ForeverMissed

This memorial website celebrates the life of Mark Ferguson. Please enjoy the photos and stories and consider adding your own.

In recognition of his doctor, David Piccioni, and staff, the family requests that any donations in Mark's name go to support Fund F-1134 Brain Cancer Research at Moore’s Cancer Center. Please make checks payable to the UCSD Foundation, noting the gift is in memory of Mark A. Ferguson. Gifts can be sent to Beth Green, UCSD, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093 or by phone at 858-534-8439.

Posted by Andy Robinson on March 1, 2020
Just thinking about you, Mark. Nothing much to say, other than that. I’m glad this website gives me little reminders because the older I get, the more likely I am to lose track of people and memories, and our memories are some good ones. Peace to you, wherever you are.
Posted by Andy Robinson on November 27, 2019
Thinking of you yesterday, Mark! Overdue for a visit with Arlene but I’ll get in touch soon, to catch up and share memories of you (and Richard and Paul, and “the old days.”) Hard to believe that crew is gone, never to hike the Cuyamacas or wade into the San Diego River for crawdads, or sit around listening to music. Ah well, we come and go, don’t we? Miss you.
Posted by Andy Robinson on November 26, 2016
Mark and I shared a love of inventive and unusual music, and the outdoors. I treasure memories of night hikes in Cuyamaca with him and our other crazy friends. Those were unique times in my life and his friendship was an important part of them. I am so glad we reconnected during the last couple of years of his life. He was funny and caring and a thinker until the end. I hope he is collecting obsidian or explaining about freshwater plants to someone, somewhere.
Posted by Liz Love on August 15, 2016
Many wonderful memories of you both for the five years I worked with you at MBA. I will not forget the qualities of Mark I so admired. His knowledge and passion for native plants at the aquarium and your home. His happy smile and gentle tone. His amazing care of the animals on display. He will not be forgotten by his many friends.
Posted by Jane Silberstein on May 22, 2016
I am so happy that Linda Martin and I were able to spend the day with Mark and Arlene this past spring - we were sorry to miss the official gathering for Mark but in retrospect I think it was better this way. It was so beautiful to see the loving way Arlene was caring for Mark - he kept his incredible positive attitude to until the very end. I will always be grateful for the many years I worked and played outdoors with Mark and Arlene at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Mark's way of sharing his unique knowledge of fish and native plants is part of me now and I will continue to freely share this others as he did so generously. We bonded over our love of native people's ways and the Shaman culture that we can learn so much from.
  He left us much too soon,
but I know he is at peace and I am very happy for knowing him.
Love and blessing to you Arlene
Posted by Martin White on April 28, 2016
My wife and I met Mark and Arlene when they moved up to Guatay and bought the house behind us. It was always a pleasure to chat with Mark and Arlene when ever we saw them walking or driving by together. They were always with each other, and I recall my wife Sheila asking me why we aren't more like them, always doing things together. Mark was always very helpful when I asked him about the algae in my fish pond and that is when I found out about just how knowledgeable he was. Mark and Arlene were great neighbors and friends and Mark will be missed by all who knew him.

Martin & Sheila
Posted by Andy Robinson on April 25, 2016
Mark was a truly unique person. I will never forget his love of nature and great music. We had some fantastic times together back in the day. He was one of a small group of us that used to take epic night hikes in the Cuyamacas! We had so much fun and I will remember those experiences for as long as I live. It's impossible for me to think of him without remembering some other friends, Paul Freedman and Richard Matthew, both also gone. None of us were the best at keeping in touch but I'm so glad I managed to spend some time with Mark over the last year. His sense of humor was intact up until the end, and seeing how well Arlene took care of him, and how much love for him was expressed by other friends and family and colleagues, made me happy and proud to know him all over again. A life well-lived is how I would put it. Electric fish, electronic music, visiting him "behind the scenes" at the Monterrey aquarium, camping at Split Mountain, playing pinball for hours - it was all a long time ago, but it's a part of my past I love staying in touch with. Bless you on your journey, Mark, and peace to you, Arlene, and Sue.
Posted by Ruth Clayton on April 24, 2016
Arlene,

I never had the the chance to meet your wonderful husband, but it is clear that you had a wonderful life together. I am in awe of couples who remain connected and in love for decades. You were both blessed to have shared such a great life together.  Looking forward to seeing you at the next reunion.  Ruth Reichert Clayton
Posted by David Piccioni on April 18, 2016
there are often so many things we don't know about someone until they are gone, though they live on in memorials like this one. I never knew about mark's jellyfish accomplishments until reading this tribute page--as someone who has been stung one too many times I would have loved to have a conversation with him! maybe he could have helped with the jellyfish phobia I've developed. My day was always brighter when I saw Mark and Arlene, and Mark's always optimistic outlook was infectious, no matter what odds he was up against. That's something we can all learn from Mark, and carry with us the rest of our lives.

