Dr. Mark Holm Palmquist was 85 years old, passing at home, March 12, 2022 in Gulf Breeze, Florida. Mark was a light warrior of service to family, church, community and country. To aim with the power of love, leads to a lifetime of following your intuition, speaking your truth and letting your actions follow, are the best words of advice given just a day before his passing.
Mark was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1937 to Dorothy Nye Mell, a social worker and watercolor artist from Akron, Ohio and Dennis William Palmquist, an attorney, born to a Swedish family from Hastings, PA.
Mark migrated south with his mother, brother, grandmother to graduate from Fort Lauderdale High school in 1955. He spent free time building his first boat and waterskiing. He served in the Navy as an Aviation Electronics Technician, stationed in Florida, Spain, and Cuba from 1955-59.
Mark earned a Masters in Education in 1965 from the University of Florida, while having fun in both TKE and UF Glee Club. A UF Gator fundraising event, lead Mark to meet a fellow classmate, Ann Lee. Mark and Ann married in 1962 and had three daughters: Greta Lee, Rebecca Ann and Marie Heidi.
In Tallahassee, Mark began as a schoolteacher. He designed an individualized reading regime for his students, and recalled with pride a time when a 2nd grader barely able to read, ended the school year having read over 400 books! He earned his PhD in Education from Florida State University in 1977. He became the Director of Education for FCI and served as their Union Representative, before retiring in 1992. He loved cycling and would bike the 7 mile commute to work for years. His left-handed serve on the racquetball court was legendary. Sailing on Lake Bradford and at Shell Point were favorite pastimes. He became a 13-gallon blood donor, a faithful servant to others.
Mark was a part of St. Stephen Lutheran Church, singing in the choir, and volunteering with Lutheran Social Services for 30 years. He was recognized as Leon County’s Volunteer of the Year Award finalist in 1995, Outstanding Professional Manager in 2002 for Mediation, and FSU’s Distinguished Alumnus in Government in 2008. Mark served as the President of Republican Club of Tallahassee and enjoyed learning public speaking in Toastmasters. He was quick with a laugh and told great stories, loving to make people smile. Mark was an avid reader and enjoyed learning and sharing his knowledge with others.
Mark began a second career as a court mediator, volunteering for four years, before becoming the Director of Volunteer Mediation for Leon County Civil Courts. He expanded the program to Wakulla and Gadsden Counties. Mark met Carolyn Reeves Bayer and they married in April 2000. They happily served as court mediators and become Master Gardeners together. They retired and move to Polson, MT. They build a home in Lakeside, Montana where they lived until Carolyn’s death, October 2021. Mark relocated to Gulf Breeze, FL to be closer to his daughters.
Mark Palmquist is survived by his brother Todd Palmquist, niece Julie Palmquist Lewis (David), nephew Dennis Palmquist (Karen), daughters Greta Lee Camp (David Hollister), Rebecca Ann Palmquist-Herzog (Jody), Marie Heidi Palmquist and two step-daughters Karen Dion (James), Lisa Littlefield (David), twelve grandchildren Christina Dempsey (Molly), Jordan Herzog, Savannah Lee Camp, Jessica Herzog, Dean Herzog, Ryan Swelland, Trever Swelland (Petra); Ashley McIntosh (Trevor); Landen Dion, Andrew Littlefield, Rachel Littlefield, Emma Littlefield, and two great-grandchildren Roman & Aria McIntosh.Mark would like to thank Blacktail Grocery, West Shore Community Library, Logan Fitness Center and his prayer group in Lakeside, Montana, for being an extended family, and to all the mediators and friends in the Tallahassee area. Please consider making a donation to your public library or school, local grocery or to treesisters.org and consider volunteering your time to your community.