Mark Jamieson

July 16, 1953 – May 2, 2022

Descending the steep basement stairs, I use the handrail, the last thing Mark installed for us, four or five years ago. That may have been the last time we saw him. Recently, Baba people asked, “have you heard from Mark?” We had not. Someone said he’d become reclusive. Then Covid came and we were all reclusive. Still, it’s haunting when a friend you once saw often dies. You feel like you should have been paying attention.

Richard, Kitty and Mark at a meeting, 1991

Mark was in the Denver Meher Baba group and Phil was a founding member of that group. Phil and I bought a house in 1984 and a troupe of friends, including many Baba folk, helped us make the place habitable. There was a recession, our resources were limited. The house had been repossessed, broken into and boarded up. Wires dangled from the ceiling where light fixtures had been ripped out, interior doors had been kicked in.

Restructuring the ceiling of Phil’s studio

There was also 1970s wall-to-wall shag carpet in every room. Mark arrived with his heavy-duty vacuum cleaner and spent hours going from room to room. We hadn’t thought to ask for that and yet it was desperately needed. Mark worked in an oil company office then, began his handyman business soon after we got the house.

Mark built the upstairs room I call my solarium, where I type this. A two-room addition on the back of our old house, it was Mark’s first major job after getting his contractor’s license. Phil’s remodeled studio. The dining room. Fence post replacements. A faucet in the upstairs bath. Tile in the one downstairs. Drywall in the laundry room. There is not a room in our house Mark did not work on over the course of thirty years.

L to R, the author, Kitty, Gerri and Mark, 1994

Mark was wonderfully witty about being gay. When his business was new and he showed up wearing a tool belt for the first time, I commented on it. “Yes,” he nodded, “I’m a real Lesbian now.” I asked how his trip to New York was. “Terrific!” He exclaimed. “They had high heels in my size.” I believe that size was eleven or twelve. Not a small man, Mark.

What a funny guy! 2007

When he discovered knob and tube wiring behind a wall he was replacing, he contemplated it a moment, said, “isn’t that special.” Our addition project was to be six months. When we asked at six and a half, he said “two weeks.” When we asked three weeks later, he said “two weeks.” After that, every job he did for us was going to take two weeks. Getting ready to re-do the bathroom faucet, Mark ranted about how everything came from China now and it was impossible to find the good American manufactured plumbing he once got. As it turned out, the faucet I bought came from Mexico. On the final bill, Mark gave us a 10% discount for not buying one made in China.

With Nancy Bohm and her Baba painting, 2003?

Besides house projects, we knew Mark primarily through the Baba community. He was a faithful volunteer worker at our annual retreats. One year, he and I worked the kitchen together, doing a small mountain of dishes. In the big meeting room, he was the fireplace guy, stacking firewood, banking the fire, shoveling out ashes. Mark was one of the helpers in the world. He aided those in need, in his business sometimes employed the nearly unemployable. He collected art, much of it Baba-connected, with a fine eye for good work.

A decade ago, Mark mixed up a batch of concrete to replace some fence posts, had a bit leftover. Later we found a heart beneath the rose bush. It was such a Mark Jamieson thing to do. Jai Baba, Mark. As your sister put it in your obituary, may you enjoy your new found freedom.

The heart Mark left us

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22 Responses to Mark Jamieson

  1. deb r says:

    What is Baba? I looked it up and it means “father?”

    • dubrava says:

      Meher Baba is the name of the spiritual leader from India we follow—loosely. “Baba” means “father” in several languages. “Meher” means “compassionate.” This is the name he came to be known by. There are Meher Baba groups around the country, the world. There’s a lovely Meher Baba retreat center in Myrtle Beach. The Denver Baba group is rather amorphous at the moment, Covid having stopped meetings.

  2. Winnie+Barrett says:

    Patricia ! you captured Mark’s many attributes in a charming way. I love it. Thanks.
    Winnie

  3. Beautiful writing here, amiga. It’s rare to find such remembrances that are so full of life—honoring the life, I mean, in a way that allows grief to flow instead of freezing into a wall of ice. I feel like I know Mark a little now, though I never met him. And I didn’t know you and Phil are Babaistas! Another gift from this lovely essay….