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Andy Robinson on March 1, 2020
Just thinking about you, Mark. Nothing much to say, other than that. I’m glad this website gives me little reminders because the older I get, the more likely I am to lose track of people and memories, and our memories are some good ones. Peace to you, wherever you are.
Posted by Andy Robinson on November 27, 2019
Thinking of you yesterday, Mark! Overdue for a visit with Arlene but I’ll get in touch soon, to catch up and share memories of you (and Richard and Paul, and “the old days.”) Hard to believe that crew is gone, never to hike the Cuyamacas or wade into the San Diego River for crawdads, or sit around listening to music. Ah well, we come and go, don’t we? Miss you.
Posted by Andy Robinson on November 26, 2016
Mark and I shared a love of inventive and unusual music, and the outdoors. I treasure memories of night hikes in Cuyamaca with him and our other crazy friends. Those were unique times in my life and his friendship was an important part of them. I am so glad we reconnected during the last couple of years of his life. He was funny and caring and a thinker until the end. I hope he is collecting obsidian or explaining about freshwater plants to someone, somewhere.
Recent stories

Discovering Yampah Island, Elkhorn Slough

Shared by Mark Silberstein on June 14, 2016

Mark asked me about an isolated part of the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve - it was actually an Island in the marsh that had been connected to the Reserve by a narrow levee. I had never been out to the spot and so we arranged a walk in the spring.  It was a propitious time - things were blooming and we found a series of plants that we had not seen on any other slough properties. One whole section of the Island was covered with Perideridia gairdneri  from the Parsley family.  Mark explained that is was called Yampah by the Ohlone and was a prized food.  We went on to discover two species of Mariposa lillies, also used by Indians,  that have not been seen in any other slough locales that I am aware of.  The Island was named Yampah Island, in honor of Mark's discovery of this population.  He developed a hypothesis that these plants may have represented relict populations of plants that were tended by the indigenous people, an idea that intrigues and inspires me. I have forever linked Mark with this place and I can't go there without thinking of him and this link to the past.  I've posted images of the island  and some of the plants there in the photo gallery. 

Muchimas gracias Marco.

 

Mark Silberstein

 

Hiking with Mark in Baja

Shared by Suzanne Sawyer on April 24, 2016

A mutual friend invited Mark and I to his place in Baja Mexico - a small fishing village named Bahia de Los Angeles on the Sea of Cortez.  Mark wanted to hike to the top of a Mountain Ridge where big horn sheep were sometimes seen and he invited me along. Little did I know that it would be 4.5 hours to the top and about 7 hours round trip in temperatures near 100. I'm glad I went, despite being skunked on the big horn sheep.  As we hiked Mark was able to identify every bird, shrub, cactus and flower. At the top of the Ridge we had an amazing view of the Sea of Cortez on one side of the ridge and hundreds of miles of desert on the other side.  We had some lunch, saw some big horn tracks and hiked back.  I think that was the last time I visited Baja and I miss it.  I also miss my friend Mark, but I am thankful for being invited along on a great hike and will treasure the memory of that day always. 

 

Wildflower hunts

Shared by Arlene Breise on April 18, 2016

Mark loved to go camping in remote places. One of his favorites was the Carrizo Plains in between the Caliente Range and Temblor Range. During much of the year this place is dry and hot with sparse vegetation. The first time we drove through, there wasn't much to see so we didn't stop. The next time, we caught this place in the spring after an El Nino year. What an amazing difference! Wildflowers covered the basin floor as well as into the ranges with colors from pale blues, through all the purples and oranges to reds. He was overwhelmed by the beauty and proceeded to take over a hundred pictures. It was the beginning of our annual wildflower hunts in the spring, always checking first to see if Carrizo had received enough rain for another wild year. We returned many times, sharing this favorite place with his parents after we moved back to San Diego. I now have enough slides of wildflowers to fill many books! This picture was taken in 2005.