Mark Allan Applegate

November 27, 1963March 18, 2016
Obituary of Mark Allan Applegate
Dr. Mark Allan Applegate, 52, passed away at his home in San Diego on Friday, March 18, 2016. He was an engineer and financial analyst who loved sailing, skiing, surfing, reading, cooking and spending time with family and friends. Mark was born November 27, 1963 in Bristol, PA to Barbara and Marvin Applegate. Along with younger sisters, Joan and Amy, he grew up in Ewing, NJ. He attended and was a very active member of Central Baptist Church, Ewing. Mark attended Antheil Elementary School, Fisher Jr. High School and Ewing High School from which he graduated in 1981. In his junior year he received a scholarship from Georgia-Pacific Corporation to participate in the High School Internship Program at the University of Maine in Orono, sponsored by the National Science Foundation to provide hands-on science-based experience. In his senior year of high school Mark received a college scholarship from The Professional Engineers Club of Ewing Township, a Dow Jones Scholarship and a National Merit Scholarship to pursue a Bachelor of Science in the Honors Chemical Engineering program at the University of Delaware, which he received in 1985. Upon graduation, he was awarded a Dow Chemical Scholarship and a prestigious Hertz Foundation Fellowship full scholarship to complete a PhD in Biochemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1992. During his training, Mark received numerous academic achievement awards. A music enthusiast, Mark played the string bass throughout his academic studies, in school, church and community orchestras and jazz bands. As part of the scholarship programs at the University of Delaware, Mark was awarded summer internships for two years at Dow Jones and two years at Mobile Oil. During his time-off he enjoyed playing music, strategizing in tactical board games, and building robots and most anything that would explode with his inseparable high school friends; Don Cox, Rainer Richter and Steve Cohen. He also loved working with his Grandfather on his Chevy Nova, handed down to Mark as his first car. In addition to Mark, higher education also took Don to Boston where he and Mark met Alan Joly, expanding the closely knit pack of school friends to four. On October 2, 1993 Mark married Dawn Reneé Orton and began a lifelong partnership of love and collaboration. Marriages strengthened Mark’s friendship pack, with each serving the other as Best Man in services around the globe. Over time the wives were allowed into the tightly knit group and a growing family of fun, friendship and children began. Over his career, Mark directed scientific teams to scale-up and commercialize a wide range of biotechnology products including microbial fermentation-derived food and industrial chemicals at Merck & Co., Inc. pharmaceutical company, the first living tissue implants to replace donor organ transplants at Advanced Tissue Sciences, Inc., a revolutionary personalized medicine immunotherapy to treat non-Hodgkin's lymphoma at Favrille, Inc., and a gene therapy product line to treat multiple cancers and serve as DNA vaccines at Vical, Inc. Mark’s drive to understand not only the science but the business model that would enable innovative therapies to reach patient care drove him to secure an Executive MBA from UCLA and to leverage his degrees to launch the biotechnology consulting firm Applegate & Associates, Inc. He then co-founded a new retail chain as a means to better understand market dynamics. He also partnered with his wife to devise the business strategy for RegeneMed, Inc. to translate tissue transplantation technology into lab-based human organs to replace animal testing in pharmaceutical drug discovery. His impact on the scientific world and camaraderie with colleagues will be deeply missed. Mark exuberantly shared his passion for surfing, sailing, traveling and gourmet cooking with his family and friends. His infectious enthusiasm for technology was constantly expressed through mentorship and encouragement of his nieces and nephews to pursue science, computer and engineering degrees, many of whom now have successful careers in these fields. He offered Spring Break and summer internships along with residence in his Ocean Beach home, the host of many cherished family vacations. His passing falls heavy on the hearts of family and friends. Mark’s nieces and nephews express their love and unending thanks for his generous contributions and the impact he made on their personal and professional lives. For the lessons in calculus, to finance, to global events, to cooking, to surfing; we have better balance at sea and focus on land. From Matthew Orton and wife Jenny, Candace Orton, Kenneth Orton, Tyler Orton, Jai Janoe and wife Cassie, Jodi Janoe and husband Derrick Henry, Bryttany Orton, Abigail Costello, Andrew Costello, Rachel Costello, Rebecca Costello, Jeremy Czirr, Ryan Czirr and Timothy Czirr. We are stronger, more capable and loving adults as the result of your guidance. Our children love you and miss you. We will continue your lessons to guide and shape their lives. Mark will be held in loving memory by his wife of 22 years, Dawn Reneé Orton-Applegate (San Diego, CA), his parents Marvin and Barbara Applegate (Ewing, NJ), and his sisters Joan Costello and husband John (Burlington, NJ), and Amy Czirr and husband John (Clifton Park, NY), along with his Mother and Father in-law Sherman and Karen Orton (Mesa, AZ) and brothers in-law Joel Orton and wife Sunny (Fort Worth, TX), Jay Orton and wife Jane (Phoenix, AZ), and Jeffrey Orton and wife Kim (Mesa, AZ). Mesa, AZ. Mark is also survived by many cherished family members and friends who shared his life and supported his endeavors, and on whose lives he made a profound and lasting impact. Memorial services will be held Saturday April 2 at 3:30pm at Glen Abbey Memorial Park, San Diego, CA (, and on Saturday, April 16 at 11am at Central, A Christ Centered Church, Ewing, NJ ( In lieu of flowers, donations in Mark's name may be made to Xclaimed Ministries, 10871 Western Ave., Stanton, CA 90680, ( or to a charity of your choice. To share a prayer or wish, your sentiment written on paper or paper ornaments may be brought to the services for sharing on a collage at the reception halls, which will also be placed on a tree of life this holiday season. Mark, you are deeply loved. You will endure in our memories.

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Past Services

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Memorial Service

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Reception Immediately Following Memorial Service


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