Now as a spirit
I shall roam
the summer fields.
-Hokusai, 1849

Friends and Family, 

In the days since our father's death, we have been strengthened by the outpouring of stories and memories shared with us by the people who knew and loved him. We are hoping this website can serve as a place where these can be collected, and act as a lasting resource for us all to cherish his memory.

Your words and photos will help us all celebrate the richness of his life.

Love, 

His Four Children (Henry, Cole, Lily and Sam)



Finally, in lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Clubhouse International in his honor. Our father spent 30 years working with this organization on behalf of adults with mental illness.

*In order to add to the photo gallery or share a story you will have to enter an email and make a password, we apologize for any inconvenience.

Posted by Jonathan Harris on 24th March 2019
Mark Lanier Tribute – March 23, 2019 First, I’d like to thank so many of Mark’s friends from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business for coming, including our roommate from the infamous Skyline Ranch, Brian Sharples. This group – along with so many other people here today - is a testament to Mark’s embrace of a broad community that he counted among his friends. To quote Paul Simon, “I’ve never been laid so low.” Ever. It would be quite easy to come up here bawl as I have nearly every day for the past six weeks. But I don’t think Mark would have wanted that. He would, however, have approved of the use of the word “bawl.” It was one of his go-to words. “I’m telling you, J. Todd Harris, that movie had me bawling like a baby.” He liked to call people by their full names. It somehow elevated the game. Got their full attention. Created more import to whatever exchange was at hand. He also sometimes employed a distinct delivery - sort of a stop (pause) and go that racked your attention to whatever wisdom he was imparting. And wisdom it was. Or at least insight. Or, if neither wisdom nor insight, at least genuine curiosity. And, despite the occasional stutter – which as a fellow stutterer, I found endearing – he was a man after my own heart with so little verbiage wasted. He didn’t want to waste your time. Or his. I don’t count a single minute of our time together as wasted. Even when we were “wasted.” The man appreciated everything the world had to offer – a van Gogh brush stroke, a DeBussy arpeggio, a Walt Whitman couplet, an Oscar Robertson jump-shot, a lick from Jerry Garcia’s guitar, a full-bodied cabernet, the sweet scent of sativa, a lover’s moan, a baby’s cry. All of his senses were open to feeling every stitch life’s rich fabric. Once, at a Grateful Dead show with our good friend Michael Moroney (in a typically elevated state that accompanies Dead shows), not only did we conjure the fictitious “original onion mudmen” (a phrase that we found riotous at the time), but we also – for reasons unknown - stumbled across the name of the late 1960s Cincinnati Reds slugger, Lee May. There, at one in the morning in some random Oakland parking lot, was Mark Lanier ecstatically calling to the heavens “Lee May!!” as though we had unearthed the Dead Sea Scrolls. As some of you in this room know, we did a play together in business school. We must have been out of our minds to take on Peter Shaffer’s heartbreaking psychological mystery “Equus.” Only the cheeky Brit Garry Jones could have convinced us to pursue such folly. In that play, I had the part of a deeply disturbed teenage boy who committed an unspeakable act as a result of his confusion about sex and religion. Mark played the psychiatrist charged with unraveling the mystery behind the boy’s heinous crime and then giving him a second chance in life. Of course, in dissecting the boy’s profound problems, the psychiatrist winds up examining his own life and finds it lacking. And, in the end, as he sets the boy free of his demons, he despairs that he will never be free of his own, never experience the unbridled ecstasy the boy had, and that he is destined to be trapped in his own tidy joyless world. We may never know all the mysteries that swirled in Mark’s magnificent mind, but I can tell you that he had joy in his life and brought much joy to countless others. We are so much richer for having had him in our lives. I’m so sorry we didn’t have him for longer. And with that, I’d like to play two short songs that capture, for me – and I hope for you – Mark and the sadness yet hope we can find in this moment. (Cue Elton John’s “Salvation,” Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic.”)
Posted by Christoph Seyfarth on 23rd March 2019
Our next beer Maybe I'm the person Marc knew the least. I was his almost-brother-in-law back in 2002. But this is already something in today's patchwork families. It was when I first visited the Olson-Lanier family. The last days in their big white house with the huge lawn and the black poodle. That day it was very hot and I was quite thirsty. I still remember the first minutes and him generously opening his fridge with the many bottles of Heineken inside. It seemed like an oasis to me after the long journey in the damp summer heat. When I was in Boston a few years ago, I wanted to see him again, but we only managed to make a phone call. I told him that I wanted to reach out and how I still rembered his generosity and the cold Heineken in the summer of 2002. We talked very friendly and made an appointment for a Heineken beer next time I'm in Boston. That will not happen anymore. Marc, when I go to heaven (I'm sure you're there), I find out where you are and then we drink our Heineken. (I'm sure the pubs there are leading Heineken, otherwise I don't want to go there anyway.) Henry, Lily, Sam and Cole - I think you of you. Christoph (Germany)
Posted by Benjamin Fine on 23rd March 2019
I think of Mr. Mark - the name came about as an uneasy truce between my unwillingness to drop the honorific and his insistence that Mr. Lanier was his father - whenever I see 6” cast iron pans. I used to come over to the Lanier house in Weston to play outside and occasionally stay over for dinner. The warm vibes around that dinner table stay with me today. So does the food. My favorite dishes were all in many sizes of heavy metal pans that I later learned were cast iron. I vividly remember Mr. Mark pulling a very small sauce pan out of the oven and bringing it to the dinner table. 20 years later I now own my own small cast iron pan. I'm still working on recreating the atmosphere.
