This memorial website was created in memory of Mark Lipton, 72 years old , born on June 12, 1946 and passed away on December 26, 2018. He touched so many lives, helped so many people, and will be forever missed by so many.

Posted by Dick Grosboll on January 4, 2020
Mark was of counsel to our law firm, Neyhart, Anderson, Flynn & Grosboll.  While working for the Democratic Party in Florida (with great excitement and energy), he was also practicing law in Northern California. He was passionate about the law and working on behalf of his clients, many of whom he represented for decades. He was loyal to them and they were loyal to Mark.  Mark was creative as ever as an attorney and was aggressive when he needed to be but recognized when a compromise was the best avenue for his client. Most of all, he was smart, passionate, fair and acted on behalf of his clients.   I also appreciated Mark's sense of humor and his friendship. His sudden death was a shock to our Firm and to his clients.  His is sorely missed.
Posted by Helen Knowles on December 21, 2019
This is a bittersweet time of year. I remember learning last year on December 20th that Mark and Candace were married in CA. On the 26th something unthinkable happened - Mark died suddenly from an unknown heart condition. My heart felt so sad for Candace. I had the good fortune to have donated to Mark's campaign when he was running for the legislature in FL and was so glad to spend time with him over the weekend of Candace and my 50th high school reunion. Mark was such a kind person with a vibrant personality. After we finished decorating the room where our reunion was to be held, several of us raced down to DC to visit the National Art Gallery to look at one of the exhibitions. It was hard to keep up with Mark and Candace. At the reunion, Mark engaged with many people and everyone who met him realized what a special person he was. It was so great to see Candace so happy with her new love. We never know how long we have to live, but I am so glad I got to meet Mark. I'm sure this will be a hard time of year for Candace this year as it is the upcoming anniversary of Mark's death, but she knows she has family and friends who will be thinking about her and are as close as a phone call if she needs support.
Posted by Candace Clemens on December 21, 2019
One year ago yesterday, Mark and I were married. Today is the shortest day of the year. Sad but happy and appreciative for my family and friends, both Mark's and my own, especially at the holidays and anniversaries. This is an excellent piece about dealing with grief. 
https://themindsjournal.com/person-asks-online-for-advice-on-how-to-deal-with-grief-this-reply-will-make-you-think/
Posted by Candace Clemens on February 19, 2019
The song, "You're gonna make me lonesome when you go", written by Bob Dylan but sung so beautifully by Madeleine Peyroux, had special significance to us during our courtship. It is even more meaningful now that he is gone:
I'll look for you in old Honolul-a
San Francisco, Ashtabula
You're gonna have to leave me now, I know
But I'll see you in the sky above
In the tall grass, in the ones I love
You're gonna make me lonesome when you go.
Posted by MARC HEDGES on February 14, 2019
Never met you, but I bet you were a great person.
Posted by Judith Parker on February 11, 2019
In the few days of my 2018 visit with Candace in Ft Myers, I was very fortunate to meet Mark. At the time, he was busy initiating his political campaign. Even so, in that short time, I saw several instances where Mark volunteered help to others on the basis of his legal background. I was very moved. Candace’s tribute captures his generous spirit. I feel the loss of a truly good and kind person.
Posted by Margot Delogne on February 11, 2019
I spent just one evening with Mark, maybe four hours total, when he and Candace went way out of their way to come see a film I had produced. I saw a man with deep convictions and a brightness and shine in his eyes that said he had the passion and the energy to change our world. I wish he could have stayed longer to do so. But I know in their short time together he certainly changed Candace's world, and his legacy will surely live on in her life and the lives of his children.
Posted by Linda Brekke on February 11, 2019
Though I did not know Mark you, Candance, beautifully presented the summation of an incredible man. I am sorry I did not meet him and get to know this man of righteous passions and love. He made a difference in this world that so needed a champion of worthy causes and corrections. You are a lucky woman to have had him in your life and I offer my deepest sympathies for your loss.
Posted by Helen Knowles on February 10, 2019
I am so glad I got to meet Mark at the reunion and spend a little time with him at our lunch and quick trip to the National Gallery of Art. What a blessing he was to all who met him. He made you feel like he had known you for years and he had a wonderful smile and a glint in his eyes that could light up a room. I am so sorry this happened Candace to you and his family. You have a wonderful group of family and friends who will support you in every way. Blessings on you all.
Posted by Donna Nelson on February 10, 2019
In the brief time that we knew Mark, we appreciated his serious mission for justice, his willingness to jump in and help others, and his friendly smile. I wish now that we'd had more conversations at the pool with Mark. Our deep sympathies to Candace and the family.

