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.


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 Riikka Melartin on February 13, 2020
A Litany of Remembrance

Poem by Rabbi Sylvan Kamens and Rabbi Jack Riemer

In the rising of the sun and in its going down,
we remember them.
In the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter,
we remember them.
In the opening of buds and in the rebirth of spring,
we remember them.
In the blueness of the sky and in the warmth of summer,
we remember them.
In the rustling of leaves and in the beauty of autumn,
we remember them.
In the beginning of the year and when it ends,
we remember them.
When we are weary and in need of strength,
we remember them.
When we are lost and sick at heart,
we remember them.
When we have joys we yearn to share,
we remember them.
So long as we live, they too shall live, for they are now a part of us,
as we remember them.

© by the Central Conference of American Rabbis. From Gates of Prayer, published by Central Conference of American Rabbis. Used by permission of the CCAR.
Posted by Cole Lanier on February 13, 2020
Sending love to everyone on this sad day of remembering our dad. This year has gone by so swiftly but has also felt like an entire decade at times. I hope everyone can spend a moment with a memory of him.
Posted by Cole Lanier on August 30, 2019
I recently reconnected with a dear high school friend who had spent a good deal of time with my dad, both in Brookline and our first year of college together. When I told her of my father's suicide, she recommended to me the book "A Gentleman in Moscow" by Amor Towles, telling me that the protagonist reminded her of Mark.