Posted by NICHOLAS RATUT on 23rd March 2019
"You gadfly with french cuffs," is what Mark called me one day in a fit of frustration and unbridled enthusiasm over some topic relating to Clubhouse International. Mark is truly one of the most unusual, intelligent, empathetic and generous people that I have had the honor and privilege to know. I first met Mark 11 years ago in Helsinki at a Clubhouse International board meeting and since then we had grown closer over the past 5 years as successive Chairs of Clubhouse International. Some of the things about which Mark left an indelible memory on me : thougtfully sending me a cassette collection of French Cafe music (even though I had never professed a taste for this type of music), bringing a prize-winning cheese to an Executive Committee retreat, relating with pride and pleasure his holidays in Japan, his infectious laughter that started from deep within, his colorful and insightful Treasurer's reports which made everyone pay attention to, admonishing me, justifiably, for not knowing and enlightening me on the art of Suiseki (we surprised him with a stone at the end of his term as Chair) and devoting his Saturday to drive down to Litchfield CT to meet me to ask me about my thoughts and priorities in his capacity as newly elected Chair. A few months ago, I promised that I would come to Boston to reciprocate but little did I know that it would be today to pay tribute to him. Mark, you have left this world a far better place and I miss you sorely.
Posted by Kate Goodale on 23rd March 2019
Hi Mark. Nothing personal that I haven't posted anything yet. I've been stunned. I didn't know you were in unbearable pain. I wish I could have intervened. Mark, I feel a connection to you. I love your vulnerability, warmth, deep compassion, learnedness, love of creativity, and your devil-may-care attitude. And wisdom. You are a good, sweet, and sane sounding board. A 'safe' person to be around. I feel cared about, well listened to and loved in your presence. Though we are first cousins I am starting to think of you as a brother of sorts, a brother from a different mother. I love you, Mark. Be well, be free, and create every day. From, Kate
Posted by Abigail Erdmann on 23rd March 2019
Lovely and Grieving Laniers, I am thinking of you all and holding each one of you close and gently as tomorrow approaches and the day of your dad's celebration comes nearer. I am so glad you are doing this, as hard as it is, and I am so pleased it is a celebration-- that you have waited so that the shock of Mark's death turned into-- for others -- a remembrance of all that he brought into the world-- first and foremost, you, his most beloved beautiful ones, but also, his curiosity his quirkiness, his intelligence and his morality. From what I knew, he was a very good man. He loved deeply. He had demons and they got him. When my mother died of suicide pretty much when I was your age, I knew: she must have known that I would be ok. Your dad knew you were all launched, all on your way. You each are a treasure(I am sorry, Henry, I never got the honor of teaching you) and he was completely pleased with and proud of you. I hope there is laughter as well as tears and the stories, especially unexpected ones, will amaze. Please record the words as they will fly by you. Some will find it hard to know what to say to you but you all with your grace will put them at ease, as your father would have. When you have time, I would love to see the words you each speak. I send you all my love. Please call on me if I can ever give support or just to reconnect. With shared grief and love,
Posted by Jennifer MacIntyre on 22nd March 2019
I have a unique connection to Mark, knowing him from the same classes at both undergrad (Williams College ‘80, where Mark was affectionately referred to as the 40 year old freshman), as well as business school (Stanford GSB ’86, where we were members of the same T group in Interpersonal Dynamics (nicknamed ‘Touchy Feely’) -- I also was able to post a photo of the group). A number of years ago when I went to a memorial service for another Stanford classmate who left us too soon (Kyle McKinney), the person I ran into and sat with for the service was Mark. This is so very sad. I look forward to the opportunity to celebrate Mark’s life and raise a glass to him with his friends and family on Saturday.
Posted by Vera Hahn on 20th March 2019
I had the priviledge to meet Mark for the first time eleven years ago when we had an European project meeting in Helsinki and in the end we met with the board of Clubhouse International for some exchange and the highlight was a harbour cruise we went on all together. I remember Mark very much listening to other people, asking questions and being very dedicated to strengthen the Clubhouse movement. He was a great guy. We will miss him. Vera Hahn, Clubhaus Schwalbennest, Germany
Posted by Anette Goelet on 19th March 2019
When I have been thinking of Mark over the last few weeks, there are a couple of things that keeps repeating themselves. We had so many fun, argumentative , and passionate talks about Opera and food/wine. Cheeses and ice cream topped the list many a time, and of course tasting was necessary . In Mark’s generous fashion a package would arrive on my doorstep related to our last interaction. My favorite I think was after he had spent some days with us at the farm, and 12 pints of Grater’s ice cream, in all kinds of flavors, arrived a few days later. I had never heard of this ice cream, but it will for ever be a staple in our household . Thank you Mark, for a delicious way of remembering you.
