Seattle dad’s 3-year-old daughter was given a lifetime membership to the Northwest African American Museum.
Wilson McLaurin, whose dying wish was to take his 3-year-old daughter and her adoptive family to the Northwest African American Museum, has died.
Mr. McLaurin, 68, had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in February and began immediately to settle his affairs and make arrangements for his little girl, Mariah, who had been born when he was homeless.
Mariah had been in foster care with Wes and Sheila Shriner and their two teens for much of her life, and Mr. McLaurin wanted to be sure the “beautiful family” he had come to know and love was able to adopt her after his death. He died earlier this month.
His one concern was that the Shriners, who are white, might not be able to connect Mariah to her black heritage and culture. When he told a nurse at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance that he wished he could afford to take her and the Shriners to the museum, which celebrates the achievements and contributions of African Americans in the Pacific Northwest, his nurse called the museum.
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Museum officials invited the whole family for a private tour and gave Mariah and the Shriners a lifetime pass.
A story about Mr. McLaurin and his hopes for his daughter was featured in The Seattle Times in June. Shortly after the story was published, Mr. McLaurin, who was also known as Roseman because he sold roses in Pioneer Square for decades, was hospitalized and did not fully recover. While in the hospital and nursing homes where he spent his final months, he was surrounded by pictures of his youngest child and her new family.
Shortly before his death, he said in a phone conversation that he was certain his daughter was in good care and that he was happy and at peace.
“I’ve had a good life,” he said.
A memorial service will be held for Mr. McLaurin on Dec. 4 at 5 p.m. at the Holly Park Community Church at 4308 S. Othello St. in Seattle.