Mark John Doty, 60 of Lexington, died Jan. 16, 2012, at Lexington Regional Health Center, Lexington.
Mark was born May 20, 1951, to Mary Catherine (Mecke) and William Charles Doty in Ogallala. The oldest of four children, he moved to Broken Bow with his younger sister, Julie Ann, and spent his childhood there joined by brother Patrick William Doty and Scott Martin Doty.
Mark graduated from Broken Bow High School in 1969. Mark, whose mother was a student of piano and teacher of music, developed a passion for instruments during his youth and within the marching band where he played trombone. Mark went on to study music performance at Hastings College where he received his degree in music and certificate in education.
In 1971, while at Hastings, he met Susan Elaine (Banks) from Littleton, Colo., and they married Aug. 12, 1972.
Mark had a curiosity for travel and a desire to know tropical climates. In 1973, after graduating from Hastings, Mark and Susan moved briefly to North Carolina and then to the Florida Keys, where he taught music and directed marching band in Key West, Fla. Mark loved the water, and spent many weekends out in the boat hunting for lobster.
Erin Katherine Doty, their only child, was born in 1979.
In 1981, the couple ventured overseas to pursue teaching internationally in Saudi Arabia where they lived for five years. During this time, Mark, Susan, and Erin visited dozens of nations during time off and for teacher conferences. His favorite places included Cadiz, Spain, Crete, Greece, Larnaca, Cyprus, and Phuket, Thailand.
In 1986, they returned to Key West where Mark taught middle school math for five years, and then continued teaching internationally at the American School in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where they lived for 11 years. Mark helped integrate computer classes and later Internet technology into middle school curricula during the 90s.
In 2002, Mark and Susan moved to Lexington to be closer to family. After briefly working at Med Pro, Mark returned to teaching, this time with students learning English as a second language through Central Community College. Mark accepted each person and greeted each student with a warm, non-judgmental respect and encouragement.
Mark had a passion for gardening. From the coconut palms and poinsettias of every hue in Florida, to nursing bare root evergreen specimens into young trees in Nebraska, Mark created bountiful and appealing gardens in a variety of climates. He dreamed of turning his home into a plant nursery or Bed and Breakfast and was frequently found gathering information toward these ideals.
Susan and Erin were his pride and joy. During his battle with cancer, he referred to them as his "angels."
Mark is survived by Susan and Erin; son-in-law-to-be, John Gibson; mother-in-law, Alice Banks; brothers, Pat and Scott Doty; sisters-in-law, Linda (Cook) Doty, Lori (Ficke) Doty, and Charlotte Grace; brothers-in-law, David Banks, R. Bruce Koefoot, and Jay April; nieces and nephews Ryan and Jenn Doty, Alie and Jay Baker, John Sullivan and Abbey, Kristin Doty, Jess and Chris O'Fallon, Tim Koefoot, Shonda and Aaron Sanchez, and Troy Cone.
Mark was preceded in death by his mother, Mary; and recently his father Bill, and sister Julie (Doty) Koefoot; as well as niece, Heather Rene Doty, and father-in-law Herbert Banks.
Memorial services will be Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012, at 10 a.m. at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Broken Bow with Father Jim Hunt officiating. Inurnment will be in St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to the St. Francis Cancer Center in Grand Island.
Govier Brothers Mortuary of Broken Bow is in charge of arrangements.
Published in Custer County Chief, Jan. 19, 2012