I am only a quarter of the way through, but it is amazing to me how much of him is contained in the character of Count Alexander Rostov. His formality of manner, his aristocratic interest in Opera, classical literature and philosophy; but coupled (and in some ways hiding) the whimsical playfulness and shameless eccentricity of a child. It makes me feel close to him, like he is laughing nearby. Love to all.
Posted by Riikka Melartin on August 14, 2019
Dear Mark,
It has been six months since you left us. I'm certain I'm not alone in that thought today; knowing that many people grieve you comforts me. One of your standard goodbyes on the phone was, "Be well, dear one," and I pass that on to you wherever you are, and to everyone who misses you: Be well, dear one.
Posted by Marques Finch on April 26, 2019
I think its important to save a tribute for this man after all anyone part of a clubhouse probably knows how important a person is when death is in volved and I hope Mark Lanier gets the answers his seeking for.
Posted by Kate Goodale on April 21, 2019
Thinking about you today, Mark. I miss having you around. Happy Easter day wherever you are. Shine down on all of us, Okay?
Posted by Coleman Murphy on March 27, 2019
Uncle Mark was so much more to me than just an Uncle. I have faint memories of my grandfather (his father). But Uncle Mark always seemed to embody all of the memories I was told by my parents and my older cousins. I regret not spending more time with him. He meant more to me than he ever knew. I started growing a beard this year and my mother told me to give him a call two weeks before his death to talk to him about beards as she felt he was the best reference I had regarding that subject.  I remember him as a “hugger” much like myself. I figured I got it from somewhere and it must have been passed from him to my mother and then on to me. His embraces meant more than life to me because it was always something more than a hug, it was a reminder of family history and the long bloodline I am honered to be a part of. Uncle Mark changed my life for the better and I will always carry his love for other’s with me. He was and is a special individual and I am blessed to be a part of that. Love you Uncle Mark and may we meet again.
Posted by Elizabeth Atcheson on March 25, 2019
Mark had an outsize impact on his fellow classmates at Stanford's business school. I was lucky enough to be in his "section" at the beginning of the 2-year program -- a sub-group of the entire class that numbered just 60 people, so that we'd get to know that group first before encountering the other 330 or so students. Mark stood out -- and not just because of his height and commanding posture and openness of face. He was simply one of the most curious Lovers of Life with whom I've ever crossed paths. Every single utterance was, it seemed, something to be inspected and absorbed and treasured. Perhaps it was this deep attention and absorption that in the end was too painful for him -- I don't know. His joy, though, was palpable -- always. He seemed to relish every moment of his life, in his uniquely deliberate and full-on sensate way. What I know is that his children were the light of his being. He was proud of them, and fascinated by them, and delighted by them. The name of this website, "forever missed," is so appropriate for Mark -- he will truly be forever missed by not just his family but by all the friends and colleagues whose lives he touched over the decades. He was the very definition of sui generis. Rest in peace, dear friend.
Posted by Isaac Henry on March 24, 2019
If I made a list of all of the people I've known in my life, and somehow calculated an "impression made - to - time spent with" ratio for each person, I'd imagine Mark's score would be among the highest. I probably saw Mark, on average, once every couple of years, but he made more of an impression on me, and took more of an interest in me, than many people who I've spent far more time with. This is no knock on other people, but I all knew Mark, so I don't have to explain. The guy was one of a kind.
Some examples:
-Mark gave me and my brother tickets to a Further concert in Lowell, MA in 2010 (I was starting to get in to the Dead at the time, and this was my first time seeing any of the living members), and as our duty in accepting these tickets Mark gave each of us a copy of "The Emperor's Handbook" by Marcus Aurelius, and had us recite a vow to "read the whole damn thing" before we ever "experience another divorce, or have to deal with a serious illness, or get my heart broken in a love affair." I can quote directly from the vows, as Mark wrote the whole statement inside the front cover of the book, and signed and dated it as a witness.
-Mark is the first person who I ever heard utter the word "zydeco." I remember hearing some of this highly exotic accordion music in his car, and thinking, "where the hell did he come across this music?" A couple of years later I moved to Louisiana, so now I know where.
-I realized a couple weeks ago that I remembered the exact words Mark used to console me and my brother after we lost our little league championship game. I remember him saying "hard fought, hard fought" and me not caring at all that it was hard fought, I only cared that we had lost. I can't remember a single thing anybody else said to me on that day, but I can remember the exact words Mark used. The guy was memorable - you all know this. A couple years ago, he took me out to dinner in New Orleans and he brought up that game. Our discussion of that game had him laughing almost to the point of tears, "it was like the Hatfields and the McCoys out there," he said.
One last thing:
After hearing of Mark's death, I dug out "The Emperor's Handbook" and I've been reading bits and pieces here and there. This morning, while taking my time getting out of bed, dreading the mountain of work waiting for me today, I grabbed "The Emperor's Handbook" and opened to a random passage. The passage that I opened to starts with: "In the morning, when you can't get out of bed, tell yourself: 'I'm getting up to do the work only a man can do. How can I possibly hesitate or complain when I'm about to accomplish the task for which I was born? Was I made for lying warm in bed under a pile of blankets?'"
Just what I needed to hear. Thanks, Mark!
Posted by Dickon Pownall-Gray on March 24, 2019
A Memorial Tribute to Mark Lanier
23rd March 2019
By Dickon, Laird, Jonathan and Todd
Read by Dickon Pownall-Gray

I am here today speaking on behalf of Mark’s book group friends, a surviving fellowship of Jonathan Fine, Todd Green, Laird Calia and myself, Dickon Pownall-Gray.

Our fellowship started 23 years ago with our first book, Birdsong, by Sebastian Faulks. A powerful book set on the battlefield of the Somme in World War One. The hero, a battle fatigued “tunnel rat” named Stephen Wraysford, endures horrors while trying to fight a subterranean war beneath the German trenches.

Mark was deeply moved by Birdsong as were we all. It was a powerful book for a first book group meeting. Amidst the tiring candles and the empty bottle of Fonseca 86’, something “cosmic” happened. It was as if we entered a time warp where we, as men, were transported back a hundred years to a gentleman’s club. A club where we could bare our souls to one another, without judgement, and always with fellowship. Looking back with the benefit of hindsight, I realize that the book group quickly became a source of mutual support to all of us. We triumphed at each other’s successes, we helped each other through family tragedies, and we laughed together, sometimes uproariously.

Mark, at our many evenings over 23 years, personified the word gentleman. He was chivalrous, courteous, honorable, and a man of poetic sensibility, who took us on adventures through his fascination with military history.

