Michrina, Mark W., 61, Duncansville, formerly of Portage, passed away October 30, 2021 at Windber Hospital. Born May 12, 1960 in Spangler, PA, Mark was a 1978 graduate of Portage Area High School and 1982 graduate of IUP with a B.S. in Computer Science. He is preceded in death by parents Francis and Anna Mae (Young) Michrina, brother Barry, nephew Tim, and his favorite furball, Ron the Rabbit. He is survived by wife of 38 years Susan, Duncansville; son Matthew, Altoona; daughter Courtney, State College; and “bonus kids” Emily Evey, Altoona and Caleb Wolfe, State College. He is also survived by brothers Ken, Portage and Alan, Portage; sisters Barbara Brown (Joel), Huntingdon and Bonnie Fox (Robert), Portage; aunt Dolores Patrick, Patton; parents-in-law Barry and Carol Bernie, Indiana; sister-in-law Cindy Town, Indiana; and by nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and his Sheetz family.
Mark worked 15 years for IBM in five states. In TX and AL, he was proud to subcontract with NASA, where he wrote software programming for the Space Shuttle Program. He also spent 5 years with Quovera, Inc. in CA, where he consulted with Toyota, Frito-Lay, and Cisco. For the last 18 years, he worked for Sheetz, Inc., where he loved his amazing coworkers and his job as a Lead System Support Specialist. Mark demonstrated an unwavering commitment to his family, epitomizing what it meant to be an exceptional husband and father. Mark was a powerful, dependable force of nature, as well as a constant source of entertainment for his wife, Susan. He was a nerdy goofball, and his spontaneity always kept her guessing. They complimented each other perfectly in life; she focused on the big picture, while he ironed out the details. They agreed upon the importance of providing a stellar education for their children, and Mark filled the role of science/math/technology consultant as her homeschooling partner for 13 years. Mark asked more questions than Socrates; he had an incessant curiosity and analyzed the heck out of everything. He was a perpetual source of advice, often unsolicited, but solid just the same. He was a leader in his son’s Boy Scout Troop for 12 years, and one of Mark’s proudest moments was seeing Matthew receive his Eagle Scout award. Another proud moment was seeing Matthew graduate from Dickinson College. They enjoyed attending concerts together, especially John Prine, Billy Joel, and Renaissance, and supporting singer-songwriters like Mark Erelli and Katie Dahl. Mark and Matthew volunteered with Altoona Community Theatre and Things Unseen Theatre, with highlights including set construction for ACT’s Mamma Mia!, as well as Mark’s acting debut in Things Unseen’s 45 Plays for 45 Presidents, which Matthew directed. Mark shared his love of science fiction with his son, especially Star Trek and the novels of Douglas Adams and Robert Heinlein. Mark and Matthew also enjoyed British comedy, memorably reenacting scenes from Monty Python and the Holy Grail while visiting Doune Castle, the movie’s primary filming location in Scotland.
Mark attended every dance recital for his daughter, Courtney, and excitedly joined her on stage during daddy-daughter dances when she was young. Courtney will never forget her dad’s contagious laughter and the way he danced around the house singing his favorite songs at the top of his lungs, even reaching for the unreachable high notes. He loved discussing medicine, watching Doctor Who, solving jigsaw puzzles, and playing Pokémon GO with his daughter. His love for nature and adventure led him and his family on fabulous travels around the world. Some of his favorite memories were attending a Liverpool soccer match in England, hiking in Snowdonia National Park in Wales, listening to musicians play on the streets of Old San Juan, and enjoying theatre productions on Broadway. Mark shared his love of science with his daughter and was elated when she graduated with two B.S. degrees. He was captivated by space exploration and loved watching rocket launches online. Furthermore, he was a genealogist, which led to his extensive research of DNA and genetic diseases, especially Marfan Syndrome. Those who wish to commemorate Mark’s memory are encouraged to make a donation in his honor to The Marfan Foundation: https://marfan.org/donate/.
Anyone with memories or stories of Mark is encouraged to share them at: The Michrina Family, PO Box 896, Duncansville, PA 16635. At Mark’s request, there will be no public viewing or service. Private arrangements are entrusted to Meek & Dalla Valle Funeral Home, Windber. www.meekfuneralhome.com.
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