Mark J. Stack, 40, passed away at home on February 10, 2020 with his beloved rescue dogs in his bed and his devoted wife by his side.

Mark’s life was unfairly cut short by glioblastoma, a merciless disease for which there is no cure. In fitting with his easy-going nature, he rarely complained. Even in the face of his own mortality, he was grateful for a rich life full of amazing experiences and wonderful people he befriended along the way. He always maintained that “it is what it is” and accepted the obstacles life threw at him with uncommon grace and dignity.

Mark succeeded in living in the moment in a way most of us only wish we could.

He had a deep appreciation for the arts, especially music. He would gladly spend his last dollar to support live local music or buy a concert or festival ticket. He was also a talented musician himself, finding joy in singing, and playing guitar, mandolin, and a little harmonica.

Mark had a passion for the pursuit of knowledge. He was an avid reader and always had two books by his side- one fiction and one non-fiction. He particularly enjoyed learning and teaching history and social studies. He fancied himself somewhat of a philosopher, and he loved studying maps.

Most of Mark’s career focused on serving others. He began working in the field of education at Nature’s Classroom, where he eventually met his wife in 2005. He was especially gifted when it came to working with disadvantaged children who benefited from a little extra attention. Over the years he worked as a substitute teacher for the City School District of Albany, as a clerk at the Albany Public Library, and most recently provided supports for foster children through his employment at Northeast Parent and Child Society.

Above all, Mark’s kindness will be remembered most. His patience and compassion for everyone was always apparent in his words and actions. He gave everyone the benefit of the doubt, never spoke ill of anyone, and was never one to hold a grudge. His capacity for forgiveness will remain unmatched.

He loved fiercely and with abandon and was loved fiercely in return.

Mark is survived by his wife, Sara Grondahl; mother, Patricia Quinn; father, John Stack; brothers, Andy Stack, Brendan Ahern, and John Stack, Jr.; sister, Melissa Ahern; parents-in- law, Robin Grondahl and Steven Grondahl; siblings-in-law, Ben Grondahl and Emily Grondahl. He also leaves behind many friends and 3 four-legged children (Kirby, Magnolia, and Noodle).

No immediate services will be held, but a celebration of Mark’s life will take place later this year. If you would like more information regarding the celebration of life as it becomes available, please send your contact information to mark.stack.memorial@gmail.com. 

Memorial contributions can be made to:
Mohawk Hudson Humane Society
3 Oakland Avenue
Menands, NY 12204
Posted by Elizabeth Dubben on February 13, 2020
Mark was the sweetest, most caring person...an incredibly talented (but humble) musician and a free-spirit at his core. He saw the good in everyone. We shared a lot in common,especially a love for indie music, but most special-our birthday!! I will hold that close and always celebrate you.

Mark was an incredibly loving partner and a wonderful friend to so many. To witness the strength of your relationship together with Sara was and is powerful. Mark had a calm, cool way about him that was infectious, graceful, right to the end. We shared so many great times together over the years and I wish we could go back, just for a moment to our backyard dinners and rooftop fireworks, concerts in the gallery and birthday shenanigans. Rest easy friend, till next time.
Posted by Jaime Faith on February 12, 2020
I unfortunately did not get the chance to meet Mark prior to him getting sick, but In the few years that I knew him I could tell he had an amazing heart, a warming smile and just an overall welcoming personality. There are a few things that immediately come to my mind When I think about Mark. I remember is how excited he was to come see my new place and to bring me the lamp he and Sara had gotten for me. The fact that he always thought of everyone else first as one of the things that made him incredibly special to me. Another was a time when I was at the house and Sarah had to run some errands and me and Mark sat there talking about music and had “Alexa” pulling up every song that came to mind. We ended up going through a Beatles tribute, both singing on top of our lungs. We had a great time. One last thing, Mark had such a special connection with my son and my son absolutely adored him. Being away at college he did not get to see Mark and Sara as much as he would’ve liked, but there was something about Mark that my son just connected really connected to him.He will definitely be missed and it’s definitely not fair. Sara, I am here for you, we are here for you, we love you and whatever you need my girl, we got you 100%
Posted by Donald Hyman on February 12, 2020
Donald Hyman My Lord What wonderful friend I was blessed to share my life meeting. I remember Mark singing at an MLK event at the Empire State convention center "We shall Not be Moved" and Mark, Andy and his sister seeing "Puff The Magic Dragon" More so he helped us at the Farmer Market and performed solo and with family Boy i cant write no more .
It was at the show that Mark had the high point of the show were he sang "We Shall Not Be Moved" and the cast and the whole audience joined it ... here he was with his guitar under his arms singing with everyone and remember afterward we all came out looking at the rest of the show and ran into Mark standing in the audience just looking at the rest of the show and a look of Joy for being a part of this celebration..... Memory of the family doing the Xmas show at St Rose what Radiant light !!!!

