Marios Nicolas Hortis (1974 - 2017)

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  • "There are no words that can possibly convey this kind of..."
    - Lauren Swartzbaugh
  • "A month ago I would have never guess it will be the last..."
    - Viviana
  • "My deepest Sympathies to Carolina, Alex, Mario's parents..."
    - Bret Gustafson
  • "Marios, you were one of my first fitness coworkers when I..."
    - Carole Steinhauser
  • "Carolina Eckardt and Marios Mother and Father My heart is..."
    - Laurie Gillham
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Service Information
Celebration of Life
Thursday, Apr. 27, 2017
6:00 PM
1 Hotel South Beach
2341 Collins Ave.
Miami Beach, FL
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Marios Nicolas Hortis, an inspiring and beloved fitness teacher, passed away on Sunday, April 9, 2017, in Miami, Florida. Mario was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on December 19, 1974, and grew up in St. Cloud, Minnesota. He went to St. Cloud Technical High School, where he was captain of the soccer team. In 1997, he graduated with honors with an economics degree from Saint John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota. Unfulfilled by a corporate lifestyle, Mario later wrote, "I began to explore spiritual avenues and take better care of myself physically." Mario left a secure job at a Fortune 500 company to do what he loved. He had a successful modeling career that took him to Chicago, New York, Greece, and Miami, and was featured in a giant ad in Times Square and scores of national magazines. Mario's real passion though was teaching fitness and wellness to those seeking better lives. He continually took health classes, obtained many professional certifications, and studied yoga and meditation practices. Mario's fitness classes at The Firm in Minneapolis and then Equinox in Miami developed long waiting lists of enthusiastic students. He trained everyone from professional athletes to rehabilitation patients. "The world is your autobiography," said Mario. A sensitive person, he spent thousands of hours in intimate conversations with those seeking change and guidance. "I cherished him as a one-of-a-kind friend. I will miss his infectious smile, and our smart and engaging talks about everything from the state of the world to the latest fitness trends," said Trisha Posner. He was "an exceptional teacher who changed people's lives for the better," said a client. In 2012, Mario met the love of his life Carolina Eckardt, originally from Colombia. For the past five years, they lived together in South Beach, in a high-rise condo overlooking the Atlantic Ocean just blocks from the sandy beach they loved. "Mario is the love of my life. My heart is in pieces and it is hard to accept that he has passed away. He was so thoughtful and caring. I will miss his constant hugging and kissing, and how he would go out of his way to make me feel special. It is not the big things, but the daily little things he did to express his love for me that I will miss the most. His love will forever be with me," said Carolina. Mario will be dearly missed by his family and friends, the younger trainers he mentored, and his legions of students. He is survived by his fiancee Carolina Eckardt; father Theophanis C. Hortis and stepmother Linda L. Hortis; mother Loretta A. Trulson and stepfather Kent K. Trulson; older brother Alexander "Tyke" Hortis and younger sister Angela E. "Angie" Trulson; and many aunts, uncles and cousins in Minnesota, Greece, and Toronto, Canada. Among his many personal friends, he was especially close to David W. Gans, Bret Gustafson, and Howard Fishman. Even in death, Mario's superb physical condition enabled him to donate organs to needy recipients. A celebration of Mario's life will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday evening, April 27, 2017, at 1 Hotel South Beach, 2341 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, Florida. In lieu of flowers, charitable donations are preferred in Mario's memory, in the form of checks to the "Marios Hortis Memorial Scholarship Fund at Saint John's University," Saint John's University, PO Box 7222, Collegeville, MN 56321. Donations may also be made online at by noting the Mario Hortis Memorial Scholarship in the "Additional Information" box on the bottom of the first page. Mario's scholarship will go to promising students pursuing professional careers in health and wellness.
Published in the Miami Herald on Apr. 25, 2017
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