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Mark Aaron Wood, formerly David Aaron Swihart, of Auburn, Wash. passed away Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, in SeaTac, Wash. Mark was 37 yrs. old.
Mark was born Oct. 28, 1974, in New Britain, Conn. to Gail Ann Craddock and Donald David Swihart, Jr. He was raised in Berlin, Kensington, and Meriden as well as Redmond, Wash. Mark attended several schools throughout his younger years including Redmond Junior High and Overlake School in Redmond. He went on to graduate from Vermont Academy in Saxtons River, Vt. as one of only four students in their graduating class who attended VA for their entire four years of upper school. Following high school Mark furthered his education at Sterling College in Vermont and later at Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad, Calif.
In June of 1983 Mark moved to Redmond, Wash. upon the marriage of his mother to his future adoptive father, Steven R. Wood.
Mark's working career spanned a variety of fields including Kinko's in Redmond, Wash.; San Marcos, Calif.; and Farmington, Conn.
He has also worked as a jeweler, gemologist and sales person in the Fine Jewelry Department of Nordstrom in Farmington.
In his leisure time, Mark enjoyed reading, helping others, fantasy roll playing games, reading some more, and collecting quotes for a book he someday wanted to publish.
Mark's mother will forever remember and cherish his hugs, which were like receiving a strong yet very loving embrace. Mark's speech was very fast, which some people thought must have come from his Irish ancestry. He had beautiful large hazel green eyes and hands that looked like baseball mitts from his mother's side of the family, gestures and stances from his birth father, and ears that neither of his birth parents could figure out the origin of.
Mark was absolutely wonderful with children because he was kind, funny, and could reach them at their own level. He was able to listen when they were sad, share in their laughter when they were happy yet he had very good boundaries and was a gentle yet firm disciplinarian when necessary. Mark loved to talk with people and was genuinely interested when meeting someone new. He could, however, be very black and white at times and because he chose to spend a great deal of time alone, he sometimes missed the import of some of his opinions and perspectives. The bottom line is Mark was a kind, gentle, loving, old fashioned, caring, funny, sad, courteous (he truly enjoyed knowing his social etiquette), highly intelligent, shy, generous, alone and sometimes lonely, and yet a very compassionate person to others, especially children and those who seemed to be lost.
Survivors include his mother, Gail A. Craddock and her husband, Steven H. Fleming, of Redmond, Wash. and Co. Mayo, Ireland; adoptive father, Steve Wood, of Bellevue; birth father, D. David Swihart, Jr., of Grants Pass, Ore.; former fiancé, Valerie Hugues-Chabert, of Nimes, France; numerous aunts and uncles; his cousin, William R. Wood, of Las Vegas, Nev.; along with other cousins and extended family members.
A period of adjustment is needed before arranging for a memorial service in remembrance of Mark at a time and location still to be determined sometime in the future.
Mark's mother would like to thank everyone in Mark's life for giving him their love, support, and commitment in the hope that he would someday find peace and happiness.
And if anyone wants to do something in Mark's memory, plant a hardwood tree that has beautiful autumn colors in your local park or make a donation to EvergreenHealth Foundation of Kirkland, Wash. and earmark it for the Neonatal or Pediatric Departments.
Family and friends are invited to view photos and share their memories on Mark's online guest book at www.flintofts.com. Flintoft's Funeral Home and Crematory, Issaquah, Wash., 425-392-6444.
Published in Berlin Citizen on Nov. 15, 2012