Mark Eason, Oak Ridge

Our beloved Mark Eason passed from this life to eternal joy in the Lord on March 23, 2022. He often spoke of his dependence on God’s grace and strength, and his faith was strong.

He is greatly missed by his family, friends, neighbors, and the various fellowships he has been a part of.

Mark has lived in Oak Ridge most of his life, with a few years also spent in Clinton, Dutch Valley, and Wartburg. He also spent two years based in Miami FL as a scuba Diving Master. Most recently he has resided at his home in the Woodland community in Oak Ridge.

Mark was born on June 19, 1957, at Oak Ridge Hospital. He grew up in Emory Valley and attended Woodland School, Jefferson Jr. High School, and Oak Ridge High School.

His youth was filled with school, camping, boating, fishing, water skiing, and hiking, both with family and with the Boy Scouts. Mark and his brother Rick (Richard) Eason received their Eagle Scout award the same day in 1974 in Troop #229. For his Eagle project, Mark built a baseball backstop at Hillbrook Christian Camp in Karns. While still in high school, he also began part-time carpentry work, assisting the Downtown Shopping Center with marketing efforts and doing other jobs around town to earn spending money and to engage his many creative talents.

Mark graduated from Oak Ridge High School in 1975, having majored in both academic and craftsman classes. His love for tools, carpentry, and metalwork led him to fulfill a lifelong passion centered on building things, fixing problems, and creating unique solutions for a wide variety of needs.

Mark studied at the Roane State Community College and the University of Tennessee and then worked at Y-12 National Security Complex for several years supporting the computer and data teams there. At the same time, he began part-time carpentry work, helping to build both commercial and private buildings. He worked with K.B. Reedy Construction and other firms on several buildings in Oak Ridge.

He launched his remodeling and handyman business in the late 1970s and worked at this under his own banner for the rest of his life. This allowed him the flexibility not only to sharpen and perfect his craftsmanship and building skills but also to take some time out to explore other things he was interested in. He served as a rural postal carrier in the Marlow area for several years and later became a Scuba diving instructor for an Oak Ridge scuba shop. He also spent two years working out of Miami, Florida, as the Divemaster on a sailing vessel in the Caribbean with Blackbeard’s Dive Cruises in the Bahamas.

During the last part of his life, while continuing his remodeling business, Mark also became involved with Christian missions and several local helping ministries. He also participated in various community volunteer efforts in Oak Ridge, as an organizer and assistant coach for AYSO youth soccer, a team leader for Habitat for Humanity projects, and a contributor on other local projects helping those in need. He was constantly assisting neighbors and families who needed his carpentry and engineering skills.

Mark was involved with both Heritage Fellowship Church in Oak Ridge and Faith Promise church in Knoxville, where he assisted several ministries. He went on four mission trips overseas, twice to Zambia, Africa, and then to Managua, Nicaragua, and Ecuador in South America. On each of these, he helped lead construction and church building projects. Notably, Mark was an engineering leader for a team building a bridge over a river in Zambia which received high praise from government officials as well as Christian missionaries who desperately needed it. After these trips, Mark continued supporting orphans and other young people he met overseas and mentoring them remotely as they grew up.

His other passions in recent years have been woodcarving, camping in the Smokies, and spending a lot of time with family and friends while still doing some remodeling work around town. He was a passionate boater and fisherman. All his life Mark has been a collector of tools of all sorts and could often be seen walking around and trading tools at the Oak Ridge Flea Market.

Mark is survived by his mother, Betty Skidmore Eason, of Oak Ridge; his children Ashlee Mathis (Mike) of Arlington TX and Cody Eason of Knoxville; two grandchildren, Michael Jr. and Megan of Arlington TX; brothers Alan Eason (Natalia) of Oak Ridge, Richard Odell Eason (Mary Anne) of Orono ME, and Timothy Eason (Vanessa) of Knoxville; along with uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, cousins, and many dear friends and neighbors.

He was preceded in death by his father H. Odell Eason Jr. of Oak Ridge, and his sister, Jacque Eason Keen of Marietta GA.

He is also dearly missed by his faithful and wonderful service dog, Bandito, with whom he was often seen around town.

Services are as follows:

On Thursday, March 31 from 5-7 PM there will be a Receiving of Friends (open casket), at Holly-Gamble Funeral Home in Clinton TN.

A Celebration of Life memorial service will be held at New York Avenue Church of Christ in Oak Ridge on Saturday, April 2. Receiving of Friends will begin at the church at 2 PM and the service will begin at 3:00.

The family is requesting donations in lieu of flowers. The selected charities are:

Friends of the Smokies and Friends of the Oak Ridge Animal Shelter.

(Donations can be made at Friendsofthesmokies.org)

(Donations to Friends of Oak Ridge Animal Shelter — FORAS — can be made via PayPal at our email address friendsofoakridgeanimalshelter@gmail.com or by mail at FORAS, P.O. Box 6014, Oak Ridge, TN 37831.)

The family deeply appreciates the outpouring of love and support. Holley Gamble Funeral Home in Clinton is in charge of all arrangements. holleygamble.com

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