Mark was born to Jack and Marilyn Francis in La?Jolla, California, where his proximity to the ocean drew him into studying marine biology. He was certified in SCUBA at 14 and began experimenting with underwater photography. Mark studied at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography and went on to collaborate with National Geographic, German Television, and Sea World. He studied sharks, humpback whales, penguins, and elephant seals. Neptunic employed him to photograph the testing of prototypes of their chainmail shark suits.

Mark met Laurie, the love of his life, while in high school. They were married August 11, 1984. The birth of their first daughter, Ashlee, prompted the need for a less dangerous career path, so Mark followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather and became a dentist, graduating from Loma Linda University just in time for the birth of his second daughter, Kaylee. Immediately following graduation in 1992, he moved the family to Sisters to open his dental practice.

Mark loved the people of Central Oregon. It was often that he sacrificed time, money, and vacations to ensure all his patients, and the special-needs patients of Central Oregon, were looked after and could afford care. He also invested much of his free time into local churches and charities, as well as caring for firefighters during wildland fires.

Mark never sought out or felt worthy of positions of leadership, but he had the character qualities — loyalty, humility, focus, gentleness, a desire to learn and teach, a willingness to listen, and a gentle wisdom — that often saw him elected to president or director of organizations he joined. He even was certified by the FBI to train people in forensic dental analysis. Mark’s family says they always admired his ability to take the initiative and solve every need he saw, even if he had to learn a new skill to do it.

After Mark retired, he spent his days fly-fishing, teaching at OHSU and homeschool co-ops, and making coffees for his family. His first grandchild, Kaenon, was born just before Mark was called home to his Lord and Savior.

He is also survived by his three brothers, a sister, and a multitude of nieces and nephews. He is deeply missed.

His family would like to thank everyone who shared their lives with Mark.

Join the family in honoring Mark on Saturday, June 22, 1 p.m. at Sisters Community Church.

Donations can be made to Sparrow Foundation, or your local Ronald McDonald House.