Mark Stephen Pedersen
1958 - 2018
{ "" }
Share
Share Mark's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
Mark Stephen Pedersen

- - Mark died peacefully but unexpectedly at his home in Forest Home Sunday morning, September 16, 2018.

Predeceased by his parents Richard Pedersen and Barbara (Hansen) Pedersen and by his sister Dian Pedersen and his brother Scott Pedersen, he leaves behind his husband of 32 years, Rod Howe, his children Veasna and his wife Anna, Sethik ("Toothpick"), his sister Janet Kubitz and her husband Rick, his granddaughters Mahkia and Anna and several nieces and nephews and grand nieces and nephews.

While he never expected to be a father, he embraced fatherhood fully and was a caring and loving Dad to his two sons and served as a role model. When he learned that he was a grandfather, he embraced that role as well and enjoyed time with his granddaughters on a regular basis.

Mark was the First Unitarian Society in Ithaca (FUSIT) administrator for 22 years. Many members of FUSIT described Mark as the heart of the church. He shepherded FUSIT through many transitions with grace and humor. Mark was raised as a Unitarian Universalist (UU) in Needham, MA. He lived the UU principles on a daily basis and in recent years enjoyed attending UU General Assembly where he developed friends from around the United States. When asked how he maintained his equanimity he would say "I have hope." No matter how busy he was, he found time for people in need. He was unfailingly compassionate and was everyone's friend.

For the last nine years it was important for him to participate in the annual Southern Tier AIDS Program Ride for Life. In fact, he rode this year's 100 miles on September 8. Though diagnosed as HIV positive in the mid-1980s, he never let that diagnosis define or discourage him.

He loved Ithaca but required time at the ocean every summer for his spiritual well-being (notably in Provincetown, MA). Mark was a humble, gentle soul who could be funny and irreverent. He will be achingly missed. Those who had the good fortune to know him feel blessed. A collector at heart, he had the world's largest personal collection of egg beaters and the region's greatest collection of Christmas decorations.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 22 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Paul's United Methodist Church, Ithaca, NY (due to the expected number attending) with a reception to follow at First Unitarian Society in Ithaca (one block away).

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to FUSIT, 306 N Aurora St, Ithaca, NY 14850, or STAP, 314 W. State Street, Ithaca, New York 14850




To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Ithaca Journal on Sep. 19, 2018.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
SEP
22
Memorial service
11:00 AM
St. Paul's United Methodist Church
Funeral services provided by
Order by phone: (866) 764-7853
Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by The Ithaca Journal
Not sure what to say?
View Printed Guest Book
36 entries
October 3, 2018
Dear Rod,

I learned of Mark's passing only last evening. I'm at a loss for words. Although we've lost touch over the years, my heart is filled with wonderful memories of the days we all shared in Ithaca so many years ago. Please know you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Mick
Mick Ellis
Friend
September 26, 2018
Mark and Rod became dear friends almost 30 years ago in Boston when I was introduced to them by other dear friends, Bruce and George. In time, we lost them to New York, but our band of friends made memorable treks to upstate New York for visits and it was always a hope that we would see them for our annual Christmas party gathering and anytime they might come to Massachusetts. Mark's kind and gentle way and sense of humor always prevailed. His passion for beauty, tradition, family, parenting, antiques and friendship were ever present. His determination to live defied medical science decades ago, and the years we had were a bonus, yet still not enough. Rod and Mark showed constant devotion to each other, their lives, home and community. Handsome, sweet, talented, witty, dedicated, thoughtful are a few of the words that run through my mind as I reflect on our loss. My love to Rod, Veasna, Anna, Mahlia, Sethik, in this profound loss of someone we all cherished.
Chris Roberts
Friend
September 22, 2018
Our sincere condolences at your time of loss. Mark was a genuine and authentic person and leaves behind a record of both service and compassion that will be both long remembered and an inspiration for the rest of us to emulate. He will be missed. May you find a measure of peace in these suddenly turbulent waters and in his memory find comfort. Blessings.
Patrick and Josette Garrison
September 22, 2018
Dear Rod,

We're sending you heartfelt condolences and lots of love.

