Mark Pelak, 65, of Kingston, died on Sunday. He was stricken ill while bicycling and died in Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.
Born on June 13, 1948, in Wilkes-Barre, he was the son of the late Joseph Peleak and the late Anne Cooper Peleak. Mark grew up in the Back Mountain and graduated from Dallas Senior High School in 1966. He was a 1970 graduate of King's College , Wilkes-Barre, and earned a Juris Doctorate from Willamette University College of Law in Salem, Ore., in 1973. He began his legal career as a staff attorney for Legal Services of Northeastern Pennsylvania and in 1976 became an associate in the Wilkes-Barre firm of Winkler, Danoff and Lubin. Mark earned a civil service appointment as a Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation judge in 1980.
Throughout his career, he also maintained a limited general practice. His greatest satisfaction as a lawyer and a judge was, as he simply put it, "helping people." Over the years, he helped countless clients and workers' compensation claimants and will be remembered for his compassion, common sense and unwavering commitment to doing the right thing.
Mark was an avid bicyclist and always looked forward to Saturday-morning rides and socializing with his bike mates out of Around Town Bicycles. There was always room for a newcomer on any ride Mark was on; he took real pleasure in helping new cyclists feel comfortable on the road and welcome in the group.
Mark was a loving husband and father who took his greatest joy from his family.
He is survived by his wife, Anne Straub Pelak, with whom he would have celebrated 40 years of marriage in August, and his daughters, Mary Elizabeth and Amy Justine, both of Philadelphia. He is also survived by his stepmother, Anne Gryziec Peleak, Kingston, and half-brother, Jeffrey Peleak, and his wife, Carolyn, Greensburg, Pa.; and by his sister- in-law, Peggy Ceraulo, Madison, N.J., and nephew, Tom Ceraulo, New York, N.Y.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday in St. Ignatius Church, Kingston. Friends may call from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Kopicki Funeral Home, 263 Zerbey Ave., Kingston. In lieu of flowers, donors may make a donation in Mark's memory to the charity of their choice