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Dick Grosboll on January 4, 2020
Mark was of counsel to our law firm, Neyhart, Anderson, Flynn & Grosboll.  While working for the Democratic Party in Florida (with great excitement and energy), he was also practicing law in Northern California. He was passionate about the law and working on behalf of his clients, many of whom he represented for decades. He was loyal to them and they were loyal to Mark.  Mark was creative as ever as an attorney and was aggressive when he needed to be but recognized when a compromise was the best avenue for his client. Most of all, he was smart, passionate, fair and acted on behalf of his clients.   I also appreciated Mark's sense of humor and his friendship. His sudden death was a shock to our Firm and to his clients.  His is sorely missed.
Posted by Helen Knowles on December 21, 2019
This is a bittersweet time of year. I remember learning last year on December 20th that Mark and Candace were married in CA. On the 26th something unthinkable happened - Mark died suddenly from an unknown heart condition. My heart felt so sad for Candace. I had the good fortune to have donated to Mark's campaign when he was running for the legislature in FL and was so glad to spend time with him over the weekend of Candace and my 50th high school reunion. Mark was such a kind person with a vibrant personality. After we finished decorating the room where our reunion was to be held, several of us raced down to DC to visit the National Art Gallery to look at one of the exhibitions. It was hard to keep up with Mark and Candace. At the reunion, Mark engaged with many people and everyone who met him realized what a special person he was. It was so great to see Candace so happy with her new love. We never know how long we have to live, but I am so glad I got to meet Mark. I'm sure this will be a hard time of year for Candace this year as it is the upcoming anniversary of Mark's death, but she knows she has family and friends who will be thinking about her and are as close as a phone call if she needs support.
Posted by Candace Clemens on December 21, 2019
One year ago yesterday, Mark and I were married. Today is the shortest day of the year. Sad but happy and appreciative for my family and friends, both Mark's and my own, especially at the holidays and anniversaries. This is an excellent piece about dealing with grief. 
https://themindsjournal.com/person-asks-online-for-advice-on-how-to-deal-with-grief-this-reply-will-make-you-think/
his Life

A life filled with purpose and optimism.

Never intimidated by narrow odds or frightened by opposition, Mark Hanley Lipton was a natural optimist. He saw each new challenge as a problem waiting for its solution. No matter how hidden, a path forward would always emerge. This was more than stubborn dedication and a sharp mind at work, his unflagging drive was inspired by his faith in the future. Always within reach, but sometimes decades away, for Mark, the flow of time was simply a stream of accomplishments waiting to be realized.

When Mark died on December 26th, 2018, he was picturing a rich new year: celebrating his recent marriage, adding crucial details to his novel, and embracing the freedom of retirement. At every stage of life, Mark’s optimism had allowed him to vividly imagine his future until it transformed the present. Late 2018 was a transitional time where the fullness of every day was perfectly balanced with opportunity on the horizon. Mark lived out his more than seven decades and into his final hours with powerful anticipation: always watching for his next opportunity or adventure, and comfortable in the knowledge that life’s possibilities are unlimited.

Mark was born in Detroit, Michigan on June 12th, 1946 into Aaron and Yetta “Teddi” Lipton’s middle class Jewish family. He was the second oldest of five children, born after his brother David, and followed by his brother Steven and his two sisters Sheri and Robin. Mark was a thoughtful sibling and as they grew into adults, he would advise and advocate for the Liptons as both a brother and an attorney during life’s inevitable complications.With each passing decade he grew closer to all four siblings, recognizing their unique qualities and learning more about himself in turn.

Aaron and Teddi pushed their children towards success, encouraging ambitions and demanding a focus on higher education.Within this atmosphere, Mark’s early years were filled with a variety of plans and dreams, each helping him to find his way forward. He had youthful interest in becoming a pilot, but thick glasses kept him on the ground. He wanted to be an artist, and was developing into an excellent draftsman, but it seemed impractical as a career. By high school Mark was more seriously fixed on becoming a physicist. He pursued math for several years, but he realized his greatest strength was with words not numbers. The semester before college he decided to leave formulae and operations behind.Intelligent and dedicated, Mark would have found success in almost any field, but it took time and the right mix of circumstances to discover his passion for the law.

