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In loving memory of
Mark Hertlein
  • April 21, 1955
  • -
  • September 05, 2019

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Obituary

Mark Bennett Hertlein passed away Thursday September 5 in Mount Dora, Florida, at the age of 64.  He was born in Champaign, Illinois in April of 1955 to Elizabeth Gable and Bernhard Hertlein.  He is survived by Becky, his wife of 33 years, and his sister Beth.  Mark grew up in the Midwest and California.  In 1986, he earned a PhD in Entomology from the University of California at Davis, and had a successful career working as a global bio-expert for Dow AgroSciences in Indianapolis, IN.  He felt he had found his dream job because he was able to travel all over the world, making life-long friends with Dow employees in other countries.  His favorite pastime on and off the job was traveling, visiting historical sights and collecting small treasures to remind him of his adventures.  Although he left us too early, Mark was able to retire early and realize another dream of building a home on a lake and spending his time fishing and golfing.  We are grateful he was able to pack in more years of fun and relaxation after he retired.

Anyone who knew Mark would agree that Mark  was just a wonderful person.  What made him so special  was that he was fair, non-judgemental and treated everyone with respect.  He valued his relationships with the women in his life.  He was devoted to his mother and considered her his “hero” for her uncomplaining endurance while suffering from multiple sclerosis and being confined to a nursing home for years.  Mark visited her every Sunday even while working and going to school.   Mark was equally devoted and patient with his grandmother Florence, whom he described as “voted most likely to move” because she did not stay long in any one place.  He would often tease her that she was styling her hair like Elvis.  His sister Beth was his best friend through all the ups and downs of his childhood, and he loved her for the strength of her support as he worked at school and jobs.  He was a wonderful husband to Becky; faithful, stable and always thinking of her happiness.

He was sunny, even-tempered and interested in everything.  He was very smart, but very modest.  He was also a very loyal friend, would do anything for his special buddies, and often did.  Friendships that began in grade school lasted his entire life.   New friends felt like they had known him a long time.  Another personality trait was his incredible discipline.  His goal, he said, was to “dominate” anything in his way.  He singlehandedly scraped the paint from a two-story brick home, brick by brick, taking 5 years to complete the job.  He finished every project he started and did not procrastinate.  He would have an idea of something he wanted to achieve and then he would work methodically and tirelessly to make it happen.  Mark was also not afraid of anything.  He was willing to try anything that looked fun and would go at it without hesitation or self-consciousness.  He insisted on taking on the most advanced trails on the ski slopes, even as a novice.   He spent hours in freezing water trying to learn to water ski.  He loved beer and sausage of any kind, a nod to his German heritage.  In the 1990’s he was able to visit and enjoy a real Octoberfest in Munich, Germany.  He noticed the crowd was drinking huge steins of beer at 11 in the morning.  He opened his arms wide and said with a big smile, “these are my people!”.   His niece and nephew will never forget his signature dish: “Cajun blackened burrito-dogs”, basically hot dogs stuffed into frozen burritos, smothered in salsa and microwaved too long.

He had a great sense of humor and most often saw the positive side of things.  He said he lived his life according to his own  “Philosophy of Shallow Living”, meaning that one should not waste precious time feeling sad or regretful, but to live life, to have fun and enjoy yourself to the fullest.  For those of you who knew him, he would want you to remember how he made you laugh and pushed you to join him on his adventures.  He would tell anyone who was grieving to “cowboy up” and think of the good times you had with him.  He will be missed more than he’ll ever know.

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  1. 19 Oct 2019
    Jack and Susan Meyers says:
    We met Mark shortly after moving to Florida.He and Becky had purchased a home on the same street at about the same time.
    We quickly became friends as we recognized his great sense of humor and his love of experiencing new things. We explored our new town and state and had several years of dinners, day trips, movies, conversation, fishing trips and attempts at becoming better golfers.
    We were so lucky to have him in our life and only wish we had more time with him.

  2. 19 Oct 2019
    Jack and Susan Meyers lit a candle:
    Lit since October 19, 2019 at 10:35:47 PM

  3. 14 Oct 2019
    Amy Griffin says:
    I am very saddened to hear this. Mark was such a fun person to work with. So thankful he got to retire early and send great quality time enjoying life. He will leave a big home in many hearts, but you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  4. 13 Oct 2019
    Gene Tisdell says:
    We golfed together, got drunk together, and played poker till dawn. We also worked together. I remember Mark coming by the day he retired and telling me he was leaving, what? Was my reply your younger than me! With more than a hint of jealousy. Yep! 55 was the plan. I want 20 good years of retirement. I'm sorry you didn't get those 20 good years. You deserved them. Miss you.

  5. 11 Oct 2019
    Laura Karr says:
    Mark was the best supervisor i ever had, and was an even better friend. He was one of the kindest men i have ever know.

  6. 11 Oct 2019
    Paul Borth says:
    The science and small community of Applied Entomologists has lost a professional who left his mark and legacy on multiple corporate projects and in the memories of his teammates. Condolences to his family.

  7. 10 Oct 2019
    Craig Hanson says:
    Mark was a very special person who invested in others and made the world a better place. He cast a bigger shadow then he ever could believe with his humble spirit. A true professional that took his science serious but not life. Glad to know he enjoyed his retirement but not surprised. You will be missed.

    Craig

  8. 10 Oct 2019
    Kathy McIntyre says:
    I worked with Mark during a stint in HR and he was definitely a fun-loving guy. The fruit of the loom appearance at a party was truly memorable. Sorry to hear of his passing. Kathy McIntyre

  9. 10 Oct 2019
    Dan K says:
    So sorry to hear this. Mark was truly a class act.

  10. 10 Oct 2019
    Sterett Robertson says:
    I’m sorry to hear of Mark’s passing. He was too young!

    Mark always brought his own lunch at DAS. It always included a ripe banana!

    I’ll miss our occasional lunch field trip to Popeyes with a small group of colleagues.
    Mark once told us about his childhood experience at a summer camp in Hawaii. He stepped on a beached jellyfish and stung his foot. The camp counselor had all the kids form a circle and screen him while someone peed on his foot...the look on his face was priceless when he heard that it was not an effective treatment for stings.

    Mark will be missed. He was a fine scientist and a great person.

    RIP my friend.

    Sterett

  11. 10 Oct 2019
    Neil Kirby says:
    Mark was a truly good man and we have few enough of those. This is such sad news.

  12. 09 Oct 2019
    Monique Mackasey says:
    Mark was such a breath of fresh air- funny, curious, nice... I will always remember him showing up at a party as a “Fruit of the Loom” guy. I loved his sense of humor

  13. 09 Oct 2019
    Nailah and Greg Orr says:
    Mark was a very special person. A true human in the chaos of our corporate world. We had a very special bond because when I was hired, they messed up the paperwork and put him down as my supervisor. So, I always called him “Boss”. He was not just a dear friend, but an amazing scientist and a mentor to many, including me. I am heartbroken at this immense loss but know that Mark’s light, his humanity will continue to shine in all our hearts. My deepest condolences to his family. May God bless all of you and may my Buddy Rest In Peace.

  14. 09 Oct 2019
    Matthew J Henry says:
    Sorry to learn of this. I had many good years working with Mark.

  15. 09 Oct 2019
    Tom W says:
    Mark was the most disciplined "boss" I ever had. He was extremely kind to me. I will never forget all he patiently taught and challenged me to learn and succeed.

  16. 07 Oct 2019
    B. Rolfs posted an image:
    Mark on his favorite lake, enjoying the good life.
    Mark on his favorite lake, enjoying the good life.