Our book group format was always the same. Whoever was the host laid on a sumptuous meal with fine wine and often a menu fashioned to evoke the story of our selected book of the month. Mark, being a fabulous cook, always rose to the meal challenge.

I have delicious memories of Mark, with our book group crowded into his kitchen at the “Welland Road Club”, his cooking apron besmirched with spatterings of his béchamel sauce, a glass of Bordeaux in his hand, explaining passionately why Field Marshal Slim was the most underestimated General of the Second World War. Of course, Mark just happened to be an expert in this “forgotten war” of the Burma campaign of 1942 to 1944. Mark informed us that the American General, “Vinegar Joe” Stilwell, had, despite reports to the contrary, been a great admirer of the soldier’s general, “Bill” Slim, and that General Slim was one of Mark’s unsung heroes.

I asked my fellow book group members for their especial memories of Mark.
Todd talked about Mark’s gift for humorous storytelling, often at Dickon’s expense.
Jonathan remembers how Mark always asked for updates about our children and how Henry, Cole, Lily and Sam were the loves of Mark’s life.

Laird emailed me and said:
“I loved the way that he closed his eyes when he was considering something, as if he was pulling it into his mind for immediate inspection. And the little black notebook that he carried with him.
I'll miss his laughter, him leaning back and roaring, the way his eyes twinkled when he was ready to spring an intellectual trap on you.
A ha, I got ya!.
I remember an open bottle of wine while we drove together, the wineglasses to make the trip easier, not worried about the cops.
Or him admonishing me for having too CLEAN a desk.
“How can you work in such cleanliness?” he once asked me.”
Thank you Laird, Todd and Jonathan for your reflections.

I personally was entranced by Mark’s capacity to laugh in unexpected situations.
I once went on a hike with Mark on Nantucket. We came to stretch of land with a sign that read:
Strictly Private Property
No Entry
Beware Rottweilers
After a discussion we decided to trespass anyway.
A half a mile later we heard the bay of two Rottweilers and saw them streaking towards us. Our hearts pounded. In desperation I spotted two sticks, one large and one small. I hurriedly picked them up and immediately handed Mark the smaller one. Mark looked at his small stick, at my large stick and at the on rushing dogs. His eyes crinkled, an impish smile came across his face and a marvelous deep belly laugh emerged from his girth, and he roared with laughter. How I miss Mark’s contagious sense of the ridiculous.

Mark completed a Master’s Degree in Poetry at Oxford.
He was a wonderful writer.
I want to read you part of the last email that Mark sent to his beloved book group. Here he is describing, for those of the Book Group who missed the marvelous gathering in Istanbul, Ben Fine’s and “Jon Sue” “Aye dead A's” wedding. Mark is writing while sitting, the morning after the wedding, on a hotel terrace overlooking the Bosporus.
Mark says in his email:

“Good Gentlemen (those with us and those not):

I am sipping a gin & tonic (extra lime) on a hotel terrace, overlooking the Bosporus.

The water is smokey blue and anxious to get to the Mediterranean.

Last night, in a measure of how carefully the seating and intertwining of guests was planned, I was seated next to a friend of the bride's family, a man by the name of Selcuk Altun. My age, he was a senior banker in Istanbul, now retired, he has written 5 novels.

Oh, what fun to talk to.

We bonded over Coetzee's Disgrace and Murakami.

So of course I thought of book group.

Rebecca gave the best toast, the little virtuosa.

Looking past this terrace, over there is a Turkish flag, crescent yellow moon & star against a pepper red background, waving and rippling high above a bend in the "straights" that winds this water, that came from the Caspian, to the Black, and now to the Mediterranean, and will take it past the pillars of Hercules, to Boston, Essex, Bridgeport, and New York.

I send my very best with wonderful news of the marriage of Ben Fine and “Jon Sue” “Aye dead A”

Raise a glass in celebration.

There's hope.


Mark, thank you for all your wonderful dinner parties.

Thank you for your love of Marcus Aurelius.

Thank you for wearing your banana suit one se when we last went skiing together.

