Mark S. Anderson was born in Portland, Oregon on August 21, 1947. He graduated from Forest Grove High School in Oregon in 1965. He then attended Salem Vocational/Technical Community College in Salem, Oregon where he studied drafting and electronics. (The school is now named simply Chemeketa Community College.) After college he worked as a radio and TV technician until going to work for Western Electric, a part of the Bell Telephone Company. While working at Western Electric he went to school at Bell Labs to train as a computer installer/technician. During his employment at Western Electric, he traveled throughout Oregon as well as in Denver, Colorado, Santa Clara, California and in Miami, Florida where he worked building and testing the telephone switching computerized phone systems.
In 1974 Mark left Western Electric to become self employed. Keyboard Electronics, an organ repair service successfully supported his family for many years and still functions today mostly servicing Churches, specializing in organ repair and acoustical engineering. Mark now focuses on Compass and Sextant Repair and calibration, Professional Compass Adjustment, and Navigation Specialties. He has adjusted compasses on airplanes and on boats and ships ranging from 12 to 1,000 feet. He also owns Mark's Mobility, which is a factory authorized repair facility for electric wheelchairs and scooters.
Mark started his boating experiences with a home built wooden 14” Clipper Craft which gave him an outstanding respect for the dangers of boating without first educating himself. He survived somehow and joined the United States Power Squadron in about 1972. He has taken all the courses offered by the Power Squadron and over time has also taught most of the courses himself. He first taught the Basic Boating class for several years and then began teaching the Advanced Piloting Course which he continued to teach for over 20 years. He currently teaches Celestial Navigation, Piloting and Marine Electronics.
He has served as Commander of the Portland Power and Sail Squadron, Commodore of the Northwest Outboard Trailer Sailors Yacht Club and President of the Columbia River Yachting Association. He has held most of chairs in his Yacht Club as well as in the Portland Power and Sail Squadron and in the District 32 Power and Sail Squadron.
In 2001 Mark was awarded the National Power and Sail Squadrons highest educational honor as National Teacher of the Year in Orlando, Florida. At the same time he was awarded Life Membership for earning over 25 Merit Marks, which can only be earned at the rate of one per year of service to the Power and Sail Squadrons.
Mark and his wife of over 43 years, Donnie, owned over the years three personal boats. The last one, a 25’ Starcraft Cruiser was sold in 2010 due to his and his wife’s health issues. He has cruised in both power and sail boats on the Columbia River from the Mouth to John Day, Oregon, the Willamette River to Newberg, Oregon, the Pacific Ocean from San Francisco to Alaska, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca both in US and Canadian waters. As some say, "he has a lot of green water under his keel."
Mark has been a respected presenter for several years for his story on Navigation History which has been given to many elementary schools and boating organizations.
Mark is on the Board of Directors of the Interfaith Disabilities Network of Oregon representing both his faith community and NAMI-Oregon. At IDNO he also is a member of the Interfaith Council on Mental Illness.
Mark is on the Board of Directors of The National Bipolar Foundation which works toward reducing the stigma of Bipolar Disorder. The National Bipolar Foundation is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee.
Mark is also on the Board of Directors of the Suicide Bereavement Support Group.
Mark volunteered for several years on the executive board of directors of the Providence Hospital Foundation Christmas Tree Festival where he worked as a Santa for over 20 years.
Mark has served as a member, as well as the President, of the board of directors of Common Ground Wellness Center.
Mark has been self-employed since 1974. He previously worked for Western Electric a part of the Bell System of phone companies as a computer installer and technician. He started his self-employment as an owner of a Laundromat. He then purchased Keyboard Electronics where he repairs electronic organs. Around the same time he started repairing electric scooters and wheelchairs which is his primary income source at this time. He also repairs and adjusts compasses and does some home repairs and remodeling. He also sells and repairs computers. Mark is interested in, and able to do almost any type of repairs. Mark loves community volunteering, writing, boating, teaching adult education classes, woodworking, home repairs and mechanics, as his hobbies.
Mark built race cars for 4 years and then took a job with NASCAR as an official at the Portland Speedway where he worked for 9 years; missing only one event in the total of 13 years at Portland Speedway, (He and Donnie took an Alaska cruise in September during one racing season.)
Mark and Donnie had 9 foreign exchange students live with them over the years while their children were at home. They had students from Germany, Japan, Russia and Spain.
Mark and Donnie have two children, Kori Rush of Portland and Anthony (Tony) Anderson, (deceased in 2001.) They officially have four grandchildren, Kenton-14, Merek-12 and Darbi-9 from Kori and Dirk Rush, and Eric Robert Anderson-14 who lives with his Mother Nicole in North Dakota. Mark and Donnie also consider themselves grandparents to two children, Sarah and Riley, of Gina Modrell, who was Tony’s fiancé at the time of his death.
Mark was only arrested once in his life, for unknowingly illegally selling encyclopedias door to door when he was about 17, in violation of the Green River Ordinance in Salem, Oregon. A charge that was dropped when his and his best friend’s employer agreed to "leave town." (Mark and his friend lost their "not so great" jobs…) Mark has a clean driving record.
Updated Spring 2012
Mark was ordained a minister in the Community of Christ Church in 1972, which is headquarterd in Independence, MO. Mark served as Co-Pastor at the Tuality Community of Christ Church at 13855 SW Pacific Highway, P.O. Box 23462, Tigard, Oregon 97281 (Retired from this position in January 2010). As required for him to work with youth of all ages, Mark is a registered Youth Worker in the Community of Christ Church. This required him to pass background checks and to receive recommendations from several people he had worked with in the past, and who knew him very personally.
Mark has worked with children and older youth of all ages all of his adult life having directed, pastored and counseled for many years at the church’s youth camps. He is a Sunday School teacher, and works with youth in many ways at his church including pastoring the Vacation Bible School programs. Mark also officiates at many weddings, funerals and baptisms in his years as an active minister, often for people who are not members of his church but who know him from his community activities.
Mark is an active member of NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) Past President of the board of directors of NAMI-CC, (the Clackamas County affiliate of NAMI-Oregon), where he had served as a board member for the previous four years. He also is a member of the NAMI-Multnomah County affiliate of NAMI-Oregon. He served on the executive board of directors of the NAMI-Oregon “Walk for the Minds of America” and has been the director of the NAMI-CC Walk participation teams. Mark is a member of both the HOT, (Housing Opportunity Team,) and CRO,(Clackamas Residents Options,) board of directors, which operate independent living apartment homes for mentally ill people in Clackamas County. Mark is currently serving on the Crisis Intervention Training Steering Committee for The Clackamas County Sheriff Department as the NAMI-CC representative.