Thursday, April 15, 2021

Spotlight on: Owen Andrew Mark

Owen Andrew Mark

24 May 1915 OH - 12 Oct 1993 OH

Son of Thomas K. Mark & N. Regina Gruissy

Husband of Blanche Adele Bowers

Father of twins, Denny & Danny

Brother of my paternal grandmother, Ivy Mark Brown; my great uncle

Siblings: Ivy (Mark) Brown, Owen A. Mark & Wava (Mark) Braun in Ohio
Photo taken by my father, Delbert Keith Brown

Thomas and Regina Mark had four daughters before their first son, Owen, was born on 24 May 1915.[1]  Later another son and daughter were born to the family for a total of five daughters and two sons. Owen married Blanche A. (Bowers) MarkHe served in the Army in World War Two. Prior to enlistment he had finished four years of high school. He was married and working as a blacksmith.[2]His sister, Wava, wrote, 

Owen was in the army, a Sergeant first class in World War II. He was in Germany, France and Belgium. In March 1943 he was at Camp Perry, Ohio. He was in Transport Company 284 and Honorably Discharged January 13, 1946. He had several medals.[3]

            Owen wrote to his sister, Ivy (Mark) Brown while he was in the service. In one letter he congratulates his sister on the birth of her seventh child, William born May 1944.


Received your letter. Was a bit surprised to hear you had a 10 lb. Boy. You certainly have a nice family. You have a Basket Ball Team of Boys all your own. Kids are nice to have on hand when you are older I guess. Never thought much about it…. Remember the fun we had as Kids? I was a mean Brat! But you never told on me Like the other girls when Bill and I would get into a fight or something. I still can’t remember or picture you as a silver haired lady. I like to Remember you as I remember you I guess, blond, blue eyes, always seeing the funny side. I figure on seeing you all and those Beautiful Catskills and rivers (They say). I am just gonna sit in the Sun and see who can spit the farthest. The way I feel now, I’d make a perfect Bum. How’s Roy? Never hear about him. Wish I had a bottle of whiskey like he used to get. Well keep your chin up and I Hope you’re feeling Great, Owen.[4]


            He wrote to Ivy again in January 1945.


Received your letter of Aug, 23/44 recently. It must have taken one heck of a time to get out of those Rip Van Winkle Hills. Glad you and Isabell had a Good visit. I frankly was worried about you. I heard some rumors you were ill and so was Billie. Hope you’re doing fine. Guess Billy is on his first Legs by now. …I am fine and living good. But want to see the states. I kinda like to see you all and the hills when I can. Will win the war on this side one of these Days. I got it all figured. It will be sudden and surprise most of people when we do. For Heavens sake look at my address. The last few times and your Box went to a very old address. I have had 3 APO’s since the address you had. But write if it’s in care of RFD. Your box was very welcome and I thank the Brownies for it. I write to Harold every week but haven’t got together yet. I wonder what’s gonna happen when we come home. Things aren’t gonna be smooth. How’s Clarence? I wish he had got in medics here rather than in the hospital in the states. But he is safe anyway. That’s a lot. Well must close and Love to you all – Owen.[5]


Owen’s neice, Genevieve (Brown) Wieland wrote, “Uncle Owen fought with General Patton’s troops in Africa during World War II and was with Patton in Paris at the end of the war.”[6]

During World War Two the Wadsworth community supported the one thousand forty – four men who served their country. The county history books include the name of Owen Andrew Mark in lists of men who served. The community purchased War Bonds, contributed to U. S. O. drives and helped with Red Cross projects. In August 1945 the people of Wadsworth turned out in great numbers in the town’s square to celebrate when peace was achieved.[7]


Spontaneous and impromptu demonstrations by segments of the milling crowd, which converged downtown within minutes of the President’s message, were hysterically happy expressions that the long strain was ended. Factory whistles, the fire siren, automobile horns, bells and noisemakers of all kinds provided deafening sound effects to the heart – thrilling spectacle.[8]

