Mark Russell Koontz, age 59, of Fairfield, PA, loving husband to Wanda Ott Koontz, devoted father to Payton Russell, and beloved son of the late William R. and Virginia Thomas Koontz, passed quietly at Kline Hospice House in Mt. Airy, MD, on Tuesday, May 5, 2020, following a courageous 18-month battle against metastatic bladder cancer. Mark is survived by his siblings, Erin Lawrence (Gary), Lois Koontz, and William T. “Tom” Koontz (Anita); mother-in-law, Margaret Ott; special niece, Cori DeMoss and family; special nephew, Ryan Ott and family; as well as many other nieces, nephews and cousins. Mark is also remembered by many close friends, most notably, Mark Burgee and Greg Shipman.
Mark was a 1979 graduate of Frederick High School, where he played football and basketball. He graduated from Frederick Community College in 1995 with an Associate’s degree in electronics. He worked at TAMKO in Lime Kiln, MD for 30 years, and most recently at Thermo-Fisher in Frederick. He was known for his strong work ethic and a job well done.
Mark was a sports enthusiast who readily admitted preferring watching from the sidelines over playing. The one exception was golf, a game he enjoyed playing for several years. He would quote statistics, dates, players’ bios and obscure facts like no other, which earned him the nickname "Howard.” He was a life-long fisherman, a sport he enjoyed with both his son and Wanda. He caught a fish or two just a few weeks before his death. He also enjoyed attending his great-nephews’, Evan and Brendan Otts’, basketball games at Catoctin High School this past winter. It brought him joy to be able to see them play.
Mark’s love for his family energized his painful battle with the cancer that eventually became too much to fight. Up until a few days ago, he was imparting fatherly advice to Payton. Leaving Wanda, whom he referred to as the love of his life, was his greatest heartache during his last days.
Mark wanted to thank his friends who watched Maryland basketball with him all winter, the Men’s Group at FCF who faithfully wrote him letters of encouragement, members of the Walkersville Community Church who diligently offered prayers, the physicians and medical staff at Johns Hopkins University, Frederick Health Hospital, the Frederick Oncology Center, the Radiology Department at Stockman Center, Drs. Hudhud and Haseebudin, and the many staff who have attended him; and in his final days, the loving staff at the Kline Hospice House. The family extends a sincere thanks to the friends and family who have supported us over the past many months. In lieu of flowers, it was Mark’s request that his friends and family practice random acts of kindness in his memory.
Family and friends will be invited to gather at a later date to celebrate Mark’s life. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” II Timothy 4:7
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