Posted by Kyle Kelly on February 12, 2020
I’m in shock. I loved Mark deeply. We met in Albany after he answered an add that I posted looking for “old timey” musicians. We met for the first time in Washington Park and we sang songs about “Last Ole Dollars” and such. Our connection was immediate and we enjoyed a rambling friendship for the next few years or so. He was such a sweet and generous man. He played my wedding and I’ll always remember his delightful rendition of “Ripple” on the mandolin. We lost touch over the years but I always fancied us getting together again one day. The world is not the same. I’ll miss you dear brother. God bless you my friend, and we’ll meet again in the bye and bye - Kyle
Posted by Patricia Quinn on February 11, 2020
Sweet, kind, gentle, forgiving, dear son. You sacrificed for others and gave shirt off your back to someone in need. Humble and deep thinking. Loyal husband, friend and brother. I know God is taking care of you because you took care of his children. Love you so much. Please come back for me and don’t wait too long. Miss you beyond words. Love, mom
Posted by Therese Cavanaugh on February 10, 2020
Dear Sarah and family of Mark. My deepest sympathy for your loss. My Prayers are with you and yours! Time will heal the hurt and loss. To know that he is in the Palm of His hand, may we seek Peace! Xo
Posted by Bo Bicknell on February 10, 2020
Mark was such a sweet guy!  I learned a lot about education from him, and I'll always remember playing music with him at Nature's Classroom and the Greyfox music festival. He really brought a warm and calming lightness everywhere he went, and was loved by so many. Thinking of his family right now, and especially you, Sarah!! Love to you!!!! -Bo
Posted by Diane Tasse on February 10, 2020
Mark sounds like a person with a great spirit. My condolences to Sara and her extended family and all of Mark's family.
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Posted by Donats Ahern on February 10, 2020
Many memories of Mark growing up. I have fond memories of holidays together. Condolences and love to Mark's mother, wife, and siblings.
Posted by Beth Lewis on February 10, 2020
Dear Sara, I am so sorry for your loss. The beautifully written memorial describes a man who will be missed by many. My heart aches for you and for all who loved Mark.

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Elizabeth Dubben on February 13, 2020
Mark was the sweetest, most caring person...an incredibly talented (but humble) musician and a free-spirit at his core. He saw the good in everyone. We shared a lot in common,especially a love for indie music, but most special-our birthday!! I will hold that close and always celebrate you.

Mark was an incredibly loving partner and a wonderful friend to so many. To witness the strength of your relationship together with Sara was and is powerful. Mark had a calm, cool way about him that was infectious, graceful, right to the end. We shared so many great times together over the years and I wish we could go back, just for a moment to our backyard dinners and rooftop fireworks, concerts in the gallery and birthday shenanigans. Rest easy friend, till next time.
Posted by Jaime Faith on February 12, 2020
I unfortunately did not get the chance to meet Mark prior to him getting sick, but In the few years that I knew him I could tell he had an amazing heart, a warming smile and just an overall welcoming personality. There are a few things that immediately come to my mind When I think about Mark. I remember is how excited he was to come see my new place and to bring me the lamp he and Sara had gotten for me. The fact that he always thought of everyone else first as one of the things that made him incredibly special to me. Another was a time when I was at the house and Sarah had to run some errands and me and Mark sat there talking about music and had “Alexa” pulling up every song that came to mind. We ended up going through a Beatles tribute, both singing on top of our lungs. We had a great time. One last thing, Mark had such a special connection with my son and my son absolutely adored him. Being away at college he did not get to see Mark and Sara as much as he would’ve liked, but there was something about Mark that my son just connected really connected to him.He will definitely be missed and it’s definitely not fair. Sara, I am here for you, we are here for you, we love you and whatever you need my girl, we got you 100%
Posted by Donald Hyman on February 12, 2020
Donald Hyman My Lord What wonderful friend I was blessed to share my life meeting. I remember Mark singing at an MLK event at the Empire State convention center "We shall Not be Moved" and Mark, Andy and his sister seeing "Puff The Magic Dragon" More so he helped us at the Farmer Market and performed solo and with family Boy i cant write no more .
It was at the show that Mark had the high point of the show were he sang "We Shall Not Be Moved" and the cast and the whole audience joined it ... here he was with his guitar under his arms singing with everyone and remember afterward we all came out looking at the rest of the show and ran into Mark standing in the audience just looking at the rest of the show and a look of Joy for being a part of this celebration..... Memory of the family doing the Xmas show at St Rose what Radiant light !!!!

Recent stories
Shared by Richard Bogen on February 15, 2020
I moved to Albany in 2009 for my internship and met Mark on craigslist within a month, looking for people to play music with.  He was such an authentic and gentle spirit.  I really lucked out meeting him.  We started playing, and had a little folk band we called Willingdone Museyroom  (I posted a couple of songs in the gallery section).  I was only there for less than a year, but Mark made a lasting impression on me.  I really enjoyed singing with him.  I couldn't find a recording of "Flower In the Wildwood" but I always really liked the way he sang that one.  I could never pull it off without him!  
Shared by Betsy Cotrona on February 11, 2020
I will always remember Mark as a bright, insightful and kind soul. The world is better for his having been here. My heartfelt condolences to his family and friends who love and miss him dearly. 

Thanks for all the memories old friend.

Shared by Ian Eskander on February 10, 2020
Mark was such a sweet friend. I played in my first band with Mark and Andy when I was only fourteen years old. We had many adventures in the short time we lived near each other. I’ll always remember Mark’s humor, Intelligence, and ability to be in-the-moment. I was depressed for a year, when I found out we were leaving East Aurora for California when I was fifteen. I couldn’t imagine leaving my buddies, Mark and Andy. I remember jamming in the Stack’s band room in the winter. I remember painting Mark’s drum set with blue and purple whales. We smoked cigars while on some backwoods walkabout. As freshman. I remember feeling like kings of East Aurora high school when we rocked at the talent show. Mark was the humble one, and kept us grounded. I’ll always remember his smile and laugh. He was a really good human being and will be dearly missed.