He attended the University of California Berkeley in the fall of 1964. Now at the epicenter of the Free Speech Movement, his naturally methodical thinking and progressive worldview began to coalesce. The anarchy of the 60s never appealed to him, Mark was drawn to more pragmatic dissidence.He believed in student activists spreading truth to neutralize propaganda, and using novel legal means to protect civil rights. When campus officials tried to limit the use of a building at the UC, effectively barring student organizers, Mark helped devise and carry out a creative strategy to win back student autonomy.He researched the arcane language of the deed to the property and the students went on to prove that the entire building was bequeathed, not to the University as everyone had assumed, but directly to the student body. It was an early but heady victory, and for Mark the law was a natural fit.

Mark was accepted to Boalt Hall, The University Of California Berkeley School of Law, and began practicing in 1972.During law school he and Grace Yoshikawa married (1970-2002), within a few years they would go into practice together, co-founding the firm Lipton & Lipton. As young attorneys building their own firm, they worked on domestic issues, gaining expertise with each new case.

Mark’s career as an attorney spanned nearly five decades. He earned admittance to not only the California Bar, but the Bars of Nevada and the US Supreme Court. At every stage of his practice, Mark was dedicated to representing vulnerable clients with skill and diligence. He practiced in several key areas, representing hundreds of individuals struggling with disabilities and also serving entire groups of unionized employees working to safeguard their pension plans. His personal ambition was to promote equality within the legal system, leveraging his own intelligence and dedication to provide even small clients with top tier legal representation. Through years of experience Mark became a respected expert in employee benefits law. He proudly mentored young attorneys and law students, and as a sole practitioner, he prevailed over multinational companies and high powered firms.

Reminiscing about the highlights of his career was rare, Mark was engrossed in the challenges that lay ahead and the opportunities that promised novel experience. However, his connection to his clients was a source of personal fulfillment and extended beyond the courtroom. Mark was never able to keep the individuals he was helping at arms length, he maintained friendships for decades and, for his poorest clients, he did whatever he could to improve their lives. Quietly giving away his time and money, he never spoke of his unusual commitment, but as he worked to provide his children with a life of privilege Mark never doubted his instinct to share this security.

Mark and Grace had two children, Elizabeth Gabriel Lipton-McCombie (1979) married to Rob McCombie, and Miles Hanley Lipton (1985) married to Kacie Carter. The effect of children was profound and he took great comfort in posterity. Mark said that when first holding his newborn daughter he was no longer afraid of dying; that while having children was not immortality, it held an aspect of the infinite. In October of 2012 Mark’s first grandchild, Isla Mariko Lang McCombie, was born, followed by her brother Robert Keir Miles McCombie two years later. During his final years, he took increased satisfaction watching Liz and Miles find success in their own unique endeavors, loving them as his children while respecting them as adults.

With his children grown and his sights set on gradual retirement, Mark married Leslie Lanna in 2005. (Leslie passed away in 2016.) Her career required constant international travel and Mark seized on the opportunity and excitement. He fulfilled a childhood dream in exploring the ruins of Angkor Wat, and the subways of St. Petersburg inspired new depth in his novel. He and Leslie were humbled by the Taj Mahal and the Old City of Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall. Freshly acquainted with the rainforests of Costa Rica, Mark found an inviting seclusion. He conceived, designed and built a tropical home shaded by the noisy jungle canopy. His only neighbors were a family of garrulous howler monkeys and brilliant flocks of exotic birds, a view of the gulf glimpsed through the heavy overgrowth.

It was not until 2018 that he finally concluded his practice. His respect for his clients and colleagues had been a wellspring of energy and in many cases, Mark had stayed on as counsel for years longer than he had originally anticipated.Having concluded the final chapter of his career as an attorney, Mark set to work on the completion of his long labored novel, and dedicated himself to an ambitious bid for political office.

