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J. Marks '46 August 5, 2019 1:21 PM updated: August 5, 2019 1:24 PM

Published in Salt Lake (UT) Tribune on Aug. 4, 2019

1924 - 2019

1924 ~ 2019
John David Marks passed away Thursday, July 11, 2019 at home in Walnut Creek, CA at age 94 of natural causes. He was born in Corsicana, Navaro Co., Texas, on December 28, 1924 to Mose and Marguerite Marks, both scions of pioneer Texas families. He attended school in Dallas, graduating from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1942. He attended Texas A&M College (1942 & '46), and received degrees from the University of Michigan, (BSE 1950, MS 1951). John served in the U.S. Army during WW II. He was a 2nd Lieutenant and was stationed in the Philippines.
In 1950, John married Jeanie Wilson in Dallas. They were married by Rabbi David Lefkowitz, who had also married John's parents. They resided in Ann Arbor, Denver, New Orleans, Dallas, and Salt Lake City.
As a chemical and aerospace engineer he was employed by a number of companies including Magnolia Petroleum, Julius Hyman & Co., Shell Chemical, and H B. Meyer & Son. In 1989 John retired from Hercules, Inc. Aerospace (now Northrup Grumman) after nearly 28 years. During his long career as an engineer, he was honored by Materials Engineering Magazine "Top Twenty Awards of Excellence" and American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics "Utah Engineer of the Year -1985" for the invention of a unique method of manufacturing rocket motor insulation. John was awarded a number of patents and invented a wallet size emergency key holder with dimensions of a credit card and founded mArks Industries. He was a member of American Chemical Society, American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Preceded in death by wife Jeanie in 2011, parents, brother Herman B. Marks, daughter Judith Ellen Wiley, and grandson Louis Mose Beach. He is survived by children: Jennifer Beach, Minneapolis, MN; John David, Jr., (Pamela), Concord, CA; Jocelyn Jean Gehrke (Michael), Arlington, VA; grandchildren Denise Tracy, David Marks, Robert Marks, Lita Beach, Nathan Gehrke, Paige Gehrke, and 5 great-grandchildren. He was very proud and delighted by the accomplishments of his children, their spouses, his grandchildren and great-grandkids.
John took special comfort in the outdoors. He believed spending time in nature was the best way for him to stay in touch with God. He liked to say he belonged to the "Sunday Church of Down Hill Skiers." After losing his right arm to cancer in 1989, he said he was still an "Expert INTERMEDIATE" skier. Camping, backpacking, and hiking in the mountains with his family was a special treat. He loved traveling with his wife and together they visited the Americas, Antarctica, Australia, Asia (including Mt. Everest), Africa, and Europe. Jeanie paid him special honor by gracing their home with his best photographs of their adventures. He was delighted with his many friendships over the years, from schoolmates, associates, neighbors, to the Alta bunch. Following Jeanie's death, friends buoyed his spirits. He especially enjoyed his regular phone calls with Joan Lehn, who he had known since he was 14, and attending dinners, operas, and symphonies with his dear friend Sally Johnson.
Memorial Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, August 9 at Red Butte Gardens in Salt Lake City. John's family welcomes contributions in his memory to the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Congregation Kol Ami, or a charity of your choice.

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