Posted by Amanda Packard on 19th March 2019
Dear Lily, Sam, Cole and Henry, The best parts of living in the cottage on Redding Road was seeing the love that Mark had for all of you. Of course Mark was always up to teaching me some lessons or laughing at me! Mark taught me how to dumpster dive when I was in need of furnishings. He called himself my mouse hearse, as he was always willing, after I would interrupt him at work to tell him another one died, to come to the cottage and dispose of them. He always ready for a tug-of-war or a ball throw for Lance. Who could forget the family eggnog or his generosity in sharing it with me? He was always up for an adventure showing me the dog walking trails or coming over for a picnic dinner on the living room floor when I did not have furniture. More recently when we would see each other yearly he would catch me up with pride on what all of you were doing. I will miss his warmth, laughter, and friendship even though I know that parts of him live on in all of you. Hugs, Amanda
Posted by Roy Pfeil on 19th March 2019
Dear Henry, Cole, Lily and Sam: Your dad was a fine guy. His decency, keen intellect, sense of humor and graciousness made him exceptionally good company. I mourn his loss. Roy
Posted by Al Bunis on 18th March 2019
Weighing in as part of CCDS' basketball team. Elmo is deeply missed. Including his sweet shot from the corner...unique Elmo swish after swish which is now in heaven....with God needing to pull the net down off the rim after every shot. I was grateful to see it again at our team reunion in NY a few years ago...although we were a bit sleep deprived...having stayed up half the night before with David H. pouring over old yearbooks. Much loved by everyone on the team...even when he and Garvey were standing on tip toes in yearbook picture to make Barach look short (maybe me too). I miss you brother!
Posted by Mikko Harvey on 17th March 2019
I will remember Mark laughing whole-heartedly, whole-bodily, his face turning red in the process. I will remember him going out of his way to be kind to me. The funny brilliant emails he sent. The serious brilliant comments he made and questions he asked over dinner. The way he always listened carefully, even when he was the smartest person in the room. I will remember the last time I saw him, at the dinner he arranged to celebrate my book. I'm so grateful that he did that. It was just one of his many generous acts. I wish I could have had so many more conversations with him.
Posted by Jill A Winitzer on 17th March 2019
Dear Henry, Cole, Lily, and Sam, I knew your dad as a fierce supporter of the 4 off you. And of course as a kind, bright, fun man. May his memory be for a blessing. With hugs from Copley Street.
Posted by Paul Goren on 17th March 2019
I was so very sorry to hear this news. Mark and I were classmates at Williams. I loved to land in a class with Mark because he was always thoughtful, engaging, challenging, and refreshing and yet always willing to listen and learn from others. Although we have been in limited touch over the years I cherished seeing him at reunions, returning to conversations we started years ago while sharing news of our families and our work and our lives. I am a better person for having known Mark.
Posted by Melissa Murphy on 16th March 2019
Happy Birthday Mark ❤️ We miss you
Posted by Toni Callahan on 15th March 2019
Dear Henry, Lily, Sam and Cole, I knew your father during my first year at Williams, and I'm afraid I lost track of him afterwards. I don't actually remember a lot of people from Williams, as nice as everyone was. Your dad stood out, though, because he was so very intelligent and articulate, so easy to talk to about so many topics, so friendly and outgoing and attentive, and so very kind. He struck me as exceptional, and he struck me as a true gentleman. I was so sorry to hear of his passing, and I send you my sympathy and very best wishes. Toni King Callahan
Posted by Steven Rebarber on 13th March 2019
I had the privilege of getting to know Mark during the English department senior seminar that he and I did together with Professor Clara Park. The seminar was on Milton's "Paradise Lost." Mark and I would meet at Professor Park's home, and she would serve the two of us tea as we talked about that masterpiece and many other things, besides. Even then, I had a pretty clear idea of how lucky I was to share that time with Mark. As others have commented, Mark had a rare gift for talking to you with a strong but unforced focus and caring that created a genuine connection. That time with him left an indelible impression, and I will miss him very much.
Posted by Ann Noyes on 13th March 2019
To Henry, Cole, Lily, and Sam, Thank you so much for creating this website and allowing Mark's numerous friends and admirers share stories and pictures. My life intersected with Mark's while JAs in Lehman. A person of generous spirit, profound insight, great humor, and quick wit Memories will be savored and treasured. I hope his enduring love for you wraps you in comfort these weeks ahead.
