Roy B. Young
Death of Mark J. Dworkin
Sat Sep 1, 2012 20:52

My heart is heavy as I share with you the death of our friend and colleague Mark Dworkin. It is at the request of a number of you who, throughout the afternoon and evening, have called and e-mailed me with expressions of your deep sadness in this most regrettable loss, that I make this post for so many of you who appreciated and cherished Mark. I am sure I express the thoughts of many of you when I say that we weep with his wife Harriett and their children.

Only a few of us knew of Mark's battle with cancer for it was his wish that it not become a topic of discussion; he wanted desperately to overcome in this battle and up to my last e-mail from him only a few days ago, he expressed confidence and courage for the future.

Mark came into our field some ten or eleven years ago; he was especially interested in Earp studies, primarily as they related to Tombstone. Prior to this, Mark was a student of the history of the Mayas, Aztecs, and Incas; one of my treasures is a signed copy of a book he wrote on this topic back in 1990. He wrote an inscription for me that, in part, stated, "This is what I did for years before I got 'Earped!'"

Mark joined WOLA in the early years of the 2000s; I would have to do some researching through old membership lists to determine just when. He eventually served, for several years, on the board of directors. Of course, for the past three and one half years he has been the diligent and effective editor of WWHA's "Review of the West" column.

He wrote several Earp related articles for WOLA and in WWHA's inaugural year a terrific piece on Virgil Earp. His most promising work of late has been in completing a biography of Walter Noble Burns - portions of which have appeared in WWHA Journal and Wild West magazine, and for which he receive a Spur Award nomination. Several who participate in this forum, have - like myself - been honored with the opportunity to read and offer suggestions on the full text; we will each hope that it is picked up by a major press for it will be a valuable contribution to, not only our field, but American literature in general.

I will be speaking with Harriett Sunday morning and will share further information with you as it develops.

