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RIP – Mark Fleshner

On January 8, 2008, in Technology, by Administrator
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It seems that early January is again a time of sorrow. Almost a year after losing my good friend Robert Garigue, I am saddened to report on the passing of my friend Mark Fleshner.

Mark was a brilliant lawyer and scientist holding both a Ph.D and J.D. as well as several other degrees. He is the author of patents I can’t claim to understand and co-founded two very successful intellectual law practices in the Northern Virginia area.

Mark was a good friend and neighbor and I enjoyed my time with him as we developed a special kinship based on our shared eccentricity, insomnia, and love of music. While one might find me DJing in my basement on a given weekend night, Mark would set up a full fledged band or just jam on the guitar in his basement. Mark and Kara’s home is a place of natural comfort based on their tremendous sense of hospitality and inherent social nature. Mark also introduced Joy and I to what would become our favorite chardonnay and the next bottle we crack open will be bittersweet.

He and his wife are beloved by my daughter Maddie and she expressed sadness this Christmas (due to their recent move 15 miles away) at not having been over to bake cookies (and eat ribbon candy) with them this year as it had been an annual tradition. Maddie always felt special when they would invite her over to their house without her little brother or parents to tag along.

Mark was nervous to become a father and it was an issue we talked about several times. Our conversations about fatherhood are some of the most memorable we had. It was the only thing I witnessed him approach in life without absolute confidence which is a feeling many of us can share. When his daughter was born he, as expected, was a natural and he found great joy in his daughter Gigi who turns one this month. It was quite sad to be with Gigi the day after Mark’s passing and as I carried her about the house looking at paintings, I watched her several times pick her head up and widen her eyes as we approached a crowd in a look that I know was longing for daddy. She will be surrounded by much love in her life and we can be thankful that the spirit of his memory will be present in those around her.

As for my own daughter, she announced that she saw a show on TV where a new puppy developed the same mannerisms and habits as a recently deceased grandmother, so she is hopeful that Mark might come back as a puppy. Such is the logic of a seven year old, but she was mostly sad for Gigi who won’t know her father. That meant extra love for her own father that day and extra tears when she got a timeout from me. On Monday Mark got a special entry in her school journal that described how she felt and ended with a simple truth – “He was a great man”.

When it was released on DVD Mark insisted I watch the movie Walk the Line about Johnny Cash and loaned me his recently purchased copy. In light of Maddie’s comments, I couldn’t help but hear these Highwaymen lyrics in my head for the rest of the day.

“I fly a starship across the Universe divide
And when I reach the other side
I’ll find a place to rest my spirit if I can
Perhaps I may become a highwayman again
Or I may simply be a single drop of rain

But I will remain
And I’ll be back again, and again and again and again and again..”

Rest in peace Mark. You were much loved and will be greatly missed.

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11 Responses to “RIP – Mark Fleshner”

  1. Felix Tang (Fairfax, VA) says:

    Mark was a bright, accomplished and generous gentleman as I knew him. It was a shocking news when I learnt of his death. My sincere condolences to the Law firm staff, the entire Fleshner family, and most important to Kara and the little princess. We have lost a great individual and pray for his soul to rest in peace.
    Felix TANG, (VA).

  2. Administrator says:

    January 29, 2008
    There is not a day that goes by that I don’t miss our dear friend Mark. The goodness he brought to my heart and soul is lacking and I’ll forever miss his genuine smile and kindness! Rock on my dear friend! Love xoxo Georgette
    Georgette Young (Ashburn, VA)

    January 26, 2008
    At a time like this, no words I write will erase the pain you feel. I sometimes wonder why God takes our loved ones but he knows best. Mark was my nephew and a wonderful boy. We will all miss him.

    Aunt Mary Fleshner
    Mary Fleshner (Carroll, IA)

    January 24, 2008
    From all of us at Freestate Copier Services, we would like to send our deepest sympothy to Mark’s family and friends. We worked with Mark for 15 years and are saddened by his tragic loss. If there is anything we can do please don’t hesitate to ask.
    Nikki Harris (Gaithersburg, MD)

  3. Administrator says:

    Dear Kara & Family:
    We were saddened to hear of Mark’s death. It must have been a terrible thing for you to endure. You are defintely in our thoughts at this sad time. It is so hard to believe; of course, we know it to be true. Must have been tough for you and your daughter. Try the best you can.
    God bless you and your daughter
    Uncle Harvey & Jean Fleshner (Carroll, IA)