Posted by Anna Rountree on 13th March 2019
Dear Henry, Cole, Lily and Sam, May your dad's deep love for you all carry you through these dark days, and lift you as you continue to live full lives, just as he would want you to do. He spoke so adoringly of you all. I had the honor of working with your dad at Clubhouse International. Three months in, I was sent to LA for a training. I was by far the youngest, most inexperienced one there. Later that night the group went to dinner, and as we were choosing our seats at the table - me tentatively, your dad swooped in, ushered me to a seat next to him, and began asking me questions about my life. He wasn't so interested in hearing where I went to school, etc...as he was in learning what makes me tick. We became fast friends. As someone who also lost their father at a young age, your dad continued throughout the past several years to be a father figure to me. He never treated me as just some young adult/newcomer, but instead as someone with the potential to strengthen our work, and our world. He listened, he encouraged, he pushed, he pulled, he gave direct, fair advice. I knew that I could speak with your dad about anything because he would always be honest, he would explain why he felt the way he did, and he would be willing to listen (with a few exceptions mostly about pharmaceuticals haha). His support gave me courage and always served to remind me to keep things in perspective. I am filled with gratitude for his guidance, and I will sorely miss his candor and his fire. Thank you for sharing him with me. I just returned from maternity leave, and as I am weeding through emails, and setting agenda items for the coming year, I am being constantly drawn to reach out to your dad, just as I always had. There are so many things I want to tell him about the latest book I read, my travel plans, some outrageous behavior I witnessed;), my daughters. It is difficult to not be able to send him an email, or hear his voice booming on the other end of the phone, but I do believe his indomitable spirit surrounds us all. Mark, may your flame continue to glow inside all of us, and continue to propel the Clubhouse movement forward. With love, Anna
Posted by Daniel Von Allmen on 10th March 2019
One of my most treasured friends during my time at Williams. Cerebral, caring, and fun! I will never forget meeting Mark at the Log one night for a pitcher of beer and and when I asked halfway through the conversation why tonight? In his characteristic selfless manner he informed me that it was his birthday. His quiet maturity brought balance and joy to David, Michael and me during our sophomore year at Williams. A special person who will be missed.
Posted by Riikka Melartin on 10th March 2019
As I'm sure is true for all of us, there are not enough words as I think of the different ways I knew and loved Mark for the last 41 years. I could not have predicted, when he was a junior advisor at my dorm at Williams, that we would still know each other when our children were older than Mark and I were then. What luck. After his death, I thought with regret of the opportunities we had this fall/winter to get together, that I hadn't taken. We always wish we had had more time with the people we care about. But then I am glad to look back at my family's last interactions with Mark, as they're imbued with normalcy and cheer, and no sense of urgency or of time running out. First, my daughter and I leaving his house after a lovely dinner where we met his summer intern, Mark giving us his usual bear hug goodbye at the front door. The dinners at Mark's house and patio are the common thread these last eleven years of living in the same town-- often with his or my kids or his friends, always with delicious food, warmth and hospitality, and his ever curious, far-ranging intellect. My daughter Maija saw him after me. This fall she was babysitting three little boys, aged 2 to 7, and had taken them to Brookline. Nature called, no public bathrooms were to be found, and she thought to bring them to Welland Road. Mark was gracious as always, seeming pleased as punch to have his house used as a pit stop for three little strangers. Finally, I look back at our last texts, him sending me pictures of his kids home for Christmas, so happy to have them with him, and me sending a picture of Maija's first tattoo to share with them, especially Cole (whose tattoos were impressive and beautiful). I am comforted by the fact that the last communication I sent Mark was the ancient Finnish symbol of protection. Mark has touched all our lives for the better, and his imprint lives on in all the lives he touched.
Posted by Max Corman Penzel on 8th March 2019
Gregarious, gentle and kind, I remember sleeping over at his house in middle school for the first time. Sam and I were driven to blockbuster (there remains only one open blockbuster in the world today) and were encouraged to pick out any movie(s) that we wanted. We picked Training Day and Bad Boys II, both of which remain two of my favorite and most watched movies to this day. I am so saddended to hear of your passing. So so sad.
Posted by Cathy Corman on 8th March 2019
"WAY TO GO, KEEPER!" a deep voice boomed behind me. I turned my head. As our kids ran back and forth across the soccer field, we began a casual conversation that hinted that this fellow's spirit was even larger than his proportions. Well read, incisive, passionate about mental health and homelessness, an avid sportsman, a gentle father, Mark contained multitudes. I am filled with sadness to know that your curious, capacious, kind father is no more. In sorrow -- Cathy Corman (mother of Lily, Max, and Sam)
Posted by Patrick Madden on 6th March 2019
I was lucky enough to become good friends with Sam in college and so was lucky enough too to have some memorable encounters with Mark. Once, Mark picked up me and Sam in Providence and then the three of us collected Sam’s Aunt Reanie in Mystic. We all drove to New Haven where Mark took us out to a lavish dinner. I ordered what turned out to be basically a bowl of raw vegetables (not so much a salad as exactly that — a giant bowl of whole, raw root vegetables), and I remember feeling silly because Mark had ordered what I suspected was the most delicious item on the menu. Mark didn’t make me feel at all foolish about roughage, however, and I appreciated this at the time. The four of us then attended a show at the Yale School of Drama — a school I would soon audition for and attend. The highlight of the evening was hardly the play (or the vegetables); it was spending time with Mark and Reanie, who were uncommonly sharp and entirely delightful. The following summer, Mark drove from Boston to Providence with a fully cooked feast in the back of his car. In Harry Potter book seven, Hermione has a charmed bag that can hold copious contents despite its small size. This was the back of Mark’s car that day. Into our humble abode he unloaded breads, stews, sweet meats, wines — the makings of a true banquet. He warmed what needed warming on our stove and then set everything out for me and Sam and several of our friends. Mark brought a touch of majesty into our lives that evening which I will never forget, and I am not surprised to read here that he touched many lives in this way. I am grateful for the times I got to spend with Mark, and I extend all my love to my dear Sam, to Lily, to Henry and Cole.