Thank you for your friendship.

Thank you for being a 2nd Father to my daughters Ella and Saskia. It meant the world to me.

You are sorely missed.

Let’s raise a glass to Mark and his beloved children, Henry, Cole, Lily and Sam.
Posted by Jonathan Harris on March 24, 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 March 23, 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 March 23, 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 March 23, 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 March 23, 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 March 23, 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 March 22, 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 March 20, 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 March 19, 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 March 19, 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.
Posted by Roy Pfeil on March 19, 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.
Posted by Al Bunis on March 18, 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 March 17, 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 March 17, 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 March 17, 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 March 16, 2019
Happy Birthday Mark ❤️ We miss you
Posted by Toni Callahan on March 15, 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 March 13, 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 March 13, 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 March 13, 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, 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,
Posted by Daniel Von Allmen on March 10, 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 March 10, 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 March 8, 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 March 8, 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 March 6, 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 March 5, 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 March 1, 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 February 28, 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,
Posted by Jay Reighley on February 27, 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 February 27, 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.
Hanne Juul
Posted by Steven Manning on February 26, 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 February 25, 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 February 25, 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 February 25, 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 February 24, 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 February 24, 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 February 23, 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 February 22, 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 February 22, 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 February 22, 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.
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Recent Tributes
Posted by Riikka Melartin on February 13, 2020
A Litany of Remembrance

Poem by Rabbi Sylvan Kamens and Rabbi Jack Riemer

In the rising of the sun and in its going down,
we remember them.
In the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter,
we remember them.
In the opening of buds and in the rebirth of spring,
we remember them.
In the blueness of the sky and in the warmth of summer,
we remember them.
In the rustling of leaves and in the beauty of autumn,
we remember them.
In the beginning of the year and when it ends,
we remember them.
When we are weary and in need of strength,
we remember them.
When we are lost and sick at heart,
we remember them.
When we have joys we yearn to share,
we remember them.
So long as we live, they too shall live, for they are now a part of us,
as we remember them.

© by the Central Conference of American Rabbis. From Gates of Prayer, published by Central Conference of American Rabbis. Used by permission of the CCAR.
Posted by Cole Lanier on February 13, 2020
Sending love to everyone on this sad day of remembering our dad. This year has gone by so swiftly but has also felt like an entire decade at times. I hope everyone can spend a moment with a memory of him.
Posted by Cole Lanier on August 30, 2019
I recently reconnected with a dear high school friend who had spent a good deal of time with my dad, both in Brookline and our first year of college together. When I told her of my father's suicide, she recommended to me the book "A Gentleman in Moscow" by Amor Towles, telling me that the protagonist reminded her of Mark.

I am only a quarter of the way through, but it is amazing to me how much of him is contained in the character of Count Alexander Rostov. His formality of manner, his aristocratic interest in Opera, classical literature and philosophy; but coupled (and in some ways hiding) the whimsical playfulness and shameless eccentricity of a child. It makes me feel close to him, like he is laughing nearby. Love to all.
his Life

Obituary for Mark Lanier, written by his brother Addison Lanier II, printed in the Cincinnati Enquirer: 

