OBITUARY

Mark A. Knight

September 24, 1958July 3, 2012

Mark Allen Knight, 53, of Mt. Rainier, MD died peacefully in the early hours of July 3, 2012 at home after a valiant three year struggle with cancer. Born September 24, 1958 in Wheeling WV, a son of David G. Knight of Jefferson and the late Rose Marie Shalvey Knight. Mark was raised in Jefferson, and graduated from Jefferson-Morgan High School in 1976. He is survived by his spouse Mario Cisneros and son Moises Cisneros, father David, and siblings Chris Knight (Kathy), Colette Knight Agha, Michael Knight (Minh), Patrick Knight (Tamara) and Richard Knight, as well as nieces Kelli, Amy, Christina Knight, Abigail ,Rachel Agha and nephews Gabriel, Brendan Agha, Preston Nguyen , Jared Knight(deceased) and countless friends and colleagues. Among his closest friends, Mark will be especially missed by Gloria Gugliotta, a much admired and beloved mentor.

He was a founding developer and partner of the Hundredfold Farm co-housing community of Cashtown, PA (Gettysburg) including its Seven Spring Christmas Tree Farm. He formed close bonds of friendships with its members as they created a sustainable and environmentally-conscious intentional community.

Professionally, for the last 11 years he was active in procuring financing for numerous affordable housing projects including his role most recently as Director of Lending at Neighborworks Capital. He also served as Executive Director of the American Housing Opportunity Fund and as Executive Director of the Unitarian Universalist Affordable Housing Corporation. For ten years prior to his work in affordable housing, he was Executive Director of the Association for Ambulatory Behavioral Healthcare.

Mark received his MSW in Mental Health and Public Administration at the University of Pittsburgh in 1983. His undergraduate studies began at St Fidelis College, Herman, PA and Duquesne University (1981). Mark was deeply involved in the Men’s Wisdom Council of Rowe, Massachusetts and participated annually in retreats with his partner Mario. These retreats included momentous trips to the desert southwest and for Mark, the Amazon River in Peru.

Mark was a gregarious and thoughtful friend to close acquaintances as well as strangers whom he barely knew. He frequently enlisted his closest friends to open their circle to admit others in hospitality and friendship. He was outgoing and especially considerate of those who might feel unwelcome or undeserving.

His relationship with his partner and son was a vital and a defining feature of his last 14 years. Their partnership was featured in two Washington Post articles on the family life of same-sex partners whose lives frequently mirror the lives and struggles of all families.

Mark and Mario were married in the District of Columbia April 6, 2010. They were active in breaking down barriers of prejudice and distrust that separate people. Upon moving to Mt Rainier, MD he quickly found himself immersed in a community that shared his values and interests; a place that welcomed people of all races and classes. The Mt. Rainier Elementary School attended by Moises was especially reflective of that diversity.

Mark had a great love of animals and rescued and cared for many stray cats and dogs who eventually became members of the household. His roots in rural southwestern Pennsylvania and love of nature found expression in the many successful gardens he nurtured in every place he lived and for many of his friends’ homes.

In addition to his charity and community board work benefitting the Washington School for Friends, Maryland Equality and Alexandria, VA Human Rights Commission, Mark took great pleasure in volunteering each spring for the Heard Museum in Phoenix Arizona where his long-time and dear friend Ruth Padgett, formerly of Alexandria, was a docent and active member. A service of remembrance will be held at the home of David Knight in 1291 Jefferson Road, Jefferson (Greene County) PA, on Saturday, July 7, 2012 at 11:00am. Friends of the family are invited to visit as early as 10:00am. Burial will be at the Jefferson Cemetery followed by a reception at the St Marcellus Church Social Hall. A memorial service in the Washington DC is planned for Saturday, September 8, at 4:30pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, 4444 Arlington Blvd, Arlington, Virginia 22204. Memorial gifts may be made to an education fund for Moises Cisneros, c/o Mario Cisneros, and also the Washington Animal Rescue League in Mark’s name. Arrangements by the Behm Funeral Home, 1477 Jefferson Road, Jefferson, Gregory P. Rohanna, supervisor. Condolences may be expressed online at www.behm-funeralhomes.com.

