Mark, Edward

October 16, 2016

Edward Leigh Mark died at the age of 85 on Sunday, October 16, 2016,
in Cambridge, Massachusetts, of pulmonary fibrosis. He was born in
Omaha, Nebraska, on November 23, 1930, to Edward Merle Mark and
Dorothy Leigh Mark. In 1953 Edward received his B.A. from the
University of Iowa, and travelled by freighter to Belgaum, India,
where he spent four years managing the Methodist Boys' Hostel for
villagers who came to the city to go to high school. He then attended
Drew University, receiving a Bachelor of Divinity. Returning to Iowa,
he married Joan Rae TePaske. Edward and Joan Mark moved to Cambridge,
MA, where he received an M.A. from Harvard in the Study of
Religion. In 1964 he was appointed as a minister at Harvard-Epworth
Methodist Church, where he served for 32 years until his retirement in
1996. His ministry emphasized liberal Christianity, a close
relationship between the church and the arts, the social gospel, and
his love for the Bible. He was a lover of the arts, particularly
devotional art, architecture, music, theater, and film. He ran a film
series at Harvard-Epworth from 1965 to 1996, known for experimental
films and for exploring directors' work through complete
retrospectives. A 1971 article about the series quoted him saying,
"The arts began in religion." Edward and Joan loved to travel to
explore churches, art, and food, returning most often to Venice,
Taxco, and Oaxaca. He was a strong supporter of Emmanuel Music. His
wife Joan died in 2015. Edward is survived by his brother Allyn Mark,
his children Jonathan Henry Mark and Jessica Mark Welch, and
grandchildren Irene Marie Sakson, Daniel Edward Mark Welch, and Andrew
John Mark Welch. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, October
29, at 11:00 AM, at the Harvard-Epworth United Methodist Church, 1555
Mass. Ave., Cambridge. Donations in his memory may be made to
Harvard-Epworth United Methodist Church.