    • Very sad newsSarah Stegall, Fri Oct 12 13:32
      I am so sorry to hear of Mark's passing. His help was invaluable to me when I was writing my novel, Deadfall; he made it possible for me to obtain several out-of-print or hard to find manuscripts... more
    • Mark DworkinJeff Wheat, Tue Sep 4 17:10
      I am deeply saddened by the news of Marks passing. He was a wonderful human being, of the highest order, always there as a friend, sharing, caring, encouraging and blessing me with his knowledge and... more
    • Re: Death of Mark J. DworkinGary Seiss, Tue Sep 4 10:01
      Sad to hear this news about Mark. My heart and sympathy goes out to Harriet and family.
    • Mr. Mark DworkinMax Roberts, Mon Sep 3 14:00
      Who else but Mark could you sit with in a cafe in Tombstone, Arizona and discuss the history of Jazz and ancient Mayan civilization in the same conversation? Mark was also one of the first members of ... more
      • Very big loss. Larry K, Mon Sep 3 16:00
        I just can't think of any words, still. The posts here say anything I could say better than I. Know that my prayers are with you and the family Harriet. Larry and Justin
    • As Horace Greeley said...Pam Potter, Mon Sep 3 08:40
      "Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, riches take wing, and only character endures." Mark's character will endure, as exhibited in these many posts.
    • An esteemed gentleman and friendWayne Collier, Sun Sep 2 23:11
      I first met Mark And Harriet years ago on an early evening in Tombstone walking toward Allen Street. He stopped my wife and I and asked, "Do you know where we can get tea," or words to that effect. I ... more
    • Re: Death of Mark J. DworkinDorman Nelson, Sun Sep 2 22:12
      We were shooting the western breeze not long ago....Rest In Peace Mark J. His work, his energy, his love of history, all that he has done...will be remembered....
    • Trustee Mark, a giant of a manWYATT EARP BIRTHPLACE, INC., Sun Sep 2 16:10
      We are so sorry for Harriet and family on their loss of Mark. He has served as an early trustee since visiting Wyatt's birth home, along with Harriet. Mark has been a faithful supporter. He met our... more
    • Mark DworkinJane Matson Lee, Sun Sep 2 13:42
      I have been away from my computer this weekend, and am only now reading the email that Harriet sent me about Mark's passing. The world has lost a wonderful man. My thoughts and prayers go out to... more
    • Death of Mark J. DworkinAllen Wiener, Sun Sep 2 13:24
      This is a heartbreaking shock. I felt so fortunate to count Mark as a wonderful friend and brilliant colleague and was honored that he invited me to write some book reviews for the WWHA Journal. In... more
    • Re: Death of Mark J. DworkinRobin Andrews, Sun Sep 2 12:26
      About the man who got "Earped". I am very sorry to hear such difficult news about Mark. I don't remember the Earp/Tombstone field without Mark Dworkin. He will be so sadly missed. My heart goes out... more
    • The worst of news; Mark will be missed. (nm)Lynn and Anne Bailey, Sun Sep 2 11:58
      • Words cannot express our sadness...Kevin Mulkins, Sun Sep 2 17:48
        We knew, as did most of Mark and Harriett's friends here in Tucson, that something serious was affecting Mark's health. At his request, we kept his condition between us. Its been a long couple of... more
    • MarkBob Palmquist, Sun Sep 2 10:00
      Roy, thank you for posting this awful news. Not knowing of Mark's illness, it comes as a terrible shock. Mark was a fine historian, and a fine friend. Our hearts go out to Harriett, their children... more
    • This is devastating news.Tom Bryant, Sun Sep 2 09:57
      I really can't wrap my arms around it. Mark is one the finest gentlemen I've ever met. He had so many varied interests: history, music, writing, sports, travel, and much more. There didn't seem to be ... more
    • May Peace Be Upon HimAnne Collier, Sun Sep 2 09:56
      It was a privilege to know Mark and call him friend. The scholarship in this field has been diminished greatly. “Say not in grief 'he is no more' but live in thankfulness that he was.”
    • Our friend and colleague, MarkCasey Tefertiller, Sun Sep 2 09:40
      This is sad and horrible news. Mark was both a good friend and a highly respected colleague who has made contributions to our field. He was always willing to help with any project; always intent on... more
    • Sad newsJen, Sun Sep 2 06:48
      All of Mark's contributions and accomplishments considered, my greatest memory of Mark was how he cherished Harriett and their family as a man more drawn to material things might regard a diamond or... more
    • Heartbreaking newsLinda Wommack, Sun Sep 2 06:39
      I am deeply saddened to hear of Mark's death. He was a kind and generous man who always made time for my questions or querys since I joined WWHA nearly four years ago. We talked many times since... more
    • I am deeply affected by this sad newsJohn K., Sun Sep 2 05:42
      Mark was the first to welcome me to this board a little over five years ago. Since that time, as he did with many of you, we kept in contact on a regular basis. He never mentioned his illness and the ... more
    • Horrible newsGeraldo, Sun Sep 2 05:42
      Like many others who post here, I was lucky to meet Mark and be the recipient of his knowledge and kindness. This is incredibly sad news. Jerry Prather
    • A very good manPaul Cool, Sun Sep 2 03:44
      Mark Dworkin was as fine a man as they come. He was certainly one of those I gravitated to. I had the pleasure of his company at conferences and in his Tucson home (where he and Harriett graciously... more
    • Oh! No!Jerry Lobdill, Sun Sep 2 03:38
      I knew something was wrong. I sent him a copy of the synopsis of my book on July 26 and said I hoped to see him in Prescott and got this reply: Thanks Jerry, Unfortunately, some personal and health... more
    • Mark DworkinDaniel Buck, Sun Sep 2 03:38
      Mark and I have been correspondents for several years, not only on matters Old West, but on another of our shared interests, South American history. His knowledge in both areas was exceptional, and... more
    • Roy, thank you for letting us know.Leah, Sun Sep 2 00:34
      James and I are stunned and deeply,deeply saddened to hear of Marks death. Our love, prayers and deepest sympathy to Harriett and the rest of his family.
    • Mark was someone to be rememberedTom Gaumer, Sat Sep 1 23:02
      Knowing Mark in Tucson where he and Harriet have spent nearly half the last couple of years, I have several distinct memories of him. He never talked very long without expressing his love for Harriet ... more
    • Very sadPam Potter, Sat Sep 1 22:34
      Mark was a good friend to many who post here as well as to many in the field of Western history. We know him from WOLA, WWHA and TTR as well as the discussion forums. Mark was a good man who will be... more
      • Mark DworkinC.E. Walker-Stol, Mon Sep 3 07:56
        Mark Dworkin was my history teacher in 1977 and I was blessed to have him for three consecutive years. He was a dynamic and fair teacher, making history come alive. He made a huge impact on my life.... more
    • Truly terrible newsTroy, Sat Sep 1 22:18
      I have had the priviledge of knowing Mark for years; a truly generous and kind man. I shared a wonderful day with Mark and Harriet at Saratoga Springs some years ago, going to the racetrack, going to ... more
    • He was a most remarkable man.Jeff Morey, Sat Sep 1 22:18
      Mark Dworkin was a most remarkable man who truly elevated this field and all who met him. I am deeply grieved at his passing and only hope the deep affection and respect so many of us had for Mark... more
    • So Very Sorry...Victoria Wilcox, Sat Sep 1 21:48
      ...such a wonderful, kind man. We will miss him! My deepest sympathies to his family and many friends. This is truly a great loss.
      • Mark Dworkin...Erik Wright, Sun Sep 2 06:35
        It is never easy to learn the loss of a friend and I can happily say Mark was a friend of the highest order. A true gentleman and a caring mentor, Mark never once belittled my abilities as an... more
      • I am most saddened to hear this…OldTexasCowboy, Sun Sep 2 06:28
        Ellen and I join you all in mourning his passing. Mark and Harriet were friends. Apart from being an avid historian and researcher he was a true friend, and an objective source of advice. A... more
        • A space that can't be filledGary Roberts, Sun Sep 2 08:38
          I spoke with Mark by phone a few weeks ago. He said then that he didn't think he would be at TTR this year, but he pretty much left it at that, never telling me about his health problems. In his... more
          • MarkGarth, Sun Sep 2 09:33
            Mark was a wonderful friend. Life in Tucson always picked up measurably when he and Harriet came down for the winter. He was a man of great enthusiasms and when our group would walk the track his... more
          • I am deeply saddened.Peter Christoph, Sun Sep 2 09:18
            Mark has been one of my closest friends in the Tombstone historical community, always encouraging. I live a few miles from his brother and Mark and Harriet would occasionally stop in. I will miss him ... more
            • Marksharonc, Sun Sep 2 10:00
              Im SO sorry to read this; Mark was a very nice man and will be sorely missed by everyone in our area of Old West history research and writing. Mark Dworkin was a good friend to all who knew him. My... more
              • Sadness and mourning...Mark Boardman, Sun Sep 2 10:31
                Patty and I grieve at this news. Mark was obviously a wonderful researcher and writer. But he was an even better person, as so many have noted--gentle and kind, self-deprecating in his humor and... more
                • With deep sadnessBob Cash, Sun Sep 2 13:00
                  I had an e-mail and history forum friendship with Mark for 10+ years. I had the privilege of actually meeting him and Harriett at last year's TTR. Over the years I had formed the impression that he... more
                  • Awful newsAlan Blanchette, Sun Sep 2 13:58
                    Mark was a wonderful man and will be sincerely missed by many. It was an honor to have known him. My heart goes out to Harriett and his family.
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