June 26, 1970 — Jan. 26, 2012
Mark Robert Anderson-Wilk of Corvallis, beloved husband, father, son, friend, uncle, colleague, artist and writer, died Thursday due to complications following a bone marrow transplant.
He was born June 26, 1970, in Cedar Falls, Iowa, and died Jan. 26, 2012, in the hospital in Seattle, with his wife and parents by his side.
Mark grew up in Cedar Falls. He graduated from the University of Iowa, and received a Master of Arts degree in English from the University of Minnesota. Mark’s work in publishing, editing, writing and communications was varied and engaging for him.
He was the editor of the Journal of the Soil and Water Conservation Society; he most recently held the position of publishing leader and assistant professor for extension and experiment station communications at Oregon State University. Mark greatly enjoyed his work, and often spoke of his appreciation of his many colleagues and collaborators. His work was nationally recognized with honors, though he was characteristically modest about his achievements.
Mark was a gentle, kind, smart, funny, loving person. His eyes sparkled, and he was a strong and peaceful presence. Mark had many close and loving friends with whom he often creatively collaborated. Mark made music, wrote poetry and novels, painted, and was almost always in a process of artistic expression in many forms.
Mark was a quiet teacher and leader, and a model of non-judgmental openness, kindness and creative expression.
Nature and being in nature were among Mark’s deepest loves. He will be buried at the coast, in Yachats — the name of which derives from the Chinook word meaning “dark waters at the foot of the mountain” — a spectacular natural place where Mark and his family spent many precious days after learning of his illness.
Mark and his wife, Sarah, took great pride in having created their family through adoption. Mark cherished his role as a father, and was proud of both of his remarkable daughters.
He was a loving, understanding and attentive father, husband, son, brother and uncle. Mark was known for his patience. He was a true pacifist in all aspects of his life. His loss will be felt for the rest of our lives.
Mark endured a treatment for bone marrow disease and cancer that affected every cell in his body. He did so with admirable hope, patience and strength. He expressed deep gratitude to his anonymous stem cell donor, a 19-year-old man from Europe.
He is survived by his wife, Sarah Anderson-Wilk; his daughters Julia, 9, and Phoebe, 6; his parents, Jan and Wayne Anderson of Cedar Falls; his brother, Greg Anderson of Evanston, Ill.; sisters Karen (Greg Welk) of Ames, Iowa, and Jen (Robert) Torrey of Fort Collins, Colo.; his in-laws, Melvin and Mary Beth Wilk of Des Moines, Iowa; and brothers-in-law Joseph Wilk and Gabriel Wilk, both of Des Moines.
He is also survived by nieces and nephews Colin, Evan, Grant, Maddie, Katie and Aviva; and his many, many friends, who will greatly miss him.
A funeral service officiated by Rabbi Benjamin Barnett of Beit Am will take place at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1, at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Corvallis. Burial will follow at 2 p.m. at Yachats Memorial Park. Mark’s family will receive visitors from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at their home.