Posted by Charles Goetz on 5th March 2019
Among the objects I dusted in my bedroom, the other day, was a framed program of a Cincinnati Country Day School production I directed of 'The Importance of Being Earnest.' Topping the cast list was Mark Lanier as Lane, the butler. His performance was spot on! I don't recall having to give him a single acting note. He seemed an oxymoron: an easygoing perfectionist. Somewhat later, Mark's parents generously underwrote a theatre trip to New York, which I led. Our little band included Mark, of course, and at least three other students. We stayed in the somewhat shabbily genteel Paris Hotel and saw a number of shows, including 'Ulysses in Nighttown,' an adaptation of the fifteenth section of James Joyce's 'Ulysses.' I thought that play would be a perfect introduction to the Joyce work. It proved to be educational in an entirely different way when young actress Fionnula Flanagan appeared center-stage, starkers on an emperor-size, raked bed. Mark and I were in occasional touch after his Country Day years, most notably at his mom's funeral. We emailed back and forth about various issues while he was in Massachusetts; I knew about the turns his life took. Recently, at his behest, we connected about Richard Cordray's Ohio gubernatorial candidacy. He told me they had played basketball together at Oxford. Mark asked me to attend, in his place, a reception for Cordray in Cincinnati. He seemed to take Cordray's loss quite philosophically. During the election period, Mark appeared upbeat and energetic. It was therefore a shock for me to hear about his life's ending. I will always remember him as an enormously civilized gentleman. I dearly hope he rests in the peace that eluded him in life. Charlie Goetz
Posted by Thea Bee on 1st March 2019
I did not know Mark well, but I enjoyed the conversations we had at Clubhouse International and Genesis Club events. He will be missed.
Posted by Abigail Erdmann on 28th February 2019
Dear Henry, Cole, Sam, Lily, and Kirsten, I knew your Mark only as YOUR dad—Cole once described him as a Santa Claus figure and he sure was. He bustled in front of his house I passed daily on my way to class and he graciously made room inside for our paper readings that might happen early or late—he seemed always to be up for these gatherings no matter what time. I never saw his deep dark side. What I saw was his true delight in his four beautiful children and your talents, charisma, confidence, and humility. He handed hearty greetings to anyone passing and seemed a free and happy spirit, but his demons were too much for him. The suicide of a parent hurts and harms but know this: he loved you with all his might and still that wasn’t enough to hold him here and know this: he knew you would be ok in the world. You will be more than ok with your tight and now even tighter family and community circle to hold and hold you. I hold you all close and dear forever. With love, Abby
Posted by Jay Reighley on 27th February 2019
Our family is deeply saddened with Mark's passing. News today was forwarded to me announcing a celebration of Mark's life will be held on March 23 in Brookline. I hope to join the family in remembering him through stories, photos, and music. Such a terrible loss.
Posted by Hanne Juul on 27th February 2019
Dear Henry, Cole, Lily and Sam Please receive my condolences. Your father was an extraordinary person. We all could learn a lot from his passion helping persons suffering from mental illness. Fortunately we had 8 years together on the board of Clubhouse International. We shared the love in opera and Aksel Schiøtz and I will never forget when he opened a board meeting singing "Du danske sommer jeg elsker dig" (You Danish Summer I love you). He will be missed. Sincerely Hanne Juul
Posted by Steven Manning on 26th February 2019
I first met Mark in Stockholm Sweden circa 2011. He struck me as a loudmouth, big, passionate guy, as hundreds of us marched in the parade for mental illness. Now, I remember him as a gentle, kind, fierce advocate for folks with mental illness. I also know him as a close friend and fellow clubhouse international board member, who took interest in me, gave me lots of encouragement and support, and always had words of wisdom for me. I will always remember him telling me. "Steven it's great you have a business"! "One thing I want you to remember, running a business is not a sprint, it's a marathon!" I last saw Mark at our board dinner in Denmark on Nov 29th, 2018. I'm so thankful he had a great life and made a powerful impact on the lives of so many, especially those with mental illness. My thoughts and prayers go out for his family and friends.
