CLARK, Pennsylvania (MyValleyTributes) – Mark Gillen Mohan of Clark, Pennsylvania, passed away peacefully but far too soon, on Saturday, February 1, 2020. He was 73 years old.
Mark was born October 31, 1946 in Sharon Pennsylvania to William and Helen (Guzik) Mohan.
Growing up on Cedar Avenue, he attended St. Adalbert’s and Sacred Heart Elementary
schools and was a proud member of Sharon High’s graduating class of 1964.
So proud, in fact, as to arouse the suspicions of his children, who remain unsure exactly who Dad was cheering for when Kennedy Catholic clashed with the venerable Sharon Tigers on
any field of play.
Mark enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1965, rising to the rank of Staff Sergeant
during his five years of service as a physiological training instructor.
Mark married his high school sweetheart, Judith Porsch, on April 15, 1967, which he unhesitatingly acknowledged as single best decision of his life.
Mark was a talented photographer – a semi-professional who imparted his love for the
art on all around him. As an 8-year old, his son Danny understood the rule of thirds and
the essential elements of black and white composition every bit as well as he knew the
starting lineup of the ’79 Pirates. His love for being behind the lens was a blessing and a
curse, as the Mohan family photo albums are magnificent – there were very few candid
snapshots in our house but plenty of carefully staged compositions; Mark was doing
Instagram decades before Instagram was a thing but he rarely appeared in the photos
himself. The pictures in which Mark did appear were inevitably out of focus, off center,
or partially obscured by fingers and thumbs. Sometimes all three at once. He found an
outlet for his boundless creativity in Shenango Valley’s Viewfinders Camera Club. An
enthusiastic and humble lifelong learner, he relished competing in Club’s monthly
challenges not just for the competition itself, but in anticipation of the constructive
criticism he’d receive from other talented photographers.
Mark was a selfless volunteer throughout his life, whether mentoring young people in
Junior Achievement, or through his decade-long tenure as a committee member for St.
Joseph’s Troop 1 of the Boy Scouts of America. Mark gave back to the community
through his work with the Food Pantry at St. Joseph’s Church, Goodwill and the United
Way and he was an active Member and past President of the Ancient Order of
Hibernians, Sons of Erin, Mercer County – a nod to his Irish heritage. And just in case
there wasn’t enough cat fur on his clothing from the menagerie of beloved four-legged
friends at home, Mark made sure to remedy the situation as a volunteer at Greenville’s
Strayhaven Animal Shelter.
When he wasn’t volunteering, Mark spent as much time as possible outdoors,
highlighted by an annual Canadian bacchanal disguised as a two-week fishing trip to
Canada’s Killarney Provincial Park’s. Each August Mark, a group of close friends, and
their boys would ensure their affairs were in order, kiss their loved ones goodbye, and
bravely strike off into the great northern wilderness, packing and portaging their way to
the Great Mountain Lake Yacht and Country Club. Consisting of seven ancient, austere
cabins clustered on a small isolated island with no power, no cell reception and no wifi,
the men enjoyed fishing, yachting (canoeing), hiking, or using a single, ancient rusted 5-
iron to hit the occasional golf ball into the lake. When not indulging their pioneer
spirits, the men passed the time playing cards, sampling the occasional adult beverage,
telling each other lies and growing their beards. It. Was. Awesome. Beginning with the
initial venture in 1983, the trip was a non-negotiable highlight of Mark’s social calendar
for 35 straight years.
Not one to seek the limelight, Mark graciously ceded the honor of “first in the family to
graduate college” to his children, but proudly joined them in the distinguished ranks of
Nittany Lion alumni, earning his Associates Degree from The Pennsylvania State
University in 2013. The debate over whether Mark’s academic journey represents a
virtuous tale of determined perseverance in the face of long odds, with a heavy dose of
‘never give up on your dreams, no matter what people say’ and a pinch of ‘age is just a
number,’ or a case of epic procrastination has yet to be settled.
Mark was a voracious reader, a surprisingly funny story teller, and an undefeated
debater (“you’re entitled to your wrong opinion, I guess.”) He never shied away from
the challenge of tackling the tough jobs around the house, although the upside-down
bathroom tiles, switches that do something other than turn on lights, and cold-water
faucets that dispense boiling water supply ample evidence that perhaps he should have.
Rather than cut to the chase and hire the professional right off the bat, we first took
everything apart, found that we couldn’t get it back together, broke some other stuff,
realized we didn’t have the right tool, bought the wrong-sized whatever at the hardware
store, arranged curse words in creative new ways, and THEN hired the professional. It’s
the Mohan way.
But above all, Mark was a loving husband, a devoted father to Danny and Amanda and
indulgent grandfather to his grandson Ryan, the apple of his eye. He will be greatly
missed, but leaves behind family and friends forever grateful for the time they had.
Surviving Mark are his loving wife, Judith Porsch Mohan of Clark, Pennsylvania; his devoted son, Daniel Mohan, Daniel’s wife, Christina and their son, Ryan Patrick, truly the apple of
Mark’s eye, of Austin, Texas; his sister, Jane Close and her husband, Larry, of Port Charlotte,
Florida; his nephew, Randy White of Punta Gorda, Florida; his nephew, Chad Giordano,
his wife, Darlene and their children, Morgan and Madelyn of Canton, Ohio and his niece,
Melanie Giordano Postlethwait of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and certainly not last – in fact with as good a claim for the No. 2 spot on this list as anyone, his fiercely loyal and very spoiled
adopted stray calico sidekick, Rusti.
Mark was preceded in death by his daughter, Amanda Lyn Mohan from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; his parents, William and Helen (Guzik) Mohan, both from Sharon, Pennsylvania; his in-laws, Raymond and Mary (Marley) Porsch from Sharon, Pennsylvania; his sister, Rose Mohan of Treasure Island, Florida and his niece, Lisa White Kendrick of Port Charlotte, Florida.
Calling hours will be from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. Friday, February 7, 2020, in J. Bradley McGonigle Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc., 1090 E. State Street, Sharon and from 10:00 – 10:45 a.m. Saturday, February 8, 2020, in St. Joseph Church, Sharon.
Funeral Mass of Christian burial will be 11:00 a.m. Saturday, February 8, in the church with Rev. Thomas J. Whitman, pastor, as celebrant.
Interment will be in St. Rose Cemetery, Hermitage.
In lieu of flowers, Mark requested donations to either the Food Pantry at St. Joseph’s
Church, or to the Strayhaven Animal Shelter, 94 Donation Road, Greenville, PA 16125,
where he volunteered his time. More information can be found at
A television tribute will air Thursday, February 6, at the following approximate times: 12:25 p.m. WKBN, 6:35 p.m. on MyYTV and 10:37 p.m. FOX plus two additional spots throughout the day.