    January 21, 2008
    Dear Len, Gudrun & Family:
    We are really shocked to hear of the untimely death of Mark. We never know when it is our turn. Mark was always a go-getter & hard to imagine his passing. We must accept it as God’s way. This is hard for the immediate family to accept. It breaks you up. Try as best you can, and accept our sympathy as best you can.
    Our love to all of you.
    Harvey & Jean Fleshner (Carroll, IA)

    January 17, 2008
    Dear Moni and family,

    My deepest sympathy to you at this sad time. Prayers for peace and understanding…God bless you,
    Laarni (Martin) Jamison (Cedar Falls)

    January 17, 2008
    To Moni, my classmate and childhood friend and Chris, my friend, and all of the rest of the Fleshner family: I just heard and read online of Mark’s death, I am so sorry for your loss. I hope your happy memories give his spirit and love a peaceful place in your heart and mind. You are in my prayers.
    Susie (Renfro) Clinton, Florida
    Susie Clinton (FL)

    January 16, 2008
    Sienna and I will miss you forever. You made us feel part of the fun. Everything was easy and possible. Very very sad…
    Pete Johnson (MD)

    January 15, 2008
    To Mark’s family:

    We were so very sorry to hear of your sudden loss.

    Mark was both a unique and gifted man. He touched so many people in different ways. I know that I will never pick up my guitar without thinking of him, and his open and giving spirit.

    God’s grace and healing to you all,

    Leslie, Brian,Vanessa and Adam Garman
    Leslie Garman (Urbandale, IA)

    January 13, 2008
    I am so fortunate to have known Mark his entire life. His passing is a great loss to his family and all who had the priviledge of having Mark in their lives. Years ago Uncle Leonard introduce us to his new bride -Gudrun. This was a truly beautiful beginning of an incredibly loving, supportive, spiritual and fun-loving family. A family all aspire to have. Please accept my sincere sympathy and prayers for all who greive the loss of Mark. God now has an angel to help us thru our current pain and our lives forever.
    Gayle (Fleshner) Dean (Omaha, NE)

    January 13, 2008
    I am deeply saddened to hear of Mark’s death. He truly was a brilliant, beautiful man with an amazingly warm heart and generous smile. My strength goes out to his family, friends and wife, Kara. I am so sorry for your loss.
    Jennifer Cross (San Francisco, CA)

    January 12, 2008
    My condolences to your family. My heart and prayers go out to the family in this difficult time.
    Phil Wendzillo (Sioux City,, IA)

  4. Pete Johnson says:

    I will keep checking in with you every time I see Gigi’s eyes. Every time I hear ELP, or Bread, or Jim Croce. Every time I go to West Virginia. Every time I think about what is beautiful but now lost.
    Pete

  5. Paige Rice says:

    I can still picture Mark sitting in his chair at work, rocking back and forth and back and forth conjuring up new “fun” ideas. Mark had a special gift of making every person he encountered feel like a million dollars. He used to always say to us “You Rock!” Well Mark there are holes in the floor of heaven and we expect to hear you rockin’ it out up there. We miss you. We love you. We are all blessed to have had you in our lives. We look forward to watching Gigi grow and becoming a beautiful young lady who will love life just like her father.
    With all my love,
    Paige

  6. Diane Powers says:

    My love and prayers go out to Kara and Gigi and the entire Fleshner Family during this time of pain and loss. I hope you find strength in knowing that God has prepared an extra large set of wings for Mark as he touched so many people on earth, he will protect all of us now in heaven. I was fortunate enough to return to Virginia to attend Mark’s service; a service that truly captured who Mark was in life and how he touched the lives of everyone who knew him. The world is a sadder place without you Mark and I look forward to a time when we meet again. Du fehlst mir.

  7. Nadine Fleshner Henningsen says:

    I can not find the words that would adquately express my sadness at the loss of Mark. He was my first cousin and gave of himself so freely in teaching my daughter how to play the guitar and she in turn is helping her daughter enjoy playing the guitar. I can imgine he is enjoying his music in heaven right now. My heart felt prayers to you Uncle Len and Aunt Gudrun as well as all the family. Love Nadine and Dale

  8. Karen Hawver says:

    Words cannot even express how I felt when I received the news of Mark’s death. And how I still feel about the loss of Mark … the loss to his family, friends and society. The service was heartbreakingly beautiful. Mark was a kind and gentle soul. Kara and Gigi, my heart aches for you most. May the days ahead bring you comfort in your loss. He will be missed.

