Mark Spikell
(1941 - 2016)

Mark Spikell

March 21, 1941

August 12, 2016

We have created this website to honor our Dad’s memory. Our Dad had friends far and wide, and was always a fan of innovation and technology. We thought it would be fitting to create this online memorial, in lieu of a traditional funeral or memorial service. We encourage anyone and everyone to share any memories, stories, or thoughts.

Our Dad was always well liked. His sister Deena told me on multiple occasions that, “he treated everyone equally. He would talk to you the same whether you were the janitor or the Dean of the college,” and I have to agree with her. When you were the center of his attention, you were in a great place and that contributed to why people liked him so much.

Attending public schools in Fairfax, Virginia, I had at least a few teachers whom had been students of our Dad’s (as George Mason is in Fairfax, Virginia), and I could tell that each of them loved me and treated me with respect, just because they loved and respected my father.

Many of my best memories with our Dad were during our hundreds of nights at The Improv Comedy Club. Everyone at The Improv knew Dr. Math. Dad once attended a performance of Chris Rock, a very famous comedian. Before the show Dad had a lengthy and engaged conversation with a stranger after which a friend approached Dad and asked, “So what’s he like?” “Who?” Dad replied. “Chris Rock. You’ve been talking to him for half an hour.” My Dad, the Jewish professor in cowboy get-up could hang with one of the most vulgar, intelligent, and intense black comics out there, the comic that he came to see, and he didn’t even know that he was hangin’.

He loved to schmooze and was always a regular at a haunt or two. He was known well and welcomed by everyone at each venue. He laughed easily all the way to the end of his life. He would crack up with just a little teasing when I would visit him at the assisted living home in which he resided for the last 8 years or so of his life. An aid at the home told me recently that every night he would be in bed watching the Andy Griffith Show, and even if his eyes were closed and he didn’t seem to be aware of what was going on, he would still be laughing.

Dad was proud of his red convertible. He was in his element hanging out late at the comedy club or going country Dancing every night of the week. Dad lived his own dorky version of a rock n’ roll lifestyle and there isn’t a person alive that can’t appreciate and respect that. I think that is a big part of why people like him so much.

Our Dad passed away in his home and was in the good company of his caregiver until the end. He appeared peaceful and did not show any signs of discomfort or pain in the last stage of life. His body has been donated to anatomical science as he requested, so he is contributing to the education of others even after death.

We are among many that loved him and that are saddened by his passing. Dad’s unique character was hard to miss and he touched many people’s lives. The close friends whom we have been able to contact have shared great stories and fond memories with my sister and me. Thank you for everyone’s support and kind words. We hope that anyone that has found their way here will feel comfortable posting something. Click on the Guestbook to post a message to this site. Click on photos to upload any photos.

Guest Book Wall (What is this?)

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Guest Book (5 entries)
Mark was my one-of-kind friend and fellow faculty member at GMU. I was honored to give the farewell address to him for the Graduate School of Education. We may not no exactly why. but we all miss him! Slow down and rest, my friend! Denny
Dennis Dunklee (Faculty)
February 7th, 2017
I know Mark from my GMU days when I was an exchange student from Japan. I was sitting in an empty school cafeteria one day when Mark asked if he could sit at my table. How could I say no to that infectious and friendly smile! --We have done so much together- visiting IMPROV comedy club, country dancing, dining out, strolling in the Georgetown neighborhood admiring the beauty of the town, concerts at the Kennedy center, shows at the Arena stage etc-- He was always ready to explore the city and the culture and never was afraid to try new things. He loved meeting people with different backgrounds and interests. We also enjoyed very long conversations about life, religion, love, etc.. I always enjoyed tremendously of his insights and opinions.
Despite his well established career, he has always been remarkably humble. He would share ideas with me, a 35 years junior to him but he always takes genuine interest in what I have to say on things and always comes back with thoughtful and thought provoking answers.

I'd like to believe that Mark and I have a very rare kind of friendship that transcends generations, genders and cultural background, and I am truly grateful.

Mark, I miss you terribly and trust me, your fun loving and youthful heart are alive and well within me!
Risa Marburg (Friend)
August 23rd, 2016
Mark was my older brother and I have many memories. My favorite is when he sent my daughter, my sister and I airfare to come to Maine and visit with his family one summer. His children were pretty young at the time. We had great fun and all made a silly video. I loved having his children visit me in California every summer - it was a treat for me to see them grow up on a yearly basis. We remain close to this day. I also remember Mark's encouragement of my ambition to gain my Ph.D.
Stefanie Spikell (sister)
August 23rd, 2016
George Mason's Tribute:
George Mason
August 23rd, 2016
This is the memorial I set up for Mark Spikell. To sign the guest book, click on the "Sign Guest Book" button below.
Emily Sullivan
August 21st, 2016
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"What a beautiful picture and tribute to your Dad. I worked with him in last years at Mason. He was so humble, kind and funny. Students loved him and he loved sharing his knowledge. He really made a difference."
Donna Martinez-Vallejos
August 23rd, 2016


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