Owen was a machinist for Ohio Injector for 40 years. After he retired he was a truck farmer. Owen’s wife, Blanche, worked in a match factory while he was in the service. After he returned they had twin sons: Danny A. Mark and Denny B. MarkOwen and Blanche divorced 25 July 1949.  Blanche and the twins moved to California.Owen had little contact with his sons after their move. He did go out to California fortheir high school graduation. Tragically, Danny was killed in a motorcycle accident 15 September 1974 in California.[9]  

Owen visited Dennya couple times in CaliforniaIn the 1990’s Denny lived with his mother. She was ill and he took care of her.  Denny continues to live in California.[10]

            I sawOwen in July 1993 at the home of Alvin and Wava (Mark) Braun.  At that time he was being treated for cancer. He was getting around by using a cane. He was very friendly. Owen Andrew Mark died from cancer on 12 October 1993.[11]He was cremated and his ashes scattered over his 14-acre farm at 1630 River Styx Road, Medina, Ohio. His brother, Clarence, and sister, Wava, were present. His son, Denny, was unable to travel from California.  

Owen Andrew Mark on his Ohio Farm
Photo taken by my father, Delbert Keith Brown

 Owen’s obituary said,

Owen Andrew Mark, 78, of Medina, died Tuesday, Oct. 12, 1993, at Wadsworth - Rittman Hospital. Mr. Mark was born May 24, 1915, in Wadsworth. He was a life member of Wadsworth V. F. W. post 170 and Wadsworth F. O. E. 2117. Mr. Mark was retired from Con - Val Co., where he had worked for 41 years. He was a World War II Army veteran. Mr. Mark is survived by his son, Denny of Perris, Calif.; brother, Clarence of Greenville, Ohio; sisters, Vera Ballard of Lakeland, Fla., Ivy Brown of Kinderhook, N. Y., Viola Noestein [sic]of Port Orange, Fla., and Wava Braun of Seville; and three grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his sister, Isabella Ream; and son, Danny. There will be no services. The Hahn Funeral Home in Barbersville is in charge of all arrangements. The family suggests memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society.[12]


The above story of Owen was taken from my book,

The Mark Family Story.

[1]Certificate of Birth for Owen Andrew Mark, 24 May 1915, Registration Dist. # 828,Primary Registration Dist.#2869, Registered # 49, State of Ohio, Bureau of Vital Statistics.

[2]National Archives and Records Administration. U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2005

[3]Letter from Wava (Mark) Braun (9846 Lee Road, Seville, Ohio) to author, July 2005.

[4]Letter from Owen Mark (993 H. A. M. Co., A. P. O. 350, c/o Post Master, NY, NY) to Ivy (Mark) Brown (New York State).

[5]Letter from Sgt. Owen Mark (993 H. A. M. Co., A. P. O. 228, c/o Post Master, NY, NY) to Ivy (Mark) Brown (New York State), 13 Jan 1945.

[6]Letter from Genevieve (Brown) Wieland (14 Vandenburg Lane, Latham NY) to author, August 2005.

[7]The Medina County Historical Society, . History of Medina County. Fostoria, Ohio: The Gray Printing Company, 1948.


[9]Interview with Denny B. Mark; phone calls with author on 1994 & 1997.


[11]Certificate of Death for Owen Andrew Mark, 12 October 1993, Certificate #087372, State of Ohio, Department of Health.

[12]"Owen A. Mark." Medina County Gazette August 15, 1993: 2A. From Medina County Library, 210 S Broadway Street, Medina, Ohio.


  1. What a great writeup about your great uncle! And congrats on your book!

  2. This is a beautiful tribute to your Great Uncle. Awesome that he served with General Patton.

  3. It's wonderful you have the letters you shared. I think the first letter from 1944 tells as much about his sister as it does about Owen, himself. This was a great post about your great-uncle.


Thanks for stopping by my blog & for leaving a comment. It is always good to hear from visitors, cousins & fellow bloggers. Note that I do not publish anonymous comments.