Mark Spencer Finks
May 14, 1947 – June 14, 2019
Mark Spencer Finks May 14, 1947 – June 14, 2019
PORTLAND - On Friday morning, June 14, 2019 Mark Spencer Finks passed away at Mercy Hospital at the age of 72. It was sudden, but not unexpected and a heartfelt thank you goes out to The Cedars and all their amazing people for the incredible care they provided him over the past 5 years.
A native of the Portland area, Mark graduated valedictorian of Portland High School, class of 1965 and went on to Yale University. Mark was a brilliant man of many talents and over the course of his life spent time as a teacher and principal, organic farmer, historian, minister, politician, New Orleans jazz musician, and father.
As he so eloquently said in a 2003 article, “My life has kind of a kaleidoscopic quality. It has all of these elements and they kind of tumble around in the kaleidoscope. They make patterns and the patterns change, but the little individual elements are the same they just keep recombining in different ways. The music is always in there and the farming and the bread ministries and so on and so on.” While there were many things that kept his brilliant mind racing at a feverish pace music was always present. His love of it became a guiding light, starting at the young age of 5 when he picked up the banjo. Performing for people brought him tremendous joy and he loved nothing more than to see others sharing in his experience playing in the State Street Traditional Jazz Band or on the streets of Portland. We imagine he will now spend his days dancing through the streets of gold playing with his mentor Louis Armstrong.
He is survived by his children Charles Finks and Clarissa Finks, their mother and his former wife Carole Crawford, sister Mary Goodwin, loving companion Martha Williams, best friend Bob Linskey, and his dog Opie. Mark was predeceased by his parents Henry Bayard Finks and Nancy Clarke Finks.
Friends and family are invited to share their memories and offer their condolences by visiting Mark’s online guestbook at www.jonesrichandbarnes.com
A Celebration of Mark’s life will be held on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 in the Wilde Memorial Chapel located at Evergreen Cemetery. It will begin with a viewing from 1:00 – 2:00PM, which will be followed by a Christian Service officiated by Pastor Kendall Libby and will conclude with a New Orleans Jazz processional to the gravesite where he will be buried. Arrangements are under the care and direction of Jones, Rich & Barnes Funeral Home, 199 Woodford St., Portland, Maine, 04103. 775-3763.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in memory of Mark may be made to The Root Cellar, 94 Washington Ave. Portland, ME 04101 https://therootcellar.org/take-action.
- Dr Henry Bayard Finks, Father
- Nancy Clarke, Mother
- Charles Finks, Son
- Clarissa Finks, Daughter
- Carole Crawford, Former Wife
- Mary Goodwin, Sister
- Martha Williams, Loving Companion
- Bob Linskey, Best Friend
- The Root Cellar
- Time of Visitation Tuesday, June 25, 2019
- Funeral Service Tuesday, June 25, 2019
- Interment Tuesday, June 25, 2019
Mark Spencer Finks
Paul & Caroline Volle
June 24, 2019
So sad to lose our dear friend in Maine...like a brother to Paul. So glad we chatted on the phone with him on his birthday a few weeks ago. He was in good spirits and, as usual, we reminisced about things we used to do together when we lived in Maine for 23 years. Mark was a brilliant soul, a teacher at heart, he had so much to share. He had a passion for history, the Constitution, and was a Mainer to the core. He was a remarkable musician who had a truly Louis Armstrong voice. I can still see him whipping out his banjo in our dining room and belting out, "Just A Closer Walk With Thee" and other gems...what a treat! And always he had his clipboard jammed with notes...a journal of his life day to day. What a treasure that would be...the story of his life. He loved to be a blessing to those who needed a blessing. He loved the Lord. He loved his kids. And he loved people! He left us a vast library of many cherished memories! He will be greatly missed! ***We love you, Brother Mark! Thank you for sharing yourself with us and all who were blessed by your amazing wisdom and delightful humor. Maine is poorer without your presence. See you on the other side, fellow soldier, where we can finally rest and rejoice together for eternity in that perfect Kingdom of our Sovereign Lord, Jesus Christ.
June 24, 2019
So very sorry to hear of Mark's passing. Oddly, I was just listening to a State Street CD on my way home last night, Mark singing "When the Saints Go Marching In," not knowing he was already marching straight into Heaven. Mark spent his time thinking of others and offering encouragement - I have many memories of him, most of them surrounded by musical instruments and banana boxes. My condolences to the Finks family. We're praying for you.
June 22, 2019
Remembering good times always. My condolences
June 21, 2019
My memory of Mark was this befuddled dressed but deliberate in words and deeds man that loved God and the forgotten so dearly. His actions showed the true love of Christ in simple yet deliberate ways. His words inflamed the political left but his knowledge beat them out every time. His testimony lives on. I know he is enjoying playing and singing in heaven to all. Love the picture of him in his hat and flannel shirt..so like my memories of him. Andrea Cesario and family
June 20, 2019
Mark and I were friends and classmates at Portland High School. I had no idea he was at the Cedars for 5 years. The last time I saw him was on Congress Street, I think, playing banjo. I am very sorry to learn that he passed away. We were on the debating team and in many classes together at PHS. He was brilliant, and he looked brilliant, with his crisply pressed khakis, his Harris Tweed sport coat, his blue button-down shirt, and his omnipresent tie, all carried over from North Yarmouth Academy, which he had left for unspecified reasons. He seemingly went nowhere without his slide-rule, one of the earliest forerunners to the calculator and computer. He had a 1950's Jaguar XK coupe that he had rebuilt himself. Once we went to visit our girlfriends who were at Colby for Girl's State. As I recall, we took the Turnpike. It was a 90 mile trip that we made in an hour. Mark was full of energy and ideas. He was a strong Goldwater supporter, and through the power of his own debating skill, may have briefly convinced me, the Democratic son of a second generation immigrant, to support Goldwater. The fact that he did live such a full and varied “kaleidoscopic” life takes some of the disappointment out of his leaving life so relatively early.
John & Ann Page
June 18, 2019
Mark, thank you for all the music & for stepping in as Interim Band Leader of the State Street Traditional Jazz Band when John & I resided in FL. Your lyrics on "Just a Closer Walk With Thee" always made my heart expand with love. I know your faith was deep & you are at peace ... Keep making music on the other side, brother. You were a Prince among men & you will be greatly missed. From Ann & John at Rockwood XXXOOO