Mark Whitney Licher
Mark Whitney Licher, 71, passed away in his home in St. George, Utah, on Wednesday, June 10, 2020, following a short illness.
He was born in Long Island, N.Y., to parents Helen (Diener) and James Licher. Mark grew up in Geneva, Ill., where he attended local public schools and the Elgin Academy. He was active in sports and theater. He was a good big brother to his little brother and sister, protecting and teasing in equal measure. He went to broadcasting school to be a disc jockey, but the Army had different plans for him and, in 1970, he was drafted. He spent the next year and a half running a bakery in Chu Lai, Vietnam. He was very proud of his military service. Sadly, the lung
cancer that took his life was most likely caused by exposure to the Agent Orange defoliant during his service in Vietnam.
On his return, he worked in the kitchen business for St. Charles Kitchens and raised a family, coaching Little League and soccer, being a Scout leader, and being very involved in his children's activities and schooling. He later moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he continued to design kitchens, with some of his award-winning designs appearing in Better Homes and Gardens Magazine.
In 1997, he met the love of his life, Susie, and they married in 1999 on a Royal Caribbean Cruise in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. They spent the next few years in Cedar Rapids, continuing to raise five children between them. In 2015, they retired to St. George, Utah, where they fully enjoyed everything the area has to offer beautiful scenery, hiking, biking, camping and visiting the area's state and national parks.
Mark never met a baby or child he didn't like. After he retired, he volunteered daily at local grade schools Erskine Elementary in Cedar Rapids, and then Panorama Elementary in St. George.
Whether it was helping a struggling child or cheering on a successful one, he delighted in every interaction. He was a good listener, attentive teacher and wonderful role model to every child he mentored.
Mark also was an animal lover and devoted dad to several rescue dogs over the years. He gave of his free time to work at food pantries and soup kitchens, as well as community activities to support the homeless and during times of disaster and hardship. He was supportive, kind and giving to his friends, and loving and devoted to his family. He was a sweet, lovely man.
Mark was preceded in death by his parents and by his youngest son, James.
He is survived by his wife, Susan Licher, St. George; brother, Bruce Licher, Batavia, Ill.; sister, Beth Dahlke (James), Coral Gables, Fla.; brothers-in-law, Steven Peterson and Peter Jaret, Petaluma, Calif.; daughter, Amy Sanders Licher (Tracy), Cedar Rapids, Iowa; son, Ben Licher, Tipton, Iowa; three grandsons, Samuel, Uriah and Grayson; and five nieces and nephews.
Services will be held at a later date with friends and family in the Midwest.
Arrangements are made under the direction of Hughes Mortuary, 1037 East 700 South, St. George, Utah, (435) 674-5000.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given in his name to support the P.A.W.S. animal rescue organization in St. George, Utah.