Posted by Jennifer Tedesco on 25th February 2019
Dear Henry, Cole, Lily, & Sam, I had the privilege of serving on the board of Clubhouse International with your dad. I was always so inspired by his passion. I have never met anyone like him and I probably never will. He was so connected to all aspects of humanity in such a humble yet profound way. The depth of his empathy has been felt by so many. I remember the first seminar I went to; I was so nervous and I didn’t really know what to do or say. Your dad pulled me aside and with such kindness said “People just want to know you care and that is enough. Don’t be nervous just say hello, that will be enough”…. Thank you Mark for sharing your compassion, your convictions, your humor, your intelligence, and your wisdom with us all. I will never forget you. With love, Jennifer Tedesco
Posted by Dana Emery on 25th February 2019
The last time I saw Mark was in mid-August 2017 up on 700 Acre Island in Maine. It was a perfect Maine summer day - mid-morning, calm with barely a breeze, and sparkling sunshine dancing off the water. As we looked out across the bay, we had a wonderful chat: catching-up on family, careers and even some investment advice. Mark was running low on his American Spirits and he asked me where he should go on the mainland to buy some more smokes. I remember telling him that the store near the ferry no longer sold smokes and that his best option was to go across to Islesboro and drive up to the Island Market. At that point in our conversation, Mark looked at me with both inquiry and amusement and offered me one of his cigarettes which I willingly accepted. God bless you!
Posted by Ellen Sweeney on 25th February 2019
Mark is one of the kindest and best people I have ever had the privilege to know. I admired his compassion, wit, and sense of adventure. With his flair for the dramatic, you never quite knew what to expect from even the most routine of encounters - in one particularly memorable meeting, he woke the room up from a litany of drab reports by delivering his entire report in a highly embellished Scottish brogue! Mark and I spent many miles on the road together, traveling together as part of a volunteer committee about a decade ago - a role he then reprised with me a couple of summers ago, joining me for the Salt Lake City to Boise leg of a cross-country road trip. He artfully DJ'd our car ride with a dramatically varied selection of pretty much every type of music imaginable, and it was a joy to experience the sights through his eyes - he viewed the world with such wonder. I kept the photos he took during that leg of the journey, not my own - his eye for capturing the beauty and history of a site was remarkable. He is the kind of person who not only consented to visit a former internment camp as part of that trip, but looked forward to the opportunity to reflect on some of the more difficult times in our history as a nation. Since his passing, I have spent many hours re-reading a book of poetry he gifted to me several years ago. He brought such poetry into my life, and he will be missed.
Posted by Leif Oldert on 24th February 2019
I met Mark while working within the Clubhouse community. Our first interaction was at a gathering for training bases and the Clubhouse International Board of Directors. Mark’s physical stature was undeniable in a room of average height individuals. It would be easy to find his presence daunting, but Mark was quick to make himself approachable and down to earth. His welcoming demeanor and passion for Clubhouse did more to fill the room more than his stature. I appreciated Mark’s friendship, support, mentoring and innovative desire to pursue progress for the Clubhouse community. Credit needs to be given to Mark for the creation of the LABELED Film Festival in Salt Lake City. It was Mark who reached out to Alliance House, encouraging us to connect with a sister Clubhouse in Montreal to learn about the Au Contraire Film Festival they had started. Maybe someday LABELED will reach the point of desire, to intertwine with another local festival, the Sundance Film Festival, and create a broader platform for dialogue and mental health awareness. Maybe it won’t ever become that large, but the awareness it has already created in one city is a legacy unto itself. This one example is but a small drop from the ocean of impact Mark has had over his time with Clubhouse. His passion and humility will not be forgotten.
Posted by Morris Dawn Effron on 24th February 2019
We knew Mark as a dedicated member of our Brookline community. Mark brought a special combination of fierce intelligence, immense compassion and deep humility to his interactions, and we were grateful that the connection of our children allowed us to experience that. We discovered a shared enthusiasm for jazz, and caught a few great shows together that he suggested, with no travel to New York required. Mark was wonderfully warm, humane, curious and enthusiastic. It was clear to us all that his greatest joy by far was his children. We’re going to miss him.
Posted by Wander Reitsma on 23rd February 2019
Mark was above all a friend, a fire soul and a positive drive for the global Clubhouse movement. In Europe we remember him as Chair of Clubhouse International who always tries to overcome disputes by emphasizing the very reason of our existence: giving our members and all those who are suffering from mental illness, perspective and hope for a better life. On behalf of the Board of Clubhouse Europe, Wander Reitsma, Chair
Posted by Lori D'Angelo on 22nd February 2019
To Mark’s children, Your father, as you know, was a champion for our Clubhouse Model, and I was fortunate to most recently work with him in political advocacy in Ohio. I’m so grateful we had this time together, working and getting to know each other. He was so proud of all of you. We miss him and are very thankful to him. May you take comfort in knowing all the lives he touched.
