Mark O’Kane (September 11, 1949 – May 5, 2022)
Mark O’Kane, 72, a retired New York City high school teacher, died peacefully at home in Belford, NJ on May 5 after battling cancer since 2014.
Mark was born in Queens, NY. He resided in Brooklyn and Staten Island for most of his life, relocating to New Jersey in his retirement years. The son of a military man, Mark spent his childhood on active Army bases on Governors Island and Brooklyn’s Fort Hamilton, which left him with a lasting appreciation for the history of New York City and the people who built it. His mother’s career as a classically trained cook nurtured a love of good food, and during his young adulthood he managed restaurants and worked as a bartender. He believed firmly in the power of a good slice of pizza and a strong cup of coffee.
He married Lorraine Farrell-O’Kane in 1977, and together, they raised five children. He will be remembered as the most knowledgeable yet humble man in the room, never missing an opportunity to impart to others the lessons he had discovered through his unrelenting curiosity about the world. Mark never let his diagnosis weigh upon his signature sense of humor, which lives on in all of his children.
Mark’s love for learning extended beyond his professional career. He spent considerable time investing in his students’ futures, assisting in their job searches and encouraging the transferable skills gained from the game of chess. He also loved to travel, frequenting our National Parks and eagerly planning family vacations in New England.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Elfriede and Robert O’Kane. He is survived by his wife, Lorraine; his children, Kerry, Kurt, Mark, Christine, and Caroline; their respective partners, Randy, Regan, Christie, Thomas, and Ali; his sister, Margaret “Peggy” O’Kane; his grandchildren, Annalise, Layne, Everly, and Wesley; many nieces and nephews; and his cat, Molly.
Services for Mark include a wake on Wednesday, May 11, from 3 to 7 p.m. at John E. Day Funeral Home in Red Bank, NJ, and a graveside committal service at 11:30am on Thursday, May 12 at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY.
In lieu of flowers, we ask that donations be made in Mark’s honor to Chef José Andrés’
World Central Kitchen https://wck.org/donate
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