Mark Bodley was born on August 15, 1934 in La Jara, Colorado.  His parents were quite the entrepreneurs, and he had an interesting childhood moving from place to place while his parents worked as share crop farmers in Colorado, when his father helped with the construction of Luke Air Force Base in Glendale, Arizona, and again when his father worked in the iron mines in Kelso, California.  Mark was old enough to help out with the bar and café and American Legion Hall his parents opened up when they moved back to Colorado, finally settling in the small town of Saguache. He married his high school sweetheart, Sandra, in 1953. 

He was a United States Air Force veteran, serving in Adana, Turkey, and bases in Mt. Home, Idaho and Sacramento.  He received his bachelors and master’s degrees in accounting/education from Western State Colorado University.  The couple lived in Pueblo, Colorado until moving to California’s Bay Area where Mark worked for Burroughs Corporation as the West Coast Office Supervisor and as a business manager for the California School Employees Association. In 1968, he moved to Los Banos, taking a job as the Assistant Superintendent of Business for the Los Banos Unified School District.  He also served as the district’s Classified Personnel Director for 40 years, retiring in 2008.

Mark was very civic-minded, serving on the boards of the Merced School Employees Federal Credit Union, Merced Mosquito Abatement District Board of Trustees, Central Valley Health and Welfare Trust, Merced County Employees Retirement Board, and was a volunteer California Certified Health Insurance Counselor. He was also a senior volunteer for the California Highway Patrol.  He was a member of the Los Banos Elks, Los Banos Golden Agers, AARP, California School Employees Association, California School Business Officials, Los Banos Sportsmans Association, and was a registered school business administrator.

Mark was active in all sports during his lifetime.  He earned 15 varsity sports letters while in high school.  He was the Colorado All-State Six-Man football quarterback in 1951.  He earned medals in the pole vault, high jump and discus at the Colorado State Track Meet during his junior and senior years in high school, and was a member of the US Air Force Track Team while stationed at Mather Air Force Base in Sacramento.  Mark participated in Masters Track and Field meets until a heart condition forced him to curtail his running activities.  He won two Senior Olympic gold medals in the Decathlon (10 events) at ages 45 and 46.  As an avid golfer, he had numerous “holes-in-one” and in 2009 had a score of 74 at Ridgemark Golf Club equaling his age at the time.

Mark and Sandra enjoyed traveling, especially golf excursions.  They spent many vacations in Hawaii with their daughters and their families.  He enjoyed watching the grandkids participate in sports and other school activities.  Family was of utmost importance to him.

Mark was preceded in death by his wonderful wife, Sandra, and is survived by his loving companion, Pauline Young; his three daughters and their spouses, Christy (Robert Huff), Roxy (Les Gomes), and Connie Falasco (Aaron Olague); and by his eight grandchildren, Justin (April) and Janelle Durrer (Kalei Konrad) and Robbie Huff; Kyle (Danielle), Cody (Anaise), and Mariah Gomes; and Rhiannon and Shae Falasco.  Mark had six great-grandchildren: Branson and Maddyn Gomes; Lexi and Navy Gomes; and Vivian and Emery Konrad.

Funeral services will be held at Whitehurst Funeral Chapel  in Los Banos on December 5 at 10:00 am, burial at the National Veterans Cemetery in Santa Nella at 12:30, and a reception at Espana’s Restaurant from 1:00 – 4:00.

In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the Los Banos Unified School District Scholarship Fund.

The Westside Express