, Fisher Memorial Funeral Parlor owner Chris Fisher said. The funeral home handled the service at a local cemetery.

Black’s son, Jonathan, said Friday that his mother died from natural causes stemming from a long-term illness.

Black announced in November she wouldn’t be seeking reelection to her Durham County seat this year.

Black was a social worker for more than 30 years, providing psychotherapy services to children and families. She most recently worked as an associate vice president for Duke University Health System.

Black was on the Durham County commission from 1990 to 2002, serving the last six years as chairwoman.

“She proudly served her local community long before joining the General Assembly, and was committed to improving the lives of all North Carolinians — from raising wages to advocating for environmental justice (and) to addressing the opioid epidemic,” state Democratic Party Chair Wayne Goodwin said in a news release.

Durham County Democratic activists will now choose someone to fill her seat through 2020. A likely replacement is Durham City Council member Vernetta Alston, who is the only candidate seeking the seat that Black wasn’t running for this November. The district is heavily Democratic.

In addition to her son, Black’s survivors include a grandson and her mother, according to an obituary on the Fisher Memorial website.