Olie. Coach. Grampy. Dad. Mark.
Born Mark Allen Oliver in Los Angeles, California on October 20, 1951, he was the first child of Catherine “Jeanne” Oliver and Dewey Allen Oliver. As the first of five children (survived by Mike, Jeannette, Tony, and Karen), Mark helped his mother Jeanne care for the brothers and sisters after their father died in 1961.
Growing up in the San Fernando Valley, Mark was passionate about sports from a young age, especially baseball and the Los Angeles Dodgers. While attending Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, he played an array of sports but kept his passion for baseball above all others. After graduating high school in 1969, he joined the US Navy and afterward joined the workforce with a Howard Hughes company, for which he would work for the rest of his life.
In 1978, Mark’s adult life began to take a more defined shape. In one the offices at Hughes Aircraft Company, he spotted his future wife, Mary Iritano. After dating for 18 months, the two were married on April 26, 1980 at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Encino. They made a home for themselves in Chatsworth and had their first child, Christina Marie, in 1984. Soon after, they relocated to Simi Valley where Mark would live out the rest of his life. In 1988, his son, Robert Allen, was born, and the two were raised by Mark and Mary in Simi Valley, where they both attended St. Rose of Lima Catholic School, a fatherly and faithful fulfillment of which Mark was extremely proud.
He sent both of his children to college, and always encouraged further education; he was the example by attending Pierce College; California State University, Northridge (for whom Mark played ice hockey, his favorite sport as an adult); and La Verne University, where he achieved his bachelor’s degree in business. Mark had the privilege of seeing his beloved Los Angeles Kings hoist the Stanley Cup twice in person, once with Robert in 2012 and once with Christina in 2014.
In August of 2017, Mark welcomed his first grandchild, Francesca Diana, the daughter of Robert and his wife, Angelika. In February of 2019, their second child, Valentino Allen, was born. Toward the end of his life, Mark’s biggest joys came from playing with his grandson and granddaughter. Hearing Francesca say “Grampy” and getting a big grin from Valentino always pulled big laughs and smiles out of Mark. His love for the two led him to build a house in San Diego close to where his son’s family lives, though he was not able to relocate before the end of his life.
Although his death was sudden and a shock, Mark lost what was ultimately a long battle with heart disease on April 14, 2019. He is survived by all four of his siblings, his wife, children, and grandchildren.
Throughout his life, Mark was an intensely committed family man of faith. His wife, children, and grandchildren were his ultimate joys, and he reminded them of this regularly. He will be missed by others as an extremely friendly, passionate, and loyal man who always offered a seat at a sporting event, at his church, and in his home.