Mark Allen Knight, 53, of Mt. Rainier, MD died peacefully in the early hours of July 3, 2012 at home after a valiant three year struggle with cancer. Born September 24, 1958 in Wheeling WV, a son of David G. Knight of Jefferson and the late Rose Marie Shalvey Knight. Mark was raised in Jefferson, and graduated from Jefferson-Morgan High School in 1976. He is survived by his spouse Mario Cisneros and son Moises Cisneros, father David, and siblings Chris Knight (Kathy), Colette Knight Agha, Michael Knight (Minh), Patrick Knight (Tamara) and Richard Knight, as well as nieces Kelli, Amy, Christina Knight, Abigail ,Rachel Agha and nephews...
Mark Allen Knight, 53, of Mt. Rainier, MD died peacefully in the early hours of July 3, 2012 at home after a valiant three year struggle with cancer.
Born September 24, 1958 in Wheeling WV, a son of David G. Knight of Jefferson and the late Rose Marie Shalvey Knight.
Mark was raised in Jefferson, and graduated from Jefferson-Morgan High School in 1976.
He is survived by his spouse Mario Cisneros and son Moises Cisneros, father David, and siblings Chris Knight (Kathy), Colette Knight Agha, Michael Knight (Minh), Patrick Knight (Tamara) and Richard Knight, as well as nieces Kelli, Amy, Christina Knight, Abigail ,Rachel Agha and nephews Gabriel, Brendan Agha, Preston Nguyen , Jared Knight(deceased) and countless friends and colleagues. Among his closest friends, Mark will be especially missed by Gloria Gugliotta, a much admired and beloved mentor.
He was a founding developer and partner of the Hundredfold Farm co-housing community of Cashtown, PA (Gettysburg) including its Seven Spring Christmas Tree Farm. He formed close bonds of friendships with its members as they created a sustainable and environmentally-conscious intentional community.
Professionally, for the last 11 years he was active in procuring financing for numerous affordable housing projects including his role most recently as Director of Lending at Neighborworks Capital. He also served as Executive Director of the American Housing Opportunity Fund and as Executive Director of the Unitarian Universalist Affordable Housing Corporation. For ten years prior to his work in affordable housing, he was Executive Director of the Association for Ambulatory Behavioral Healthcare.
Mark received his MSW in Mental Health and Public Administration at the University of Pittsburgh in 1983. His undergraduate studies began at St Fidelis College, Herman, PA and Duquesne University (1981). Mark was deeply involved in the Men's Wisdom Council of Rowe, Massachusetts and participated annually in retreats with his partner Mario. These retreats included momentous trips to the desert southwest and for Mark, the Amazon River in Peru.
Mark was a gregarious and thoughtful friend to close acquaintances as well as strangers whom he barely knew. He frequently enlisted his closest friends to open their circle to admit others in hospitality and friendship. He was outgoing and especially considerate of those who might feel unwelcome or undeserving.
His relationship with his partner and son was a vital and a defining feature of his last 14 years. Their partnership was featured in two Washington Post articles on the family life of same-sex partners whose lives frequently mirror the lives and struggles of all families.
Mark and Mario were married in the District of Columbia April 6, 2010. They were active in breaking down barriers of prejudice and distrust that separate people. Upon moving to Mt Rainier, MD he quickly found himself immersed in a community that shared his values and interests; a place that welcomed people of all races and classes. The Mt. Rainier Elementary School attended by Moises was especially reflective of that diversity.
Mark had a great love of animals and rescued and cared for many stray cats and dogs who eventually became members of the household. His roots in rural southwestern Pennsylvania and love of nature found expression in the many successful gardens he nurtured in every place he lived and for many of his friends' homes.
In addition to his charity and community board work benefitting the Washington School for Friends, Maryland Equality and Alexandria, VA Human Rights Commission, Mark took great pleasure in volunteering each spring for the Heard Museum in Phoenix Arizona where his long-time and dear friend Ruth Padgett, formerly of Alexandria, was a docent and active member.
A service of remembrance will be held at the home of David Knight in 1291 Jefferson Road, Jefferson (Greene County) PA, on Saturday, July 7, 2012 at 11:00am. Friends of the family are invited to visit as early as 10:00am. Burial will be at the Jefferson Cemetery followed by a reception at the St Marcellus Church Social Hall. A memorial service in the Washington DC is planned for Saturday, September 8, at 4:30pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, 4444 Arlington Blvd, Arlington, Virginia 22204. Memorial gifts may be made to an education fund for Moises Cisneros, c/o Mario Cisneros, and also the Washington Animal Rescue League in Mark's name. Arrangements by the Behm Funeral Home, 1477 Jefferson Road, Jefferson, Gregory P. Rohanna, supervisor. Condolences may be expressed online at www.behm-funeralhomes.com.