Mark Wray Bullis

October 23, 1956January 5, 2011

Mark Wray Bullis, age 54, passed away at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, Ca. on January 5, 2011 after a brief illness from diverticulitis complications.

Born October 23, 1956, in Seattle, Washington, to Gaylord and Patricia Bullis, he lived on Mercer Island, Washington with his wife, mother and son.

Survivors include his beloved wife, Joyce, his mother Patricia Bullis, sons Michael Sterling of Vashon Island and Anthony Bullis living at home, stepdaughter, Shawna Canas of Los Angeles and his sister, Ann Bullis of Las Vegas, Nv.. He was preceded in death by his father in 1989.

Mark was co-owner of Bullis Custom Services and Art’s Landscape on Mercer Island. He was a gifted, well known, loved and respected jazz musician. He was known as a great bassist and a great guitarist as well. He had many students that will no doubt follow in his footsteps and he loved teaching as well performing. Mark was totally in his element in front of his audiences. His music career started at the age of 9 when his grandmother bought him his first guitar. His mother had a love of music and took Mark to see many of his major influences along the way. Mark studied classical bass with Seattle Symphony bassists Ron Simon and Nancy Griffin, Gary Peacock, Dave Holland, and Stafford James. He continued studying jazz guitar studying with Dave Peterson, Jim Nichols, Dave Hearle, Joe Henderson, Julien Priester and Mark Levine. He had worked with the Seattle Philharmonic and the Bellevue Philharmonic along with all the great musicians he so loved and respected in the Pacific Northwest.

Mark had the privilege of working professionally with Steve Allen, Diane Shure, Barbara McNair, Johnny Barnes of the Platters, Edmonia Jarrett, and Hadley Caliman.

Mark was a dedicated and loving family man who enjoyed the many little pleasures of life including gold panning, huckleberry picking and travel. He had a sense of adventure and enjoyed many outings with his family. According to Mark there were only three seasons, summer, spring, and football and he was an avid Seahawks fan.

Mark had quite a subtle sense of humor, (his wife always asked him to “stick to bass”), he was unassuming, loyal and felt so privileged to play with so many of Seattle’s finest musicians. He was a wonderful husband and family man, who loved the Lord with all of his heart and attended services at New Hope Seattle. Mark had no idea he was going to have such a short gig here on earth, but there is no doubt he is hooking up with all the greats he so admired and is now in a perfect space. Mark touched so many and he will be so missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him.

Love is everything. Love lives on forever in each memory and thought. Love never fades away, for in our hearts, our loved ones are with us forever.

A reception will be held 1:00 pm, this Sunday, January 8, 2011 at Marks church, New Hope, Seattle. Visitation will be held Wednesday, January 12 from 4pm-8pm at Sunset Hills Funeral Home,

Memorial Services will be Thursday, January 13 at 1:30pm at Sunset Hills, 1215 145th Place SE, Bellevue, WA. 98007 with a “jazz reception” immediately following. This will be the time and place for all of Marks musician friends to come pay final respects and you know how much he loved a jam session. I hope to bring the house down for about an hour and a half!

Memorial contributions are welcome and can be mailed to Marks wife Joyce Bullis, P.O. Box 295, Mercer Island, WA. 98040. who will use it to support the Seattle live jazz community. Arrangements under the direction of Sunset Hills Funeral Home, Bellevue, WA.


  • Visitation Wednesday, January 12, 2011
  • Memorial Service Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mark Wray Bullis

have a memory or condolence to add?

Bob Strickland

April 3, 2013

Joyce, we continue to miss Mark and his fingerprint on the music that we play. His verve, humor, and loyalty is always appreciated and never forgotten. Come and see us when you can at Prohibition Gastropub.

Joyce Bullis

April 2, 2013

Eight years ago, I met you on April Fools Day and you changed my life forever! I still miss your company, your laugh, and keep you in my heart.


August 1, 2011

I am still so sad after I read the latest entry here in Mark's passing.With tear filled eyes, I can't stop thinking, why, why, why, Mark was so sweet and innocent, like a little boy. A little angel! He made my Sister so, so happy, and he just loved her so much! With so much saddness in the world, I just cannot believe he is gone! I am so sad for him and my Sister, how can a love so sweet be gone! I guess it is not gone, but we will always remember him with such great innocence and love and laughter and confidence! We should all always remember the love we have and not even realize it maybe. Life is so short! We just do not know how short!
I love you Sissy and Mark and Pat and Shawna!It breaks my heart everyday that he is gone, but I do know one thing, He is a GREAT, Great ANGEL, now, in Gods arms!There is no doubt about this!
God Bless!

Trudy Kain Talbott

July 28, 2011

Dear Joyce and family; I met Mark in 1972, at a choir event in Mercer Island. We became friends and tried dating for a bit in High School, but found we just liked to talk more than anything else! I last spoke to Mark in 1986 after his fathers passing. I tried to contact him via the internet a few times, but I know how busy he was after reading about all of the events he went to! I am saddened that I won't get a chance to see him again in this world, but happy to know that he is at peace, and that someday I will be able to visit with him again.
Trudy Kain Talbott

Judy Treimer

June 30, 2011

Bob Strickland

June 29, 2011

Joyce and Family, I continue to miss Mark greatly for his playing and his personality. Every now and then, someone brings me a recording that he played on. We still feel his loss with every tune we play. Here is hoping that you are gaining ground in your attempts to recover from losing such a loving person.


June 28, 2011

Dearest Mark, being a father was one of your true joys and calling in life. Seeing your role with Anthony will give him guidance for the rest of his life. I also know Michael will remember the hours and hours you two talked. Your roles with them were different, but you placed such a high value on family as witnessed by my family and the way you so quickly became part of them and vice versa. We miss you!!! Love and God Bless!

dennis williamson

June 19, 2011

happy fathers day old friend we miss you more than anyone can imagine

Stafford James

June 12, 2011

Dear Bullis Family, please accept my profound condolences on the passing of Mark. Having just returned to the United States, I just happened to see this post. May God bless and comfort you..

March 13, 2011

I would like to send my love and my prayers to Joyce and the rest of Mark's family. I just today found out about Mark's passing, and still cannot believe it. Mark and I are related, and Mark's father and my father were cousins and the very best of friends. I was fortunate enough to have recently re-connected with Mark and to have met Joyce. The love they shared was amazing, and showed in the way they spoke to each other and the smiles on their faces. I am so very grateful I was able to see Mark again--after many, many years apart--and to discover what a wonderful, talented, and caring man he grew to be. I only wish I had been able to spend more time with Mark, Joyce and the family, but life has a mind of its own and we don't always know what path it will take. Just know that my family and I in California are so saddened by Mark's passing, and that we will have Mark and the Bullis family in our thoughts and prayers.

Jan Fraser, San Juan Capistrano, California