Mark G. Hand, 64
Mark Gregory Hand passed away on February 4th, 2021 at St. Patrick hospital from a brain bleed/stroke that took him swiftly but entirely too soon. Mark was born on October 13th, 1956 to Bob and Esther Hand in Lawrence, Kansas. As a young boy he lived with his family in Illinois, California, and Montana and graduated from Whitefish High School.
Mark was a gifted musician able to learn songs by listening and instruments by experimenting. His parents accumulated all sorts of musical instruments and there was often a group of kids playing music in the house. Mark played guitar and sang in “garage” bands in California and Montana performing at school functions and dances. He spent a summer in Glacier Park as a singing waiter at the Many Glacier Hotel. Later he performed solo at various establishments and several weddings of friends and family. To this day it is difficult to listen to a 60s or 70s Rock station without hearing several songs Mark used to play and sing.
After attending the University of Montana for a couple of years Mark decided school life wasn’t for him and left to discover his own interests and aptitudes. He spent some time retreading tires, his contribution towards recycling as he liked to say. But he really found his talent in carpentry, especially working with wood. After a period of time working in Anchorage Alaska, Mark moved to Idaho where he worked various construction jobs and had a “Handy Man” business in the Sun Valley area until he moved to Nampa, Idaho and was hired by Canyon County to work on building and renovation projects. In his spare time he built furniture, decks, and other wood creations.
Mark was fond of animals and had several cats and dogs throughout his life. His border collie “Buddy” was usually with him on job sites and leisure time. He couldn’t resist feeding the feral cats in his neighborhood and enjoyed watching them play in his yard. Mark had a love for the outdoors and spent time hiking, cross-country skiing, and fishing. He also enjoyed golf, motorcycle-riding, sailing, and target practice with a bow or gun.
If you were a friend of Mark’s and received a card or letter it was sure to include cartoons and drawings. Mark was very creative and had a sense of humor that launched many a funny saying that some of us still remember and laugh about. He often named his most treasured possessions. His old Chevy pickup “Black Betty” became “Red Betty” with a paint job and was always available to help out someone in need of a friend with a truck. Mark had a generous spirit, helping out friends or family with his money and time.
He was preceded in death by his parents Bob and Esther Hand.
Mark is survived by his sisters, Sonja Border and Rebecca Hand-Smith both of Missoula, Montana; his nieces and their husbands, Heather and Brad Grutsch, and Kristen and Greg Patton all of Missoula, Montana; his great nieces and nephew, Grace, Claire, and Brandon Grutsch all of Missoula, Montana.
Cremation has taken place. There is no memorial planned at this time but the family hopes to honor his life this spring or summer with family and friends.