Brookline, MA - The sudden death of Mark Lanier, 60, on February 13, 2019 came as a heartbreaking surprise to family and friends. Mark was born in Cincinnati, Ohio to Lloyd Addison and Melissa Emery Lanier, who predeceased him. He graduated from Cincinnati Country Day School, where he is remembered as a scholar and athlete, for being a loyal friend and for wearing the same skinny tie, day-in and day-out for six years. He graduated magna cum laude from Williams College, earned a Masters in English Literature from Oxford University, England, and an MBA from Stanford University's Graduate School of Business. He worked for T. Rowe Price before business school and later worked at Grumman Hill, LLC for Richard D. Irwin, whom he considered a mentor and then a longtime friend and co-investor. Mark formed and ran Pegasus Capital, a hedge fund that has invested successfully in small cap companies. Mark also served on the boards of Thos. Emery's Sons, Inc. and Scinet Development & Holdings, Inc. Mark was passionate about a few chosen volunteer activities. He loved his close friendships with and his leadership roles alongside generations of Brothers and Sisters of his Uncle Tony. He devoted hundreds of hours each year to his work with Clubhouse International whose Executive Director, Joel Corcoran, described Mark as "an extraordinary advocate for people living with serious mental illness and a familiar face at Clubhouse programs on six continents." While serving as Clubhouse International's Chairman, the organization received the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Award, the single largest humanitarian award in the world, given to a non-profit judged to have made significant contributions to alleviating human suffering. Mark's interest in residential programs for people with mental illness began with his service on the board of Laurel House, in Stamford, CT and continued the rest of his life. Mark's additional interests were so varied and esoteric that friends and family were caught in an awkward tension between wanting desperately to learn about his newest hobbies and, on the other hand, knowing that we would be thoroughly baffled, once we knew. Mark joined the American Bonsai Society, so that he could join them on a trip to Japan. He became very serious about the study of cheeses and would happily lecture the uninitiated. Long after his considerable weight reached a point where he no longer played active sports, Mark could be found walking rocky river beds throughout the U.S., wearing blue jean overalls and leaning on a sturdy walking stick, in search of Suiseki rocks, expressive stones deserving of appreciation. Although he traveled repeatedly to Scandinavia, his favorite city was Kyoto. Mark studied the accordion and guitar. He joyfully curated recorded music of many kinds for family and friends. He cooked thoughtfully and generously. He had exceptional gifts of relationship, which were appreciated by old friends and by people he had just met. He enjoyed the strict rigors of writing Haiku. Yet, at same time, splitting infinitives and ending sentences with prepositions were things he was OK with. Mark loved his children, family and friends. He is survived by his children, Henry Anson Lanier, Spenser Cole Lanier, Lillian Avery Lanier and Samuel Elias Lanier, by his former wife Kirsten Olsen, by his siblings Addison Lanier II (Jamie), John Emery Lanier (Jane Garvey) and Melissa Lanier Murphy (Shenan), and by numerous nieces and nephews who love, enjoyed and will miss him. A Celebration of Life gathering will take place, in Boston, later in March. Donations in Mark's memory may be made to Clubhouse International at or by sending a check to 483 Tenth Avenue, Suite 205, New York, NY 10018.

Recent stories

Sharing Dreams with the Dad

Shared by Ike Lanier on August 6, 2021
Every once in a while I'll have a dream about Uncle Mark and I'll share what happened with my dad, John Lanier (Uncle Mark's brother). I don't usually remember what the dreams are about, and neither does my dad, but we both know that he's there with us in some fashion. 

In the few that I remember, I'll be talking to Uncle Mark, telling him about random things that are going on in my life, and he'll be there listening and smiling. Nothing more than that, but it's still extremely valuable to me. He's just listening and being attentive. 

And when I wake up, I wake up happy knowing that I'm still able to connect with him in some way. And I'm glad that my father experiences the same thing too. 

A long time ago

Shared by Julia McNamee on February 18, 2021
I was lucky enough to get to know Mark in college, but what I remember most is that I don't remember ever having a short conversation with him. Whether it was staying at Baxter too long after dinner, sitting in the College Council office discussing the squeal of bagpipes, talking at a reunion while Mark cradled his new son -- you get the idea. Mark was intense, quiet, kind, and inevitably interesting. I am so sad for all but especially his beloved children that Mark is gone.

Mini-memories of Mark

Shared by Jeffrey Harrison on November 5, 2019
Here are a few small memories of Mark, from childhood to recent years:

When we were little and an adult asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up, instead of saying fireman or pilot or even artist, like the rest of us, Mark would always say: oceanographer. We had no clue what that was, and maybe he didn’t either, but it sure sounded cool.