Posted by Julie Horowitz on 22nd February 2019
For Sam, Cole, Henry, and Lily, my dear goddaughter, I have thought of your father every day since learning of his death. While many years have passed since the Lanier home was in full throttle and the epicenter of Old Redding Road, it’s easy to reach back to those days of chaos when all of you, and Sophie and Nathan, spent hours together in the arc of that perfect yard. My memories of your father remain in those moments, in that house, in that yard. Mark might be salvaging something from the garden, or stirring a mysterious potion on the stove, all the while with a tangle of kids scattered behind him. He would share some wisdom, explain some esoteric tidbit, and always with a keen sense that 6 year-olds deserved to be taken seriously. It’s hard to imagine a man better suited to fatherhood than Mark. Always the consummate teacher, this photo reminds me when we gathered to celebrate Hanukah in the shadow of my father’s beloved menorah, it was Mark who told the Hanukah story as if he had spent his own childhood immersed in this ritual His relentless curiosity for the unfamiliar ignited a light for all of our children . For this and much more, I remain deeply grateful to him.
Posted by Keira Flynn-Carson on 22nd February 2019
I am so sad to hear about your father. I parked my car in front of his house on most days, and at least once a week, he'd be gardening or leaving the house, and we'd stop and talk. Topics would range from poetry, to education, to travel, but they would always include news of what his kids were doing - delivered with great pride. Quite tangible was his appreciation of who you all were as individuals, his great joy in watching your lives unfold, and his gratefulness in an opportunity to share some news with a teacher who always loved you. I'm holding you all in my heart, and I will truly miss your smart, funny, kind, wonderful father.
Posted by Christine Limone on 21st February 2019
To Mark's Children, I am so saddened to learn of your father's passing and extend my sympathies to you all. I am a former staff worker at Laurel House in Stamford and met Mark when he served on the Board of Directors ( I remember meeting some of you too when you were just little kids - remember the Move Alongs at Cove Beach?). I was a young social worker at the time and Mark took an interest in my professional development. I learned a lot from him. But beyond Mark's generosity to me, I was most struck by his dedication to our members and how he interacted with them with such gentleness and kindness. I will never forget his deep barrel belly laugh. When Mark moved to MA and left the Board of Laurel House, it did not surprise me that he continued his service to the larger Clubhouse Community. His contribution to Clubhouse will be missed by all who were fortunate to know him. I will keep your family in my prayers as you grieve the passing of your father. May these tributes bring a smile to your faces. Sincerely, Christine (Chris) Limone Milford, CT
Posted by Kathy And Roger Foley on 20th February 2019
Our deepest condolences to Cole, Henry, Lily, & Sam. It’s sad that we missed our chance to meet Mark. When our families are together on the Cape this June, we’d love to get to know him through hearing some of your stories about this man who was such an important part of your life.
Posted by Ralph Schroeder on 20th February 2019
I miss the big bear very much, but had the good fortune to see him three times last year; once in Berkeley, a stay of several days in Brookline, and once when we had a lovely autumn walk when he came to Oxford. Two stories. The first story of how Mark was mistaken for the janitor when the freshmen arrived at Williams College is well-known: this was due to his appearance wearing all khakis and his much-older-than-others appearance. What’s perhaps lost in this story is that, though Mark could look like an ancient sage, even as a freshman, as many of the photos on this site attest, it is also the case that Mark’s devious and infectious smile (is ‘impish grin’ better here?) could also make him look childlike, from the time I knew him as a freshman into old age. And that range of ages in appearance applies, of course, to his spirit as well. A second is a Mark and Ralph story: it’s a beautiful summer day at Williams, so Mark and Ralph decide to go swimming in a small lake up on Northwest Hill Road. But a storm, with lots of lightning, appears quickly as they are splashing in the middle of the lake. Luckily, a metal rowboat is anchored there, so Mark and Ralph swim towards it, turn it over, and take shelter underneath its upturned hull. More lightning, then one of us asks the other: doesn’t metal conduct lightning? Duh! Mark and Ralph quickly escape from under the hull and swim very quickly to the shore in the midst of the storm!!! Keep on roaming those summer fields!
