Mark Gregory Skinner, age 66, passed away on December 8, 2018, after a fight with kidney cancer. A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, December 19, at Pecan Grove Funeral Home, 3124 Robinson Drive, Waco with Pastor David Cozart officiating.
Mark was born August 22, 1952 in Salinas, California to Bill and Merle Skinner. Mark grew up in Waco, attending public schools and graduating from Richfield High School in 1970. His early work history included the Waco Parks & Recreation Department and HEB grocery. Late in his high school years, he began working for his uncle, Bull Bradley, at B&B Sporting Goods and also at Island Plastics Manufacturing in Waco. Mark attended MCC and earned a 2 year business degree.
Mark met his future wife, Susan Davidson, in 1974. They became engaged and were married in July, 1975. Their wedding was the first marriage ceremony permitted at Waco Historic home, East Terrace. In the early 1980’s, Mark and Susan were blessed with two wonderful children, Sky and Tyler.
In June, 1976, Mark was hired at the new M&M/Mars plant in Waco. Over the years until 2002, he worked in various areas throughout the Mars plant, and retired as shift manager in Operations. Employment at Mars provided Mark with the opportunity to continue his education by attending Baylor, and, with a lot of support from family and his work supervisors, he graduated with a BBA in Business in 1996.
After retiring from Mars in late 2002, Mark was called back to Mars as a contractor and worked over the next 10 years in Operations and in the Engineering department. He was then employed at Air Impressions in Waco for 2 years, hired to run errands and do odd jobs, working into a job in the parts room. In 2013, Mark was diagnosed with kidney cancer and underwent surgery. About 2 years after undergoing surgery, the cancer returned. Mark was fortunate enough to enter a phase 3 clinical trial at Baylor Sammons Cancer Hospital in Dallas, and this provided him with positive treatment results. Several surgeries and radiation treatments helped to delay the spread of cancer.
In 2017, Mark and Susan built their dream home in the New Braunfels/Canyon Lake area. Mark enjoyed his new home on the “Great Place”. He loved spending time with his family and friends. Mark knew that his kids and grandkids were his greatest accomplishments. He also greatly enjoyed the years of being a season ticket holder for Baylor men’s and women’s basketball, attending games with his good friend, Ronnie Davis.
Mark was preceded in death by his parents, and his “2nd” parents, in-laws, Walter and Marjorie Davidson of Temple, TX.
He is survived by his wife Susan; daughter Sky and her husband Jason Olcott of Canyon Lake; son Tyler and his partner Renea Price of Belton; granddaughters Adalynn Sky Olcott and Hope Arabella Skinner; grandsons Evan Jackson Olcott, Jacob Olcott, and Jayden Olcott; cousins Betty and Guy Gandy; close friend and basketball buddy Ronnie Davis and his wife Janette, friends Gary and Donna Penney, and numerous friends.
Special thanks are extended to Waco and Temple, TX Scott & White physicians who aided in Mark’s battle against cancer. Mark greatly appreciated the positive experience he has with the Baylor Sammons Cancer Hospital in Dallas, especially the care and assistance provided during the Opdivo clinical trial by Rita Lopez and Dr. Thomas Hutson. Also, thanks are extended to Texas Oncology physicians and other specialists at locations in Dallas, Round Rock, Austin, San Marcos, New Braunfels, and San Antonio.
Mark knew that the clinical trial results were very important in advancing the fight against cancer, and this offered the potential opportunity for cancer patients to have extended life and additional time to enjoy their families and friends.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the cancer research organization of your choice.