    Much Love,
    Karen

  9. Administrator says:

    January 12, 2008
    To Mark’s Family & Friends,
    Mark is my first cousin. He is also my friend. Growing up I spent many hours playing with him and his brothers & sisters. He and his family are a big part of the happiest of my childhood memories. I know how badly he will be missed. I have not met Kara and little Gudrun. If I could I would give you both a hug and tell you how much Mark meant to me. To my Uncle Len, Aunt Gudrun, Eric, Chris, Moni, Vanessa and the rest of Mark’s family, I wish to express my deepest regrets for your loss. Love to all, Jerry Fleshner
    Jerry Fleshner (Carroll, IA)

    January 12, 2008
    Liebe Gudrun, lieber Len,
    “Den eigenen Tod stirbt, mit dem Tod eines geliebten Menschen muß man leben” Wir sind geschockt und wünschen Euch, Kara und allen Kraft, diese Zeit zu überstehen. Claudia, Lotte und Fritz
    Claudia Bannwitz (Germany)

    January 11, 2008
    My husband Jim heard about Mark’s accident just last evening. They hadn’t spoken in awhile – Jim had never stopped thinking or of speaking of Mark. Such is the impact special people have. Jim was hurt to realize he’d missed Mark’s service. He didn’t sleep much last evening – that I do know, and today he drove down Gum Springs Rd and sat for awhile to think about Mark.
    We are proud to have had the privilege of knowing Mark. You have our very deepest sympathies.
    Jim and Sara Balinskas (Ashburn, VA)

    January 11, 2008
    Our thoughts and prayers are with Mark’s family. Such tragedy is hard to understand but I hope it helps to know that he was such a good man and made a difference in others lives while he was with you.

    From Lyle(first cousin) and Pat Fleshner of Denison Iowa
    Lyle and Pat Fleshner (Denison, IA)

  10. Administrator says:

    Legacy.com may delete Mark’s guestbook, so I am copying the entries below so they are preserved.

    January 11, 2008
    To the Fleshnr Family: There just are not the right words to describe the sadness I feel in the loss of Mark. But please be comforted in knowing my thoughts and prayers are with all of you. I realize Mark was a loving husband, father and son; however I remember him best as a special cousin for whom I had respect and admiration. My love to all of you.
    Patricia (Fleshner) Beck (Carroll, IA)

    January 10, 2008
    I knew Mark in High School and College in Sioux City, IA. Mark was a friend, and an amazing jazz guitar player! When Mark transferred to Iowa State I lost contact, but never forgot him. I had always hoped to be in touch again someday. I’m sorry I won’t get the chance. My sincere condolensces to his family and family of friends. May Mark rest in peace.
    Jay Evans (Birmingham, AL)

    January 10, 2008
    We are deeply saddened by the loss of such a great man. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you as we reflect on past memories of Mark.
    Tom Poznanski (Sioux City, IA)

    January 10, 2008
    Fleshners
    Please know that we are sadden to hear of your loss and will ask GOD to look after you and support you in this time of mourning.
    Mark did not leave us, he went home to GOD.
    Doug&June Asher (don asher’s son)
    douglas asher (des moines, IA)

    January 9, 2008
    We are so saddened at the loss of our friend Mark and extend our deepest sympathies to all who loved him.

    The Devost Family
    Matt Devost (Ashburn, VA)

    January 9, 2008
    To all the Fleshners: We are so sad about the loss of Mark, and pray that the pain of this loss will lessen for you in time. With sympathy, love, and prayers from Mark’s cousin in Sioux City, IA.
    Cindy (Fleshner) and Alan Hesse (Sioux City, IA)

    January 9, 2008
    I am very saddened by Mark’s passing. Such a bright man with so many talents and interests. I wish you and your family strength in the months and years ahead.
    Russ Batson (Washington, DC)

    January 8, 2008
    We feel so fortunate to of had you in our lives.
    Rosemary and Bob Maione (Bluemont, VA)

    January 8, 2008
    Kara, we are deeply saddened to hear of Mark’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your daughter during this difficult time.
    John & Arpi Dilanian (Brambleton, VA)

    January 8, 2008
    Kara, Gigi and Family,

    My heart aches for you. Words are not enough to convey my sorrow and sympathy.

    With prayers and love,
    Elizabeth
    Elizabeth (Oak Hill, VA)

    January 8, 2008
    We are thinking of Leonard, Gudrun, Kara and the entire family at this difficult time.
    Dave & June Hilton (Olathe, KS)

    January 8, 2008
    I was so saddened to hear of your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you in your grief.
    Steve Lemson (New York, NY)

    January 8, 2008
    We will miss you in all of your brightness — your wife, your daughter, your family, your friends, even the world, has suffered a great loss.
    Kathleen Ford

    January 7, 2008
    My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories bring you comfort.
    Vanessa Johnston (Front Royal, VA)

  11. coco & abbey says:

    thank you. that was beautiful.

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