Mark B. Atkinson

Dec. 11, 1953 - Feb. 7, 2017


Mark B. Atkinson, 63, Sandy Run Lane, New Paris, died Tuesday at his home.

He was born in Ellwood City, son of Bette (Ferris) and the late Donald Atkinson Sr. On Aug. 6, 1982, he married Jeanne M. Runk in Long Island, N.Y.

Surviving are his wife; two sons: Mark “Brian” Atkinson Jr. of Hatfield and Justin Matthew Atkinson of North Lake, Texas; and a sister, Judy Brownson and husband, Roger, of Lorraine, Ohio.

He was preceded in death by a brother, Donald Atkinson Jr.; a niece, Angela Brumbaugh; and a nephew, Albert Paul Fleck Jr.

Mark was a 1971 graduate of Lincoln High School, Ellwood City, and he received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Thiel College, Greenville. He attended Oregon Institute of Marine Biology, Coos Bay, Ore., and received a Master of Science from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He also earned a master’s degree in computer science.

In 1979, Mark began working at Prince Gallitzin State Park as a park naturalist. When he moved to the Altoona area, he met his future wife at Backwall Racquetball Club. He then moved to Pittsburgh and worked at Children’s Hospital doing research involving fetal alcohol syndrome. He continued his research at North Shore University, Long Island, N.Y., where he married the love of his life, Jeanne, in 1982.

In 1984, he took a position at the Cleveland Clinic with Dr. Anthony Breuer to do research in determining a link between cell transport and neurological disorders, concentrating on the properties of ALS. His team was moved to Wakeforest Bowman Gray, Winston Salem, N.C. In 1997, Mark accepted a position at American Cyanamid, Princeton, N.J. He was then hired as a project manager at Schering-Plough, which eventually became Merck. In 2013, he and his wife moved back to the area, and he began to work at New Pig, Tipton. He retired as a project manager for New Pig in 2016.

Mark was a talented musician and enjoyed playing his guitar and singing. He was a member of the Bucks County Meet-up Group and a social member of the Pleasantville VFW Post 9219. He was an outdoorsman and loved to hunt and garden. Mark lived a life of continuing education, always thirsting to further his knowledge or learn a new skill set. He was an avid environmentalist and his dream was to someday live a life of self-sustainability and live off the grid.

Mark was an amazing man, and his love for family and kindness to others will always be remembered.

Friends will be received from 11 a.m. until the 1 p.m. funeral service, Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, at Louis Geisel Funeral Home, Bedford.

Memorial contributions in memory of Mark may be made to one’s local chapter of Breast Cancer or Autism Association.