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In Memory

Thomas Mark, English professor for over four decades, died Nov. 12

November 17, 2010

Thomas Mark, who taught in the English Department of Colorado State University for over four decades, died in his sleep at home on Friday, Nov. 12. He was 86 years old. Professor Mark was born and raised in New York City, though he lived for several of his early years in Budapest, Hungary. He graduated from Stuyvesant High School in 1942. He joined the Army shortly thereafter and served as a combat medic with the 102nd Infantry Division in the European Theater. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his heroism.

Fell in love with Colo.

After his discharge, Mark attended Brooklyn College, graduating in 1949. He then went to Columbia University where he was awarded the Ph.D. in English literature in 1956. While in graduate school, he began teaching at Colorado Agricultural and Mechanical College, now Colorado State University. He quickly fell in love with Colorado and often remarked, "There are only two places a civilized man can live, Paris and Estes Park."

Delighted students, active administrator

Mark's courses in Shakespeare, Dante, and Milton challenged and delighted hundreds of students whose correspondence with him continued long past their college days. He was also among the faculty who helped the College in its transition to a University, separating the departments, such as English and Philosophy. While at CSU he was active in its administration, serving as Graduate Coordinator, among other posts. He retired in 1994 and received an Alumni Association Best Teacher Award in 1996.

Mark was awarded Fulbright, IREX Ford Foundation, and Collegium Budapest grants to study in Budapest in 1963, 1975, 1985, 1991, and 1996. He was a contributor to several scholarly journals, but his most important work was a translation of "The Tragedy of Man" by the Hungarian dramatic poet, Imre Madach. It was published in 1989 by Columbia University Press and was awarded the Dery Tibor Prize in 1990. A second edition was published in Budapest in 1999 by Black Eagle Press and received the Milán Prize.

Love of music

Mark's love of music, which dated from childhood, led him to become involved in the local music scene. An active supporter of the Fort Collins symphony, he also successfully organized a program to enable broadcasts from Colorado's classical music station to be heard in Fort Collins.

Married for 57 years to Maxine Schlieker, he had two sons, Gregory of Randolph, New Jersey, and Brian of Denver, and two much beloved grandchildren, Julia and William Heckman-Mark, of Randolph, New Jersey.

Memorial service on campus in January

A memorial service will be held at Colorado State University in the Lory Student Center West Ballroom on Jan. 4, 2011, at 4 p.m. with reception to follow. All are welcome to attend.

The family has requested that, in lieu of gifts or flowers, contributions be made to the Thomas Mark Memorial at the Colorado State University Foundation in care of Bohlender Funeral Chapel, 121 W. Olive, Fort Collins, Colorado 80524. Friends may send condolences to the family at bohlenderfuneralchapel.com.