  4. Bob Jaeger says:

    Thanks, Pat for the wonderful photos and memories. Mark was indeed a great guy, a hard worker and helper. He designed and built an addition to my old house years ago adding much needed storage space. Jai Meher Baba and Happy trails, Mark! As Baba once said, “Onward, onward, always onward.”

  5. sharon stein says:

    Thank you so much for the wonderful remembrance of a dear friend. Mark will be sorely missed. My heart hurts.

  6. vaira says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. I did not know Mark at all. Maybe we will meet again

  7. Janet says:

    Thank you for this lovely remembrance, Pat! I, too, missed Mark over the past few years; prior to that, he completed many projects at my house, also. I believe he saw the work he did as an excuse to talk about Meher Baba! Hence, in my case anyhow, the additional “two weeks” tacked onto his work.

    He took pride in both his own art work and his art collection, as well he should have. His heartfelt contributions to our Rocky Mountain Sahavases were legendary. Cooking in those early days, taking charge of the art room, acting in humorous skits, helping out in a multitude of ways.

    When I told my daughters of Mark’s passing, each one commented on how kind he always was to them.

    Jai Baba, Markus!

  8. Frank says:

    Mark shared one of his Steve Jameson paintings with Baba’s Circle of Friends meeting hall here in the mall across from the Meher Center, Myrtle Beach. Sylvia, Bob, Kitty and I were able to remember Mark’s generous heart last week there, while they visited. Thank you, Mark!

  9. Katharine Knight says:

    Pat, thank you for this, such a warm reminiscence of Mark, sui genesis, so gifted in so many ways, and deeply kind while being mischievously funny. His smile stays with me, and how contagious it was. It was a gift to know him.

  10. Carolyn Keene says:

    Thank you, Pat. Mark also did tons of work on our house and we were friends throughout the work! He was charming, witty, caring and multi-talented. We’ll miss him.

  11. Alice Kiick says:

    Pat, your lovely remembrance of Mark was heartfelt, he was such a really good guy. I didn’t know him well, usually from sahavas, but I always felt as if I knew “him”. Happy trails dear Mark.

  12. Denise Gibson says:

    What wonderful remembrances of Mark. Thank you.

    One of my fond memories of Mark was at a Halloween party where he dressed as Adam AND
    Eve, with 1/2 Adam on the left side of his body and 1/2 Eve on the right side. It was hilarious and creative and oh-so-Mark!

    He, too, worked on our 1890’s house, giving it more character and charm, all while adding a strong dose of humor in the process. He will be missed, but hallelujah for a life well lived!

  13. Bruce Anderson says:

    Mark and I had lived together as partners for three years when he confided that he wanted to move to a Baba community in India. There he would be celibate, and he asked me to join him. I was young, loved his spiritual quest, but not ready for the future he offered. Luckily, upon his return, we remained friends even though I had moved out of Denver and on to my destiny, NYC. His love, but also his own striving for personal fulfillment, remain an inspiration to this day. There will never be another Mark! Bruce Anderson

    • dubrava says:

      Bruce, how wonderful to hear your part of Mark’s story. Thank you for sharing this.

    • ric mccurren says:

      Bruce, really enjoyed you when you and Mark were together. You were a good calming influence on his enthusiastic search. Hope you’re well. ric mccurren ( husband of mark’s sister deb)

  14. Sharon pfeifer says:

    A lovely man!

  15. mjaeger.bh@gmail.com says:

    Dear Mark gave so much. Reflecting on it now, I think his generosity was pure, without limit and must have flowed directly from his Beloved Baba. Jai Baba Pat! I was so privileged to have been a fly on the wall, involved directly in so many of these memories as Mark’s apprentice for all those years. He was a true seeker, though he swore up and down that he had no interest in “Realization.” Everything Mark did was for Baba and his remembrance was constant. Knowing that is such a comfort to me, as I am sure Mark is united with his Beloved. I will miss him terribly. “But fear not,” I remind myself. Mark is still here, and still serving others. Every time I pull a tool from my belt, and carefully set to work on another project – the precious home of a stranger, entrusting their intimate space to my care – I know it to be true. Jai Baba Mark, and His love to you all!

    • dubrava says:

      Thanks for this, Matt. That photo of Phil’s studio remodel was a project you did with Mark so many years ago.

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