Services

  • Memorial Service Saturday, July 7, 2012
  • Memorial Service Saturday, September 8, 2012
REMEMBERING

Mark A. Knight

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Francine Bennett

June 27, 2013

I just happened upon this page when I Googled Mark just to see what he is up to hese days. I was expecting to learn something phenomenal about his leadership or involvement in some civic organization. I did get a glimpse of his career path in the past 20 years, but most startlingly, I learned that he passed nearly a year ago. I worked with Mark at AABH in the early 90's for 3 years. He was a great and charismatic leader. Very caring, compassionate and just a fine human being. I know he will be missed by many. May his soul rest in peace!

Rev. Phyllis Hubbell

April 23, 2013

I just learned of Mark's extended illness and death in the course of seeking his help with a housing initiative my congregation is exploring. I am so sorry to hear of his death. I worked with him when I was with the Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice. I admired his passion, his intelligence, his warmth. We lost a good one.

September 2, 2012

I'am so sorry to hear of this, Mark was such a kind person peace, love, to his family and friends, Jeff Shuff (Scotland Pa.)

July 25, 2012

Mark was truly a gifted and extraordinary individual. I was fortunate enough to work very closely with him in the leadership of AABH in the mid-90's. Those are among my most cherished professional memories. His vision, insight, judgement, and energy were a joy to behold. I am the grateful beneficiary of a great deal of knowledge he generously passed on to me. He had so much more to offer this world and left it far, far too soon. My sympathies go to his family and friends.

Paul Lefkovitz

Michelle Lee

July 13, 2012

I am so sorry for your loss. Having good neighbors is one of the main reasons my husband and I moved to Mount Rainier. A loss for one is a loss for all. My condolences.

Krister HÃ¥rd af Segerstad

July 10, 2012

I first got to know Mark through my partner Rick a few decades ago. What a wonderful, caring, selfless friend he was.

During a difficult time in our lives while Rick had to deal with both my convalescing after a stroke and his own father ailing, Mark offered to leave DC to come and stay with us in Philadelhia to give Rick some support and relief. That was just his selfless giving nature. The more I got to know Mark, the more I saw what a wonderful human being he was.

His time on this Earth was much too short and his presence here will be truly missed, though our memories of him will live forever in our hearts. Mark, wherever you are, know that we will cherish the brief time we had with you here, until we will meet again on the other side...

My heartfelt thoughts and deepest sympathy go out to Mario, Moises, The Knight family and all Mark's friends.

Janet McGuire

July 10, 2012

I met Mark in 1989, when I was sent out to his workplace as a free Temp for the Day. After that day, I worked with Mark in five different organizations, and came to know him well. It's hard to imagine a person as vivid and alive as Mark being gone from us. The world will be a less warm and interesting place without him, and we will all miss him a whole bunch.

July 10, 2012

Mark was a true leader who looked for the good in all people; he will be greatly missed by all who knew him. It is with the greatest admiration that we acknowledge Mark's life and the good he did for so many in our community.

Mark was the Executive Director of Association for Ambulatory Behavioral Healthcare (AABH) during a period of tremendous growth in the field of outpatient behavioral health treatment. It was Mark's leadership that allowed the Partial Hospitalization benefit to establish itself into mainstream behavioral healthcare. On behalf of the board of directors and the entire membership of AABH I extend our warmest sympathy to Mario, Moises and the entire family.

Most sincerely,

Chris McGowan, President AABH

Richard Vitti

July 9, 2012

Mark was my friend for more than 30 years. We had lots of good times together and his friendship enriched my life in many ways. I will miss him. My heartfelt sympathies to Mario, Moises, and the Knight family.

Tricia Hammann Thomson

July 8, 2012

There is one more hole in the world that used to be filled with a vibrant, funny, kind, generous, interesting, love of a man. I can hear him laugh and I hear his voice still. It will stay in the air for a very long time. He will be missed by so many people. Too many to count. But most by those who loved him every day. My heart aches for you. The world needed Mark - what will we do without him?