Ingemar Olaf “Mark” Hiller
August 24, 1942, Stockholm, Sweden – March 1, 2020, VA Hospital Seattle, WA
All information presented here is to the based on my recollection of just a few of my experiences with Mark and things he told me over the sixty-five years I had known him.
Mark’s father Ollie, brought Mark, sister Sigun [Karin] and brother Thomas from Sweden to the U.S. in 1955, settling in South Pasadena. I suppose the kids were traumatized when dad announced upon disembarking the plane in NYC that henceforth “there will be no Swedish spoken in our house”. Family name, Larsen, was changed to Hiller and kid’s first names were “Americanized.” Mark said his dad did this to provide fastest integration and success into their new country.
I first met Mark in the 9th grade sitting alone with his back against a palm tree in the quad during lunch time at SP Jr High. We didn’t hang out together much until we had a little fight in the gym at SPHS. That settled things and we were friends ever since. Once I got to know him, I discovered he had a heart of gold. For instance, in 1961 when my ship came in to San Diego, he would pick me up Friday nights at the downtown Greyhound bus station, drive me home, mess around, and Sunday night drive me back. This happened multiple times upon his instance.
Mark entered the Navy around 1965, served on two aircraft carriers [Ticonderoga and Hornet] as a personnelman with duty off the Vietnam coast. While in the Navy in 1966 he married Louise Fletcher and they had one son, Eric, no grandchildren.
After serving two years, Mark worked making servo motors for FL Mosley Company in Pasadena. When Mosley was bought by Hewlett Packard around 1970, he was moved to the Rancho Bernardo plant working as an HP buyer.
Always the romantic, and in the late 70’s following his father’s footsteps, Mark became disenchanted with the corporate life and inspired by Willie Nelson’s rendering of “On The Road Again.” He left HP and started his own 18 wheeler trucking firm working out of Port Angeles, WA.
That ended with the oil crisis and he up staked moving back to Escondido, CA and started another business in steam cleaning with his son.
During the 70’s, Mark’s dad was investing in the fishing industry with boats in Long Beach, Newport Beach, and San Diego. One of the older boats, the Becky Kay, was located at Newport Beach. Mark decided, with friend Jensen [an HP engineer], to restore the boat and use it, much to his dad’s chagrin, to entertain friends, and my family, and to fish and cruise around the harbor and close offshore. He used another boat located in San Diego doing the same thing. Great fun until dad put a stop to it! I think this was by far his most enjoyable.
Following his father’s death in the 80’s the family relocated to Chehalis, WA, claiming that the location reminded him of Sweden somewhat. A few years later he and Louise split up and he married Margaret settling down to enjoy country living. Mark had always suffered from depression and after a few years, Margaret left, and although he had many friends, Mark never remarried. Perhaps, someday, I will finish the story because there is much more to tell.
Rest in Peace Mark, Greg Gerhart- Service later this summer
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