Remembering Mark Russell Neumann

Image by Matt Hardy

Celebrating the Life of

Mark Russell Neumann

August 21, 1956 - April 17, 2021

Biography

Mark Russell Neumann passed away on April 17, 2021 after a brief and brave battle with cancer. He was at his home in San Antonio, Texas surrounded by his wife Giselle, stepson Victor, and daughters Courtney and Kelsey. 

 

The conversations with him the last three weeks were most wonderful as he reflected on the ups and downs of life while simultaneously cracking jokes about his medical procedures. He repeatedly assured us that he had “lived a good life” and that “whenever God is ready for me, I’m ready.” Even though Mark was the one sick and in pain, he was constantly reassuring those around him that everything would be ok.

 

Mark was born in Moses Lake, Washington to Joan Lucille Olsen and Russell Herbert Neumann. Throughout his youth he moved with his parents and sister to different military bases in Washington, Japan, and California.

 

Mark earned his BS in accounting and a CPA license at Pepperdine University.

 

Mark was a loving husband, father, son, brother, and friend. He loved bbq-grilling, playing tennis, being around or in water, sampling the world’s different cuisines, and enjoying simple evenings with good company. Those closest to him will forever reminisce on his good heart, his generosity, and by how he consistently chose to care for others over himself. 

 

Sometimes these choices were small sacrifices like spending the night in a tent with his daughters in the pouring rain even though he really didn’t like camping. Like encouraging his sweet akita Sadie to eat her dry food by cooking up an over-easy egg for her every morning. Or like waking up at the crack of dawn and standing out in the pouring rain to bbq an experimental beer-bottle-stuffed Thanksgiving turkey for family to indulge in. 

 

And then there were the bigger sacrifices Mark made, like letting his daughters adopt three cats, even though he was severely allergic to them. And to top that off, accepting the responsibility of trapping and removing the half-dead birds and lizards that the cats brought into the house as gifts. 

 

And then there were the even bigger sacrifices. Mark time and time again forwent important parts of his life for his family. He sacrificed his job and his finances so that his daughters didn’t have to move to Northern California for their senior and junior years of high school. He doted on and cared for his first wife, Teresa, through her seven year battle with cancer. He selflessly cared for his mom, Joan, through her cancer and for his sister, Kari, through her illness. In 2016, Mark didn’t hesitate to uproot and move his life from California to San Antonio to help his stepmother, Dawn, care for his father, Russell, during his dad’s battle with cancer. Mark was always present for his family. 

 

Mark never let the hardships he faced harden his heart. He could make the best of any situation and courageously helped those around him cope. This is a trait those close to him aim to emulate with even a fraction of the strength Mark had. 

 

Mark certainly knew the difference in life between what was important and what was frivolous. The world was simply better with him in it. His comfort, strength, and perspective will be greatly missed here on earth.

 
 

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In lieu of flowers

please consider donating to the Cancer Research Institute

 
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