Mark is the fourth child of Loretta Marie (Loney) and Phillip Lee Zess – (Frogman/Navy Seal in US Navy).
At a young age, Mark had a deep-seated desire to serve his county like his father, but initially was unable, due to his weight. In order to enlist, he had to wait 2 years until he could lose enough weight and get in shape to pass the physical.
In 1976, it was official, he was enlisted and was finally headed for boot camp. While there he endured not only some physical challenges with running, and cellulitis causing him to be in and out of the hospital but also the emotional and stressful challenge of being away from home and finding out that his mother had died. (He was very saddened by this.)
Once he was given his orders and was placed upon the USS Coral Sea CV43, he began to enjoy what the service had always meant to him with the comradery and brother to brother spirit. He was on board for over 3 years and 7 months and described his time on the ship as exciting and everything he wanted the service to be and more. He told stories of being at sea for many days at a time with no land in sight, to being in minor conflicts, which he could not share details because some were top secret. He received the Navy Expeditionary Medal.
He was in When he completed his service time, he returned to his native home in California, to civilian life, and decided to go to school to be an Airplane Mechanic.
His dad, and older brother Phil both worked at TWA airlines and he was able to work there for several years and became a dad 3 times over.
Mark’s greatest pride was his children and serving his country.
Mark loved to go to Lake Havasu and Dirt bike riding, but really enjoyed the open road on his Honda Goldwing.
Due to his injuries caused while in the military Mark has been struggling with heart and lung issues for the past several years. He finally lost his battle on Saturday January 25, 2020 at 5:45am
Mark is survived by his Son Mark P. Zess (Christy), daughter Julianna F. Wilson (Nate), and youngest son Jeffrey Zess. He also has 2 grandchildren Leanne and Brayden. Mark is also survived by his 3 brothers Phil, Chip and Scott and 2 sisters Catherine and Shari, and a multitude of nieces and nephews whom he loved, and they loved him back!
He will be deeply missed by all!!!
To send flowers to Mark's family, please visit our floral section.