Mark Lawrence Muchnick died at the age of 73 on June 1, 2020 in Kent, Washington. He suffered the long term effects of kidney failure and heart disease.
Mark was born in Los Angeles, CA on March 1, 1947. His parents were Morris Muchnick and Ann Simkovitz. He had one older sister—Marlena Tanya. His parents emigrated with their respective families from Ukraine to the United States in the early 1900s.
Growing up he remembered weekend family drives through beautiful orange groves. The household sometimes included Mark’s grandparents and in her later years he helped to care for his grandmother, Rose. His grandfather taught Mark math while they studied horse racing statistics and forms at the kitchen table. When his parents divorced he lived with his mother. As a teenager he liked to hang out at the bowling alley, and there he made friends and developed skill as a bowler. Mark was drafted into service in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. As the result of an injury he was discharged with a disability. Subsequently he studied tax law at University of California Northridge.
He would have said that his second marriage transformed his life more than any other event . He married Amelia “Millie” Tuita, a Tongan woman who was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Mark—an Orthodox Jew—converted when he met Millie. They were married in Las Vegas, NV in 1974. Mark and Millie lived in the San Francisco bay area and then in Oregon. Mark joined her in the many ways she served in her church. He also sponsored some of her family members in their immigration to the United States from Tonga and began his career as an entrepreneur creating businesses and hiring family members to help them establish themselves in the United States.
Over the years he and Millie raised a family together. Millie battled cancer and when she died in 1986 Mark moved his family to Seattle. He married Sarah Cottrell in 1988 and they had a daughter together, Meredith Rose. He and Sarah raised a blended family of 10 children.
Mark was a charming and charismatic man and made many friends through business networking and fellowship in church. When meeting someone often one of the first things he would ask was, “What’s your story?’, sincerely believing that all have a story to be told, and Mark wanted his story to be told, too.
He used his talents to serve the community both through business and volunteer work. His favorite way to give was to the houseless population in Seattle, where he would coordinate weekly food service in Seattle’s historic district, Pioneer Square. He built relationships with many people in this way, and some called him “Pastor Mark”. His eyes would shine bright when listening to people’s stories, and he would offer advice, comfort, and hope to all those he served.
Mark had a brilliant mind and was constantly working on ideas for new businesses. He worked on over 50 business projects throughout his life in a wide variety of fields including cancer research, accounting and taxes, electronic insurance claims, performance production, supply chain, souvenirs, construction, software development, food service, green waste solutions, credit card processing, custom vehicle design and fabrication, real estate, and more. Mark considered one of his biggest accomplishments to be the business he did in Russia during Glastnost. He worked to create connections to manufacture and sell silicon chips. He arranged a conference for Russian businessmen to come to Silicon Valley at the same time that Gorbachev visited. This was an extremely significant event for him.
Mark is survived by his wife Sarah, his sister Marlena, his children and step children, his nieces and nephews, many grandchildren, close business associates and many loved friends. He was cremated and laid to rest with Amelia in Eugene, OR.
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Arrangements entrusted to Emmick Family Funeral Home of West Seattle
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