Mark’s late political work was only possible with the loving support of his fiancée Candace Clemens, and after the campaign they married on December 20th, 2018 while visiting his children in California. His family shared in the joy of their union. Mark and Candace shared a unique compatibility, and their next adventure was going to be Morocco in the spring.It should have been the start of the next phase of life together, new chapters yet unwritten, but on December 26th, Mark passed away unexpectedly. His family, friends and colleagues have all been shocked to learn of Mark’s death. His energy and enthusiasm does not yet feel extinguished. Those who knew Mark mourn his loss, the experiences that will remain unshared and the many stories left unfinished.

In accordance with Mark’s specific wishes, no funeral or memorial services will be held, though his family and friends are taking time to celebrate his life in private. After reflecting on the passing of his brother David, Mark would remind his children that his own life had been full and he was grateful for many blessings. Mark explained that opportunity and experience were never in short supply, leaving him satisfied with the life he had. He spent 72 years living with purpose and optimism, and even during difficult times, he knew he was fortunate beyond measure.  

- Many thanks to the author, Mark's son, Miles Lipton.

A good man, passionate about justice

Following a notable career in law that spanned more than four decades, including one case successfully presented to the U.S. Supreme Court, Mark ran as a Democrat for House Seat 79 in Lee County, Florida in the November 2018 elections.

Mark was the son of first-generation Americans. He was one of five children and had two brothers and two sisters. Born in Detroit Michigan, his father moved the family to Montebello, California, a suburb of Los Angeles, when he was 14.  His passion for law started at an early age. In 9th grade he was appointed Middle School Bus Council Judge and was an Associate Justice on the Montebello High School Student Court. After graduating, he was accepted at the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied political science and history. While there he was director of the U.C Tutorial program and was a tutor as well for disadvantaged children in North Oakland.

Upon graduation from college in 1971, he attended law school, also at U.C. Berkeley. After his first year he interned at the Office of Education, Bureau of Higher Education, during the summer, in Washington D.C. After law school he passed the California Bar and began working for a small law firm in San Jose, California.In four years, he left and started his own firm with two other lawyers, Sims, Lipton, and D’Anna. Mark was elected President of the Young Lawyers Bar Association (the Barristers Club) in 1975, then became a Trustee of the Santa Clara County (now Silicon Valley) Bar Association. During that time he worked on a subcommittee getting one of the nation’s earliest diversion laws passed in the County, ending the revolving door created by “drunk in public” laws (in jail, drying out, back on the street then returning to jail). Instead of jail, citations were issued and the person was referred to community sobriety agencies.Mark also served as volunteer judge, arbitrator, and mediator and volunteered as a big brother for a parolee.

In 1978 Mr. Lipton became adjunct Professor of Law at Lincoln law School, teaching Constitutional law.In 1983 he formed a startup dental Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) with two others, called Dentinex. It was sold after four years and still exists today under the HealthSmart umbrella as one of California’s premier dental PPOs.In 1979 he incorporated as Lipton & Lipton with his wife.

His practice took him to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals where he has successfully represented several clients. Along the way he published numerous articles on employee benefits and spoke on those topics at national conferences. He was called as a witness testifying before the President’s Commission on Pension Policy and addressed the California Apprenticeship Council. He was also called upon as an expert witness in litigation. In 2003 clients in Nevada asked that he take the three-day bar exam so he could represent them not only in Board rooms but in Court.He passed the Nevada Bar Exam in 2003.

In 2010, heading into retirement, he and his late wife moved to Panama City Beach, Florida, near a daughter. Mark continued with his California/Nevada practice flying back to California as needed while the practice wound down. He continued representing the disabled and disadvantaged as well as providing legal services for small business benefit plans (health, pension, and job training). Over the course of his law practice, focusing on collaboration of employees and employers, he was able to save them millions of dollars while delivering quality benefits.

In 2015 he took the online exam to be admitted to the Northern District of Florida Federal Court and passed.He represented pro bono, a young woman with $105,000 student debt, getting the insurance company to reduce payments from $845 per month to $45 after aggressive litigation. He also formed, along with Lieutenant colonel Reuben Sparks, a veterans’ Caucus in Bay County, focusing on the homeless veteran issue and supporting the fledgling veterans’ “diversion” court, called a Therapeutic Justice Court, in Bay County, the 11th Judicial District. While in Panama City Beach Lipton also served for four years as adjunct Professor at FSU teaching an upper division real estate law class and a business/ethics class. Finally, Mark spearheaded a fundraising effort to save a community elementary school destined for closure by raising over $80,000 of cash and in-kind contributions for cosmetic restoration (including an asphalt parking lot for teachers) of the school. This included replacing the tattered Florida and United States flags. The students, parents and faculty all took pride in the facility.

