Mark James Peterson passed away in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, at his home surrounded by family on March 4th, 2020. Born on March 13th, 1961, Mark grew up in East and West Dundee just outside of Chicago, IL. He earned his Master's Degree from Southern Illinois University with a concentration in Aquatic Ecology before moving to Knoxville where he started work at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Mark quickly became an esteemed scientist making many notable contributions to the Aquatic Ecology Lab helping it to be the premier research facility for remediation technology and development for years to come. Mark dedicated his life to enjoying, understanding, and conserving freshwater ecosystems.
In his personal life, Mark maintained a "live life to the fullest" mentality. He was an avid adventurer who had an immense love for the outdoors. If you were fortunate enough to travel with Mark, his penchant for planning guaranteed a memorable trip of a lifetime. He enjoyed canoeing, hiking, Chicago sports, trail-running, wine, journaling, sketching, reading, and fishing. Mark had a legendary talent for catching lots of fish with a special knack for landing "the big one." This was a shared experience by all who have fished with Mark; especially with regards to the notorious Musky!
Mark left a positive impact on the lives of countless people throughout his lifetime. Friends and family have looked to Mark for advice and guidance and he worked tirelessly to support and encourage everyone he knew to be the very best they can be.
Mark will be sorely missed by his family, coworkers, fishing buddies and countless other friends.
Mark is preceded in death by his mother, Sharon Hopp Peterson. Mark is survived by his wife, Susie; daughter, Katie Peterson; son and daughter-in-law, Matthew and Emily Peterson; father and mother, Jim and Van Peterson; and two sisters, Michelle Erickson and Denise Peterson, and sister-in-law Diana Jacobs.
In lieu of flowers please send immediate donations to Tennessee Citizens for Wilderness Planning
A scholarship fund will be set up through the University of Tennessee to support outstanding students in the environmental sciences. Details on donations to the Mark J. Peterson Scholarship Fund will be shared through social media.
An open house visitation will be held 1-4 PM Saturday, March 7th, 2020 at Martin Oak Ridge Funeral Home.
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