Mark Harold Ekern passed away on Monday, May 20, 2019 at Valley Medical Center, Renton, WA, from complications of a massive stroke suffered 3 days earlier. He was 64 years old.
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Mark was born on July 15 1954 on Walker Air Force Base just outside of Roswell, New Mexico, the first born child of Harold (Harry, Bud) Orville Ekern and Lyn Willow (Slawson) Ekern. His parents were married in Minneapolis, MN on May 14, 1950. They were living in Roswell just outside of Walker Air Force Base where Harry was a pilot for the 509th Bomb Wing flying missions over Korea. Mark was 4 months old before Harry saw him for the first time. Lyn Willow was an at-home mom, office occupations instructor and secretary.
About a year later, Laurie Lyn was born in November 1955. The Air Force moved the family to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base near Fairborn, OH where Harry earned his Masters in Aeronautical Engineering. In 1963, the Air Force moved them again, this time to the Seattle area where Harry worked in AFPRO (Air Force Plant Representative Office) on site with Boeing to develop the military’s missile program. The family resided in Kent, WA for many years.
Mark attended Star Lake Elementary, Sunnycrest Elementary, Totem Junior High, and graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1972. He began taking piano lessons at the age of 9 and continued to play for the rest of his life. He received two college degrees – BA in History Education from University of Washington, and a BS from Central Washington State University. He went on to become an accountant working for multiple companies in the greater Seattle area. He also had a side business for teaching piano and general/tax accounting.
He married Jennifer Marie Clark on May 7, 2000 and was later divorced in November 2011. Over the years he attended these churches – First Baptist Church, Roswell, NM; First Baptist Church, Fairborn, OH; Victory Baptist Church, Des Moines, WA; Calvary Baptist Church, Renton, WA; St Matthew’s Lutheran Church, Renton, WA; and Kent Lutheran Church, Kent, WA. His home was located in Scenic Hill area of Kent. He loved gardening, accounting, eating (especially church potlucks), his family and friends, but most of all he loved playing classical piano. He would play for hours even if no one was there to listen. He was holding annual piano recitals at local venues. His last few recitals were at held at First Presbyterian Church in Kent, and Wesley Gardens in Des Moines, WA.
He is greatly missed by family and friends. He is survived by his sister, Laurie Lyn Ekern Humphreys, his nephews, Brian Humphreys (Kristy), Eric Humphreys (Lauren), David Humphreys (Kelsey), a niece, Carol Humphreys, great-nephews Oliver, Bruce, Declan, and great-nieces Violet, Evelyn, Sydney. His father, Harold Orville Ekern, and mother, Lyn Willow Slawson Ekern, precede him in death.
Gifts in memory of Mark Harold Ekern can be given to:
South King County Music Teachers Association
Funds will go to the advancement of music students in South King County and towards scholarships for local high school seniors who will pursue music studies in college. You will receive tax-deductible receipt for your gift. Please make your check payable to “SKCMTA” and send it to:
Attn: Heather White
12059 Third Ave. South
Burien, WA 98168