In first or second grade, Mark and I went through a brief period when, on bathroom breaks, we would wash all the mirrors with soapy paper towels, and then dry them to an immaculate shine. It was all his idea, but I eagerly joined him. This lasted a few weeks. We had to work rapidly, because the breaks weren’t long, and there was a feeling of excitement at doing something not exactly naughty (and maybe even good) but unknown to the teachers. When they found out, they didn’t really get mad, but they made us stop.

While we were still in college but home in Cincinnati for Christmas break, a group of our high school classmates met up to go to “The Last Waltz” at (if my memory serves me) The 20th Century Theater in Oakley. I was wearing a blue jean jacket, and when we met on the street, Mark made the remark, “I’ve never owned a jean jacket.” I wasn’t sure if he was looking slightly askance at my plebeian attire. But, having come from a formal party, he was wearing a tuxedo, so my retort was ready-made: “And I’ve never owned a tux.” He laughed, and I can almost hear him say, “Fair enough.” I’m not sure I ever saw him in a jean jacket, but he certainly became fond of denim overalls.

When Julie and I got married in November 1981, Mark was studying literature at Oxford, but, as he told me, he was not one to miss a wedding or a funeral. He flew back a few days early and joined us for Thanksgiving with Julie’s family in Boston. (See photo in Gallery.) At the wedding, one of Julie’s friends thought he was my father (he was 23). Afterwards, he drove us back to New York, with Ben Lowenthal riding shotgun while Julie and I snuggled in the back seat. (We had our real honeymoon the following summer.)

Mark and I overlapped for a year at Stanford (1985-86). One of the highlights of that year was the fabulous production of Peter Shaffer’s Equus that the business school put on, with Mark in the role of Dysart and Todd Harris as Alan. The Grateful Dead played a lot of concerts in the area that year, and sometimes Mark and I would go together or meet up at the show. If I wanted to find him, I just searched the floor for his already bald head, bouncing to the rhythm. After one concert at Frost Amphitheater, on Stanford’s campus, when he was not in any condition to drive (ahem), I drove his white Volvo back up the winding road, through red-limbed manzanita groves, to his group house on Skyline Drive, where we sat on the ridge and watched the sun set over the Pacific, turning into a red ziggurat before it slipped under the horizon.

Mark, David Henry, and I drove to Cincinnati together for our 20th high school reunion in 1996. I’m sure there were a lot of good conversations, but what I remember better is that we spent a significant portion of the drive playing a quiz game of our own invention: we took turns reading passages from a massive poetry anthology, while the other two tried to guess the author. We were all pretty bad at it, actually. Mark, of course, wanted to stop for a long, leisurely dinner, whereas I wanted to just grab a bite and press on (we were already going to arrive late at night). Dave sided with Mark, but I insisted that we hold the dinner break to an hour… which we almost did. There was a lot of good-natured teasing going back and forth over that.

In July 2013, I drove a rental truck containing some furniture from my parents’ house in Cincinnati to our house in Dover, Massachusetts. One of the items was a big hutch. We live in a small house, and the only place to put the hutch was occupied by a massive, old, crappy upright piano that nobody played. I asked Mark if he would help me move it out of the house, and he not only said yes but added that he had a dolly and a handcart. I wasn’t even sure what the difference was, but it seemed I had asked a professional. Not actually, as it turned out (there’s a reason that piano movers exist, and have their own union), but he had a lot more experience than I did, and he was a lot stronger. Even so, the all-day process of moving the piano was like a slapstick routine so glacial in pace that the humor often gave way to sheer frustration. We labored to get the piano halfway through a doorway only to realize we didn’t have room to make the turn that would get us to the front door. So we had to backtrack and take a longer route through the dining room and kitchen, which meant going through three more doorways, all of them posing their own particular challenges. We strategized, joked, swore a lot, and smoked a little weed. At one point the piano was listing on the dolly so that we couldn’t get it through the last doorway. “We need straps,” Mark said emphatically. So we made a trip to Home Depot and bought some straps. I didn’t know how to use them, but Mark did. Somehow, by the end of the day, we managed to get the piano onto the front porch, where it still stands six years later, threatening to fall through the floor’s slats, its wood lamination covered in dust and beginning to peel away.