A kind-hearted, staggeringly bright, man of many talents.
In addition to being an exemplary bookstore clerk and all-around stellar human, Mark Teague was a Mason, a Red Seal chef, and an honours student; he volunteered time to a university radio station, local music magazine, and worked and volunteered with addictions recovery. All of these things each and every week, in addition to a daily reading commitment, hobby photography, an affinity for classic movies and the punk rock mosh pit experience. Mark pursued life relentlessly.
During one of Mark’s first few shifts at the shop, he overheard me complaining of a babysitter cancellation: he responded with a “when do you need me?”, which surprised me to no end. But over time I learned that this was the essence of Mark: dedicated and flexible and always willing to help. Through many years working at the shop he was almost never late or absent, was always game to schlep boxes, and when his desk was clear, he could go home satisfied.
Mark could hold conversations with customers on a dizzying array of topics. He is remembered by our customers as friendly, helpful and insightful; and when he was on the clock he always chose the soundtrack. An encyclopedic knowledge and deep love of punk rock didn’t preclude him from queuing up some Glenn Gould on a rainy day. He was also an amateur photographer, collected records, vintage watches, pens and lighters; wore denim, flannel and chucks with panache.
Mark was pretty well always cheerful. We had great conversations about politics and philosophy and food and just about everything else we love about life. It is this I miss the most: his companionship.
In December, Mark left the shop, and the city, to pursue Grad Studies overseas. We celebrated his last day with a gourmet brunch in the stacks, and had an unforgettable and touching conversation. I put on a brave face, and we said goodbye. I never considered that it would be the last time I saw him.
My heartfelt condolences go out to Mark’s loved ones. There are no words that will make sense of such a heart-wrenching loss.
Tributes can be left through this link, where you’ll also find his obituary.
Donations in honour of Mark can be made to: