Mark C. Ives, 72
February 20, 1948 - March 27, 2020
Mark Colman Ives, 72, of Belle Mead, died on March 27.
Mark was born on February 20, 1948 in East Orange to parents Colman S. and Ethel M. Ives (who were married for 76 years).
He grew up in Montclair, where he attended the Montclair Academy, played soccer, served as president of his high school class his senior year, and earned his Eagle Scout award with Troop 12 of Upper Montclair.
Mark developed his passion for the mechanical sciences and love of the outdoors during this time. From repairing cars to serving as a summer camp staff member at camp Awosting, in Connecticut, Mark was rarely found at home with idle time.
He earned a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from American University in 1971 and later completed a master's degree at Rutgers University in 1978.
In 1973 he met his beloved wife, Stephanie. They married on July 16, 1977 and shared 43 beautiful years of marriage.
After time spent abroad working with the pharmaceutical industry in England and Spain, Mark returned to his true passion of working in the mechanical sciences. He first took a position with the Kawasaki corporation in 1974, where, in addition to his work responsibilities, he managed to find time to race motor cross and logged many hours on Jetskis and snowmobiles.
He and Stephanie took many trips in the outdoors during this time, hiking, canoeing, and sailing, including a trip to Canada where they lived out of the back of his surplus RCA van. Similarly, they also spent many wonderful summers in the company of family and enjoying nature on Block Island.
Mark competed in sailing races and undertook numerous mechanical projects while “vacationing” on the island. In the mid 1980s he made the transition to the ABB (ASEA Brown Boveri) developing a fascination with rail travel and the mechanics of trains. He eventually worked in similar roles with Adtranz and Bombardier.
In 2006 he took a position with NJTransit turning his love of trains and mechanics into an opportunity for public service by leading teams to bring innovative new trains onto the passenger lines. Over the course of his career in the rail industry he took many trips abroad to work with technical teams in Switzerland, Germany, Poland, and Sweden.
Mark maintained and cultivated his faith throughout his life. Though he was raised as a Methodist, after marrying his wife he attended weekly services at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church (formerly St. James). In 2019 he formally sealed his commitment to his community at St. Charles by being brought into the Catholic Church.
Mark also remained a servant to his community over the years. He served as a youth soccer coach for the Montgomery Recreation Department, where many knew him as the inspiring coach of the “Sharks." He also officiated crew races for the Lake Carnegie Rowing Association, served on the Montgomery Township Transportation Advisory Committee, an assistant scoutmaster for Boy Scouts of America (BSA) Troop 46 and unit commissioner for the Central New Jersey Council BSA. He was a devoted father to his sons, exposing them to different cultures through travel (domestic and abroad), working with them on their Eagle Scout service projects, and cheering them from the sidelines with Stephanie through their college lacrosse careers.
Mark died of a heart attack doing what he loved with the person he loved: working outdoors in the garden with his wife Stephanie. He will be missed and remembered by all who knew him for his soft-spoken kindness, ability to place a well-timed pun, as well as his quiet, steady, and ever present work ethic.
He is survived by Stephanie and their two sons, Gregory C. Ives, 29, and Christopher M. Ives, 36, of Durango, CO; sisters Alison C. Ives of Mystic, CT, and Hillary I. Transue of Block Island, RI.
A service will be held for Mark in the future at a time when it is again socially responsible to bring all of his friends and family together.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made via check to the “Catholic Community of St. Charles Borromeo” 47 Skillman Rd. , Skillman, NJ 08558 or online at faithdirect.net using the church code “NJ103.” Alternatively, donations can be made to Montgomery Fire Rescue.