Posted by Morgan Barth on 20th February 2019
Dear Henry, Cole, Lilly, Sam and Mark's entire Family: I am so deeply sorry. I just read all of the stories and tributes on this page and laughed and cried as I had the chance to learn more about Mark...and also to see so many lives were enriched by Mark's love, his sense of humor, his tremendous appetite for great conversation and good, and so much more. I had the pleasure to get to meet Mark nearly 20 years ago through mutual Williams friends. About once a year even since then I had occasion to see Mark, break bread with him and share in conversation. Like so many others I will always hear the sound of Mark's great laugh. And I will think often and fondly of wide-ranging conversations from poetry to volunteerism; from bonding as fellow parents of twins, to tasting the delightful and obscure treats Mark brought with him. In ways I hope to tell you about in person some day, Mark was a true friend to me and many others. Please accept my sympathies and love. -Morgan
Posted by Amen Amen on 20th February 2019
Amen
Posted by Will Ballew on 19th February 2019
He was my dear friend. We met on the squash court freshman year. I could never beat him, those long, heron-like arms forcing me into the corner as he hit a drop shot. Over the years, we continued to do battle. For two years, he was no. 4, and I was no. 5. He was like running into a wall. We read poetry on our way to fish. We shared poems, books, songs, children, grief and a tiny amount of politics. There were other, better things, to talk about than politics (but he worried greatly about the state of the country, and the man who occupies the presidency). We shared stories of our fathers. At Williams, I told him once that my father was my best friend and he was amazed, shocked actually, to hear such a thing. He said his father was a hard man to know. We fished and rowed rafts. We camped and ate bouillabaisse with mountain goats. We read out loud with flash lights. He stared at the mountain lakes for a long time. I taught him to fish. He (eventually) shared his haiku with me, a great honor. He taught me suiseki, and I cursed him for it, cursed him for ruining my favorite pastime, fly fishing, because now I spent all my fishing time looking in the rocks for mini mountains and figures of animals. I found a rock with a silverback gorilla relief and gave it to him. He said was one of the greatest gifts of his life. Haha, such hyperbole, but I loved the compliment. He told me on the way back to Boston from his trip, that an infant on the plane, maybe two years old, was crying inconsolably and her mother was at her wit’s end. He reached into his pocket (a book could be written about Mark’s pockets), pulled out the rock, leaned down, and asked the girl, “have you ever seen a gorilla inside a rock?” He said that stopped her from crying. We spoke of his depression, how he did not want to take medication (“I’m talking too much medication already, I don’t want to medicate my brain.”). I could not convince him otherwise, and, in a way, I respected his decision, but it lead to this outcome, I believe. I could go on. I have never had a friend like Mark, a brilliant old soul inside a child’s body (even though he looked like my father…hmm). I love the stories you all have shared about his laugh. There was absolutely nothing like it. It hugged you, wrapped itself around you. He loved his friends, family and most especially his children. He loved them with a power and depth I can only envy. To leave them behind is a testament to his suffering. The world is a smaller place for me now, and I suspect, given the outpouring in these testaments, a smaller place for all of you. But I count myself lucky for having known him, for being his friend. For Mark, as you all know, friendship went both ways. Never a taker, always generous, sharing, courteous, always the gentleman in the truest sense. Rest well, my friend. We will remember you well.
Posted by Andrew Schonebaum on 19th February 2019
I have had the privilege and the honor of collaborating with Mark for many years in my role as CFO of Fountain House and also serving on the Clubhouse International Clubhouse Advisory Council and the Faculty for Clubhouse Development. He had an incredible passion for the work of Clubhouses and for helping to better the lives of people living with mental illness. He was a forward thinker who championed new ideas while remaining true to deep convictions. His exuberance was inspirational. I enjoyed the time we had working together and sharing stories over meals. I will greatly miss him as I know countless others will too. My deepest condolences to Mark’s family and loved ones.
Posted by David Millet on 19th February 2019
I worked closely with Mark for many years on TES and his commitment and knowledge will be very missed.
Posted by Bart Mitchell on 18th February 2019
I am so sorry for your loss. I have been lucky to know & admire Mark throughout college, and then reconnect 25 years after graduation when he moved to Boston and Lilly and my daughter Lydia became soccer teammates and friends. Even in college, Mark’s most wonderful signature belly laugh — offered freely & without reservation — was frequently the highlight of a whole day for me & for others around him. It was particularly appreciated when Mark & I would too often be the last two people leaving Sawyer Libray when it closed at 1am, headed back to our rooms to finish our latest papers for class. We’d chat, he’d belly laugh, I’d feel better about pushing through exhaustion to finish my schoolwork. I always admired how Mark opened himself up to new friends and new intellectual inquiry, and his ability during conversation to really focus the person in front of him. One spring junior or senior year he was taking a mind-blowing course cross-offered in Physics & Philosophy called “Time”. I passed Mark while he was sitting outside Greylock Dining Hall on a bench, staring into space. I said “Hi Mark, what’s up?”. He turned slowly and said “I’m thinking about.....time!” It is because so many of us admired him so much that he became college council president and a trusted friend to so many. What a treat to reconnect with Mark in about 2005 through our daughters. Watching soccer games with Mark was hilarious in how he was just so happy to be out there with Lilly doing something she enjoyed. He was also delighted to be spending a few hours outside exchanging witticisms with Bill Chuck and others. Mark has always felt things deeply. He was saddened by the early death by cancer of our good mutual friend Van Townsend and at our college reunion in 2015 helped organize an amazing hike & reflections memorial for Van & our other college classmates who had passed away too soon. I’m saddened that we’ll need to do the same for Mark. Thank you Mark for all the lessons on life I’ve learned from you.
Posted by Paul Sittenfeld on 18th February 2019
Mark and his family have been a central part of Betsy’s and my lives for nearly 49 years and, for each of our children, for all of their lives. He was generous of spirit and wonderful company. The very notion of his physical absence is extraordinarily sad, but his presence will live on with us and with so many others. I have rich and rewarding memories and stories and will share them with gratitude that my life and that of our family were the beneficiaries of his friendship. Paul, Betsy, Tiernan, Curtis, Jo, and P.G.

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