Duncan and Amy
September 21, 2018
Dear Veasna, Rod, and Sethik
I am an old high school friend of Mark's son Veasna. I am most saddened to learn of Mark's passing. I know he was a wonderful partner, father, and man and made all of Veasna's friends feel welcome and important. I know he will be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.
Kevin Galbreth
Friend
September 21, 2018
I always enjoyed his sense of humor and wit when we were young and at school...
We will meet again someday !
Larry Newman
September 21, 2018
Dear Rod, Veasna, and Sethik,

Mark was a colleague in the AUUA who became a friend. We served on the AUUA Board together, and I enjoyed being in his presence, and I really enjoyed his sense of humor. He was a good man and a gentle soul. I am sorry that he has gone.

May the fact that Mark was loved by so many be a balm to your hurting hearts.
Julie Slayton Frank
September 21, 2018
Dear Mark, I KNOW that your son will spread your love. He is an amazing young man. He had an amazing Dad.
Sandy Marshall
Acquaintance
September 21, 2018
Dear Mark, fly with the angels brother. Tom & Becky
Stevens Vitanza
September 21, 2018
Dear Rod, Veasna and Sethik
So very sorry for your loss. Mark will always be with you in your hearts and souls as you cherish your memories of him.
Cynthia Sergi
Acquaintance
September 20, 2018
Rod and family,
So, so sorry to hear of your loss! Holding you in our hearts.
-Stacey and Bill Murphy
Stacey Murphy
Friend
September 20, 2018
To Rod and the entire extended family of beloveds that must miss Mark so dearly, I send my sincere condolences. What a shocking loss! I well remember laughing with him on numerous occasions in the UU office. I'd depart, shaking my head at how much he was able to balance, manage, and deliver upon with such verve, compassion, and good-natured humor. For all that he gave to our community in service, devotion, and dedication, we are forever changed. On behalf of my family to yours, we send you the kindest of thoughts, prayers, meditations, and condolences during this difficult time.
Michelle Berry
Acquaintance
September 20, 2018
Dear Rod, Veasna, and Sethik,

I cherish the memory of how wonderfully Mark helped me to arrange and then to get through Maggie's memorial service, now almost exactly five years ago. Later I would have the good luck to occasionally greet Mark here and there downtown. In earlier years, your wonderful family was a touchstone of pleasure for us, with lots of laughs, in our many years shared with you on Judd Falls Road. I send my deepest condolences,

Bill Goldsmith
September 20, 2018
Rod, Thinking of you during this time of profound sadness. Mark was such a kind and loving person, he will be greatly missed by all. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Gwen and Laurel
Gwen Seaquist
September 20, 2018
Rod, sorry to hear of your loss. praying that family and the memories you made will help you all through this sad and heartbreaking time. Sincerely, Steve
Steven Hatfield
September 20, 2018
Mark was a nice and caring person. We pretended we were brother and sister (my maiden name was Peterson) when we were in high school together - and fooled all the teachers. My thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family.
Julie Peterson Tierney
Friend
September 20, 2018
Very sorry to hear this. Thinking of you all
Sam Brock
September 19, 2018
Mark and I were friendly at NHS, and went our separate ways after that. I'm very sorry for your family and your community's loss. He was a larger-than-life personality. He was a truly caring person. A mensch.

I am glad he had such happiness and joy in his life.

I loved the man. Rest in peace, Mark, until we meet again.
Bill Cummings
Friend
September 19, 2018
Mark, it was magic to me how you kept the million things you do at FUSIT so organized while staying calm and always smiling. You made it all look so easy. I so much appreciated your impromptu phone calls to check up on me before my major surgery back in 2004. Hearing your voice brought peace to my sometimes frayed nerves. I miss you more than you know.
Sally Lockwood
Acquaintance
September 19, 2018
Rod and family, I am so sorry. As he likely was for many, Mark was my conduit for feeling personally connected at FUSIT. So genuine. Since I now live elsewhere a good part of the year, my sightings of Mark have been fleeting. But last Friday, as I walked by the church, we shared one of those long, catch-up-on-life conversations - and I will be forever grateful. His loss is unfathomable. Peace and strength to all he loved and inspired.

Sue Fritts
September 19, 2018
Sending hope for starlight in your days of grief and for Marks beauty to forever live inside of you.
Ann Carter
September 19, 2018
Rod, I'm so sorry to hear about your beloved Mark's passing. I hope you, your family and friends will find solace in the memories of him thst you each hold near and dear, as you navigate the tides of grief in this loss.

