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Mark Mamolen Obituary
Mamolen, Mark Claster 67, died unexpectedly after a fall on December 25, 2013 in Miami. Mark was born on January 4, 1946 in western Maryland and felt that his upbringing in the small blue-collar town of Westernport taught him much of what he knew about how the world works, and also greatly affected his understanding of people, character, business and life. Mark was the son of the late Benjamin Edward and Sara Claster Mamolen, both of whom influenced him greatly through their examples of hard work, curiosity, education and kindness to others. Mark was a beloved brother, uncle and friend and was endlessly interested in people of all walks of life and the world at large. He succeeded in business and also succeeded in living the life he wished to lead making his own decisions and choosing his own path. He was a consummate story-teller, and whether the stories were about events in his life, business deals, or other happenings in the world, they were always hugely entertaining. Mark was an entrepreneur who started his first business while an undergraduate, and, after early stints at IBM and Boston Consulting Group, acted as the principal non-family financial advisor to J. A. Pritzker. While at Pritzker & Pritzker from 1978 to 1985, Mark was responsible for underwriting a number of investments including TransUnion Corp. and TicketMaster. After 1985, Mark was an independent private investor in a number of businesses and the managing partner of Carl Street Partners. He was a key principal in the buyout of Bendix Engine Products and DeflectaShield Corp., where he was also a director, as well as other businesses. Mark received his B.A. in Economics and his MBA from George Washington University and a JD from the University of Chicago. Mark was a Life Member of the Visiting Committee of the University of Chicago Law School, a member of the Dean's International Council at the Harris School of Public Policy Studies of the University of Chicago, Board Advisor to Intellectual Property Development, Inc., Board Member of the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University, and previously served as a member of the Advisory Board of DigaComm, LLC. One of the primary joys of his adult life was his introduction to the art of Edgar Miller (1899-1993), a Chicago artist of the mid-20th century. Miller, with whom Mark became personal friends, worked in virtually every artistic medium, and was still working almost daily on creating new art until his death. Mark lived in a home filled and decorated with Miller's art, and was a supporter of the publication of the recent book about Miller's life and work, Edgar Miller and the Handmade Home. He also derived great enjoyment from mentoring a number of young people, especially about education and career choices, and gave generously to educational organizations. He is survived by his sister, Julie Mamolen Bleicher of Dallas, and his nephews, Zachary Bleicher and his partner Richard Olinger of Chicago, and Noah Bleicher and his wife Marcela Swenson of Evanston. The family asks that donations in Mark's memory be made to Project Exploration, 4511 South Evans, Chicago, IL 60653, or The Wolfsonian, 1001 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139. A service of remembrance was held in Miami Beach on December 27 and a memorial will be held in Chicago at a later date.
Published in Chicago Sun-Times on Jan. 12, 2014
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