Mark Dana Paster

July 27, 1949April 7, 2020

Mark Dana Paster of Annapolis, MD passed away on Tuesday, April 7th 2020, after a two and a half week battle with COVID-19. He was preceded in death by his parents, Raymond and Sarah Paster, nee Koldowsky.

Mark is survived by his wife Karen; his children, Nicole (Brendan), Brandon, Ethan (Irasema); his grandchildren Saoirse and Aoife, and fur-grandchildren Eve, Louie, and Nova; his brother Bob (Brana) Paster; and his sister Joanne (Mike) Hurwitz; dearly loved nieces, nephews, and beloved friends.

Mark was born in Boston, MA, and was a graduate of Belmont High School and University of Pennsylvania. After receiving his Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University, Mark dedicated his life to research in the chemical engineering field, working on biodegradable plastics and hydrogen fuel cell research, amongst other projects. After finally being convinced to “retire,” Mark and his wife Karen settled into a new home in Annapolis, MD, where he was able to pursue his passion for sailing, becoming an instructor at J World.

Mark was a relentless advocate and mentor for friends and family members who struggled with anything from calculus to depression to runs on Prima. He found peace later in life, and was a loving and doting Zayde to his grandchildren and fur-grandchildren alike. Never one to sit still, you could always find Mark with Karen bike riding, kayaking, playing tennis, swimming, simply walking around the neighborhood, gardening, or skiing every winter.

He is deeply loved and missed by his surviving loved ones, but none so much as his life partner, best friend, and spouse – Karen.

Our family would like to especially thank the dedicated staff of the Anne Arundel Medical Center Intensive Care Unit for being with Mark when family could not. We are deeply appreciative of the sacrifices made by you and your families.

To honor Mark’s passion for teaching sailing, memorial contributions in his name may be made to Community Boating, Inc., Attn: Executive Director, Charlie Zechel; 21 David G Mugar Way, Boston, MA 02114; 617-523-1038.


Mark Dana Paster

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July 30, 2020

Dear Karen and family: I was so deeply saddened to learn just today of Mark's recent passing. My sincerest condolences for your loss. Although it's been almost 40 years since he and I last communicated, a couple of months ago I came across a shoe box containing an old photo of Mark and I when we were in junior high. The sudden realization of those fond memories prompted me to try and reconnect. Unfortunately, using an old email and tel#, I was unable to do so. Sadly now I know why. That said, I want you to know that Mark and I truly were "best friends" through most of our Belmont school days. We double-dated, went to social events together, or just hung out together, especially when serious discussions on a personal matter were in order. And when our competitiveness really got the best of us, we would play games of ping-pong for hours on end in his basement until one or the other would break their paddle. Mark was always focused on his schoolwork, setting lofty goals for himself. He was socially outgoing, and most importantly to me, he was loyal to his core. Put simply, he was a great, great friend. I will be forever saddened that we were never able to reconnect in our later years, but at least I will have many fond memories of the time we spent together back in those early days.

Sandy Brown Hoppel

June 20, 2020

Hi. Is this the Mark that I used to sailrace with at Spruce Run Reservoir in Hunterdon County, NJ? He was at Princeton as a graduate student at the time (early 1970's). He raced the first race with me as crew. Then we reversed for the second one. He was very precise in his sailing. I am happy to have had that opportunity with him. So sorry to learn of his passing. Sandy

Sean Gallagher

April 18, 2020

I first met Mark last Spring on this very weekend at a JWorld party. Mark was instantly likeable and asked if he could race with me on my vessel Ippon. SUCH a delight to have him on board, he was reliable, knowledgeable and helpful in any way he could. In just one summer we became fast friends and made great memories both on the water and off. I was so looking to having him on board again this year, he will be terribly missed. My heart goes out to Karen and the rest of the family.

Vickery Brewer

April 17, 2020

I just met Mark last Summer sailing Wednesday nights on Ippon. I Iiked Mark immediately - he was easy going, the first one to the boat, always offering to help or try or learn something new. All around - a really nice guy with lots of talents and interests. I was looking forward to sailing with Mark again. He will be greatly missed aboard Ippon. My heart goes out to Mark's family. Peace.

Dottie Smith

April 15, 2020

Dear Karen & family,
Some years ago I moved back to Maryland after a divorce in Texas. I was broken and shattered!
I had an opportunity to have a sailing lesson opportunity with Mark. He needed someone to raise and lower the Spinnaker
I was the only female on the boat and no one else offered to do it. I was so nervous and volunteered to “do the spinnaker” knowing that the race now counted on me.
Mark said “go for it”! I did and fell in love with sailing through Mark. I felt so empowered that evening! I will never forget what he gave me. It was a gift and just what the doctor ordered! I am so sorry for the loss to your family.
He made a difference in my life and my healing.
Dottie Smith

Tom Beck

April 15, 2020

Dear Karen and family, we are so sorry for your loss. Karen and I have been so lucky to have met you both, shared dinners and plays, and for me to have sailed with Mark. He was always ready to share some knowledge about how to be a better sailor. I appreciated it and we will greatly miss him.

Tom & Karen

Robin Pinard

April 14, 2020

Dear Paster Family,
My deepest condolences go out to you and your family. Mark was a gentle and loving man. I will never forget his kindness. I offer you my warmest thoughts, prayers and well-wishes during this difficult time in your life. May fond memories of him bring you comfort and fill your hearts with love.

Eunice Lin

April 12, 2020

Karen and family, I am so saddened to hear about Mark and your huge loss. I owe so much to Mark - his taking a chance on me when he raced Jammin', his support, honesty and encouragement at JWorld the past two years, and his smile and hugs when I would see him there. He will be sorely missed.