Dr. Mark J. Myers Obituary
Dr. Mark Joseph Matthew Myers, beloved husband, father, and educator, peacefully passed away on August 30 in his Jessup, Md. home, surrounded by his wife, son, and mother. Born on December 12, 1954, in Schenectady, N.Y., he was the cherished son of Burton J. and Lucille L. (Frescatore) Myers.
On June 27, 1998, Mark united in matrimony with Alyssa Beth Chandler. This past July, they commemorated their 25th anniversary with a beautiful trip to Italy. Shortly after their return, Mark was diagnosed with Creutzfeldt Jakob disease, following a swift onset of symptoms.
Mark's early years were marked by resilience. At 11 months, he contracted spinal meningitis which led to profound deafness. At the age of three, he began his education at St. Mary's School for the Deaf in Buffalo, completing it in 1974. Mark's passion for learning took him to Gallaudet University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 1980. He furthered his studies with a Master of Arts in Deafness Rehabilitation from New York University in 1982 and a Doctorate in Adult Learning from the University of Connecticut in 2009.
Sports played a pivotal role in Mark's life. His achievements in Basketball, Track & Field, and Cross Country at St. Mary's were commendable. At Gallaudet, he shined as the Most Outstanding Player multiple times. Mark competed in the U.S. Deaf Olympics in Budapest, Romania (1977) and Cologne, Germany (1981), securing fourth place in shot put. On his return to Gallaudet he served as Assistant Coach for the 2013 Spring Track and Field Team.
The beginning of Mark's professional journey was dedicated to empowering the deaf and hard of hearing community. His roles varied from faculty and director to coordinator and manager. His commitment led him across various cities including Winston-Salem, Charlotte, Denver, Schenectady, Cohoes, Rochester, and Albany. His expertise brought him to leading positions at the Northwestern Connecticut Community-Technical College, as Director of the National Interpreter Education Project, Site Director for the Northeast Technical Assistance Center and Director of the Collegiate Education for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Persons Department. This was followed by a move to Texas as Provost at Southwest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf at Howard County Junior College District. In 2013, coming full circle, he landed back at Gallaudet as an Assistant Professor in the Government and Public Affairs Department.
From 2008 to 2012, Mark served as the Provost at Southwest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf at Howard County Junior College District, Big Spring, Tex. During a brief tenure as Development Officer he raised over a quarter-million to expand on-campus housing. Subsequently, Mark and Alyssa moved back to the East Coast to be closer to aging family members. It was then that Mark founded Learning Transfer Associates, a private consulting firm dedicated to advancing best practices for measuring and enhancing training outcomes in the workplace.
In 2013, an opportunity arose for him to return to Gallaudet University as an Assistant Professor in the Government and Public Affairs Department. Most of his career involved administration, often requiring the assistance of ASL interpreters. Mark relished the direct interaction with his students in the classroom, and his impact was eloquently summarized by a former student's heartfelt Facebook post: "dedicated," "amazing," "inspirational."
Mark's scholarly pursuits led to the research and authorship of numerous articles, manuscripts, and presentations primarily focused on individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing. In 2019, an unexpected workforce reduction drove him to publish "Overcoming the Grief of Involuntary Job Loss: Road to Recovery Finding Purpose and Happiness." Mark's quest for peace was not solely for his own benefit but also to provide understanding and meaning for others facing similar challenges.
When asked about the characteristics he admired most in others, Mark responded, "Full integrity, open dialogue, timely completion of tasks, and walking the talk." These words are a reflection of his own character, as he set exceptionally high standards and demanded no more from others than he did from himself. Mark made the most of his time and talents, living life with an unquenchable zest.
Mark was not only an avid sports fan and fitness enthusiast but also a devoted husband and father. He cheered for his favorite teams and maintained his regular workout routines even in the last month of his life. His love for travel, adventure, home improvement, woodworking, and Italian cuisine, especially his mother's, brought joy to his life. He had a penchant for sampling new wines, IPAs, and indulging in ice cream and cookies. Above all else, Mark cherished his family, particularly his soulmate, Alyssa, with whom every day was special. Mark took great pride and pleasure in the homes he designed and had built in Canton, Conn., Big Springs, Tex., Jessup, M.D., and most recently in Palm Coast, Fla.
In addition to his wife Alyssa, son Zachary J. (Victoria Jimenez), Los Angeles, Cal., and mother Lucy, New Smyrna Beach, Fla., he leaves brothers Jeffory J. (Kerry), Latham, N.Y., Christopher J. (Marca), Niskayuna, N.Y., Timothy J. (Christina), Schuylerville, N.Y.; Brian J. Seypura (Leilanie), Manchester, Conn., sister Lisa M. Seypura (Bill Carr), Altamonte, N.Y., father-in-law Ernest A. Chandler, Marshfield, Mass., sisters-in-law Bonnie (Ward) Myers, Ormond Beach, Fla., Robin Roberts (Bill Staples), Pensacola, Fla., Bonnie Chandler Conant (Lewis), Marshfield, brothers-in-law Christian J. Chandler (Cara), Ashfield, Mass., Drew W. Chandler (Corrine), Marshfield, T. Blakely Winston III (Janet), Box Springs, Ga., Peter J. Brown, Cromwell, Conn., and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Mark was predeceased by his father Burton J., brother Bradley J. and mother-in-law Alice (Crawford) Chandler.
A celebration of Mark's life and legacy will be held at 1 p.m. on October 7 at the Jessup Community Hall 2920 Jessup Road followed by visitation until 4 p.m. A funeral mass, and inurnment in the family mausoleum in Albany, will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to Camp Mark Seven Deaf Foundation at www.campmark7.org or to Castello Dominican Missionaries, c/o Father Tom Coughlin, 220 Hughley Ln, Harrodsburg, KY 40330.
Source: Mark J. Myers Obituary