Mark Blakney Mariani, loving father of Joanna Elizabeth Mariani, passed away on February 7, 2022, leaving family and friends with much sorrow and sadness, but also many caring and fond memories.
Mark was born and raised in Evanston, Illinois by a single mother, Joanna Rose Mariani, along with great aunts, Ethel and Lela Seneff. He was the youngest brother of Michael Mariani and Linda (Mariani) Eddy. Mark was a loving father, brother, and friend to those who knew him. His childhood in Chicago led him to be a passionate Chicago sports fan – always following the Cubs and “Da Bears”. Hey, himself, was a talented baseball player and golfer. At the age of 11 he was recognized by the local paper for throwing the first perfect game in Evanston Little League history, likely the result of his wicked curveball. He went on to be a fierce competitor in local golf tournaments as well.
As a teenager, he moved to Scottsdale, AZ with his mother and stepfather Hubert “Hub,” where he graduated high school. He later enrolled at Arizona State, but the passionate doer soon decided that he’d rather get to work than spend 4 years in college. Mark moved to Los Angeles in the mid-1970’s, where he opened the first waterbed store in the San Fernando Valley, which soon grew to be the largest in the area.
Mark was the family joker. Whether he was quoting famous comedians, or coming up with his own zings, he was always making those around him laugh. He loved playing the guitar and listening to music with friends. That passion led him to open a recording studio and serve as a DJ at the Stage in the Valley, where he met his lifelong friends, Bill Milano and Tom Sperry, and shared his record collection of several hundred vinyls. While at the stage, Mark met his future wife Melinda. Together they were blessed with their daughter Joanna, the brightest light in his life. Joanna holds wonderful memories of laughing at his jokes, sharing music, hitting balls at the driving range, swimming, cooking, fishing, and camping together over the years.
Mark moved to Palm Springs, CA in 2000 where he was able to pursue golf year round. An avid single-handicap golfer, he played whenever and wherever he had the chance. He worked at several golf courses and golf shops in the area.
Mark is survived by his daughter Joanna, brother Mike and wife Nancy Mariani, sister Linda and husband Bill Eddy, nephew Christopher and wife Ericaa Bartholomew, nephew Michael and wife Danielle Mariani, and niece Carrie Mariani, along with many cousins in the states and abroad .
A private memorial service is planned later this year. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the American Heart Association or charity of your choice.
Published by Legacy Remembers on Apr. 25, 2022.