In 2016 Mark moved to North Fort Myers. His law practice nearly at an end, he decided to run for the Florida House Seat 79, a District covering North Fort Myers, Fort Myers Shores, Alva, Olga, Lehigh Acres and Buckingham. Educating folks on the benefit of Medicaid Expansion was the impetus behind his running.

During his two and a half years living in Southwest Florida Mark became a director on the North Fort Myers Civic Association, an officer of the Lee County Arts Center, and a member of both the Lehigh Acres and North Fort Myers Chambers of Commerce.He attended “Develop Lee” meetings, the Lehigh Acres Community Council, Planning and Zoning Board, and supported both the Lehigh Acres Senior Center and Community Services.

He is survived by his wife, Candace Clemens of North Fort Myers, FL, and a daughter Elizabeth Lipton McCombie (married to Rob McCombie) of Moss Beach, CA, a Son Miles Hanley Lipton (married to Kacie Carter) of Montara, CA and two grandchildren. His two sisters, Sheri Lipton (married to Gail Lipton), and Robin Lipton both reside in Aliso Viejo, CA and his surviving brother, Steven Lipton (married to Joan Lipton), lives in San Antonio, TX. 

Please reference the beautiful eulogy written by his son, Miles. 

Recent stories

An exceptional man, a brilliant mind, a kind heart, and a ready smile.

Shared by Candace Clemens on February 9, 2019

Mark and I met late in life, when he was 70 and I was 66.  We got engaged the next year, shortly after he decided to run for office.  I often quipped that I was only going to marry him if he won the election. As a former PR career person, I was always hoping this might grab a headline "She says Let the Voters Decide!"  Mark did not win in spite of getting the largest historical percentage of votes by a Democrat running for Florida House Seat 79. He voiced some concern that I might have been serious about the marriage caveat, and mentioned several times that "the offer was still on the table."  So on Dec. 20th, while visiting his sister and children and grandchildren in Northern California, to be immediately followed by a visit to some of my family in the UK, we got married. We had a lovely celebration with his family, Then, on Christmas eve, we headed over to London to celebrate with mine.  We arrived early Christmas morning.  He was fighting a head cold, which -- by the time we arrived -- had turned into a flu.  He died suddenly and unexpectedly the next morning, just six days after our marriage -- Boxing Day in London. I assumed it was from complications from the flu. But the coroner in London revealed a hidden heart condition, something of which he was completely unaware. Mark exercised daily, took good care of himself, and monitored his health. He led a very busy life, especially when he ran for office. So his death took us all completely by surprise. Especially me.

In addition to running for office, and a few law cases in CA (his practice was in retirement mode), Mark had been working on a riveting novel -- an international thriller that rivals any of the Jason Bourne series. His son hopes to finish editing the manuscript and get it published posthumously. 

Mark was an exceptional man -- brilliant, kind and ethical.  He was passionate about the law as a tool for justice. He was also passionate about politics, and had a strong belief in democracy, and in our political system, especially as a tool to solve problems. He also was a wonderful man to live with.  I am very grateful for the two-and-a-half years we had together.  And because he had the drive and courage to run for office (as a Democrat in a Red district) I am happy so many others grew to know and appreciate him.  "He is the first Democrat I ever voted for," has been a comment I have heard several times.   

This song, written by Bob Dylan but sung so beautifully by Madeleine Peyroux, had special significance to us during our courtship.  It is even more meaningful now that he is gone:

I'll look for you in old Honolul-a
San Francisco, Ashtabula
You're gonna have to leave me now, I know
But I'll see you in the sky above
In the tall grass, in the ones I love
You're gonna make me lonesome when you go.

A Tribute published in the North Fort Myers Neighbor

Shared by Candace Clemens on February 10, 2019

By beat reporter, Chuck Ballaro, who ran into Mark at many civic events. 

A tribute published in the Fort Myers News Press

Shared by Candace Clemens on February 10, 2019

Redundant to much on this web site memorial, but the editor knew Mark from his campaign and gave me a by-line for the occasion.