Though I didn't know Mark, it is clear he has touched countless lives.

My prayers are for strength and love in the coming days, weeks and months.
Jodi LaPierre
September 18, 2018
Mark was the dearest of friends. We shared parenting joys and parenting woes...ups and downs of life's roller coaster ride. We laughed...a lot...and shared tears over the years. I saw him last week-getting groceries. So glad for that moment...so very glad for that. He was the truest of friends for the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, which will always be near and dear to my heart...and he was such a humanitarian...just a good good person...they just don't make people like that anymore. So sorry for your loss, Rod...and family. My prayers are with you.
He's soaring with the angels now....I will take comfort in knowing that.
Feeling grateful that I had the gift of his friendship.
Much love,
Sheila Ossit and Family (Kevin, Zack, Nate and Maggie too)
September 18, 2018
We are sorry for your loss Rod, and family. Please know we are thinking of you and are sure you will take comfort in the many wonderful memories you have.
Michael And Tim
Friend
September 18, 2018
Veasna Im sorry for your loss. God Bless you and your family.
Alan Meade
Friend
September 18, 2018
I've been friends with my dear friend Rod for almost 40 years but miles have kept us apart for the great majority of our friendship. And while I was hardly a constant and consistent fixture in their lives, Mark was always eager to join my annual brief reunion with Rod when they ventured to Provincetown. Mark was so interesting, and more important, interested. Warm and engaging; wry and irreverent...and so darn talented! I was in awe of his copious abilities and can-do mind set. He seemed fearless and had a bottomless appetite for life and all he could experience. He lived more in 59 years than many do in 100. Farewell old friend❤
Jayne Pelosi
Friend
September 18, 2018
When I first met Mark, it was 12/17/2016 and he welcomed me to the family with open arms. He always said to me when I would see him was to keep ahold and watch my son. Mark was a wonderful father in law that I will truely miss very much, REST IN PEACE DAD LOVE YOU VERY MUCH. FLY HIGH WITH THE ANGELS AND YOUR LOVED ONES IN HEAVEN.
Anna Pedersen
Acquaintance
September 18, 2018
Rod Howe, Rachel and I send our love to you and your fine family.
Sally Maggard
Friend
September 18, 2018
Mark was truly a kind and generous soul. I went to NHS and worked at Roche Brothers with Mark. He escorted me to my high school prom, which will be a wonderful memory of mine for my lifetime. He was often quiet, but so incredibly intelligent and full of wit and smart humor. I hadn't been in contact with Mark for over 30 years, and recently reconnected with him on FB. I was so thrilled to learn of his marriage, children, grandchildren and full and joyful life he had built in NY with Rod. My sincere condolences to his family and circle of friends, truly a great man taken too early in life.
Robin Peters-Parillo
Friend
September 18, 2018
Our first welcome to the community as the new minister's family was Mark's smiling face. He will be sorely missed. Rest in peace, good sir.
Pamela Grimm
Friend
September 18, 2018
Mark, you were a wonderful presence: responsive, witty, compassionate, and enthusiastic. Thank you for arranging for our son, Aidan Pan, to perform cello and oboe recitals at the Unitarian Church. We are so sorry for your loss, Rod and family, and the UU community. -Robin Burlingham, An-yi Pan, Julian Pan, Aidan Pan
Robin Burlingham
Acquaintance
September 18, 2018
I remember him as a kind and helpful person while I was a first uu member in Ithaca.
Kaaren Remley
Acquaintance
September 18, 2018
Mark was a wonderful neighbor and better human being. We always enjoyed our encounters with him and will sorely miss seeing him again.
Herb & Connie Engman
Friend
September 17, 2018
Truly a wonderful man-- kind, funny, flexible, and hospitable to all. We knew him through our concerts there, and we just spent a week rehearsing at the church and checking in with him daily for the sheer pleasure of a bit of conversation. I'd be happy to play some music at a memorial service. Condolences to his family and community.
Deborah Fox
September 17, 2018
Mark was one of the best people I ever knew. He was wickedly funny, truthful, diplomatic, professional, fair, loving, caring, kind. What a great loss for all of us.
Jim Lawrence
Friend
September 17, 2018
Our deep condolences to Rod and the rest of Mark's family. We are so saddened at Mark's early journey to the next world.
Sachem and Mrs. (Sam and Deb) George
Friend
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences