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Obituary: Mark Eugene Tessicini

Published in Gloucester Times on November 24, 2014

ROCKPORT: Mark Eugene Tessicini, a man of deep intellect, artistry and compassion, died of complications from ALS on November 20, 2014, at his home in Rockport, Mass. He was 44.

Mark was born January 26, 1970 in Boston. He and his younger brother, David, grew up on the North Shore of Massachusetts. Mark was a curious, smart, independent child. His great love of sports and the Red Sox began with his Little League career in Beverly, Mass.

Mark went on to attend Phillips Exeter Academy, where he excelled at academics and cultivated his creative talents while developing lifelong friendships. He was also an All-American water polo player. He graduated from Exeter in 1988, and went on to attend Brown University, earning his bachelor’s degree in both Architectural Studies and Art History in 1992. While at Brown, Mark studied in Florence, Italy, where he developed a passion for architecture and design.

Mark pursued this passion, earning his master’s in Architecture from the University of Washington in Seattle. During that time, he also lived and studied in Rome and discovered firsthand the beauty of that great city, which he would share on subsequent visits with both his dear brother, David, and his beloved wife, Elia. He began his architectural career at the prestigious Cambridge Seven Associates, Inc.

Throughout his life, Mark valued family above all else. He was incredibly close with his brother, David, his father Gene, and his mother, Mary. Near or far, Mark communicated with family with daily phone calls and texts. Their time spent in each other’s company was frequent, and filled with laughter, great conversation, and a shared appreciation for all the details of each other’s day-to-day lives.

Mark had impeccable taste. Music was a constant in his home, from Pearl Jam to classical. He appreciated life’s beauty and grace, whether it be through the perfect pizza crust, an architectural marvel, great literature, artisan beer, or especially, the beauty inherent in those he loved.

Mark and Elia first met in 1988, though neither remembers speaking to the other at the time, when Mark was a senior at Exeter and Elia, an eighth grader. They were at a party at the home of siblings, Dana and Mark Brown – their respective friends. Their paths would not cross again until almost 20 years later when they were both living and working in Boston. Their love grew quickly over dates spent swimming at the MIT pool, enjoying Italian food in the North End, and traveling together. They were married on April 26, 2008, at Annisquam Village Church in Gloucester.

In spite of the considerable medical challenges that ALS brought, the two of them built a rich and fulfilling life together. They traveled to Barcelona and Rome, welcomed their daughter, Alessandra, to the world, and created their beautiful home. Friends and family are in awe of Elia and Mark’s love for each other and for their daughter. Their love was truer and deeper, in the short time they had together, than many experience in a lifetime. Alessandra, who looks so much like Mark and already demonstrates many of his gifts, is both the product and embodiment of that love.

Mark was a rare combination of talented artistry, probing intellect, formidable athleticism, and sensitive compassion. Those lucky enough to know him received that gift he had of making anyone feel comfortable in his presence, of being giving with his time and attention, and of never cutting corners when listening or expressing his thoughts and emotions. Mark is survived by his wife, Elia; his daughter, Alessandra; his mother, Mary Murphy and her husband, Carl Peterson; his father Gene Tessicini and his wife, Barbara Tessicini; his brother, David Tessicini and his wife, Katrina Tessicini; his uncle, William Murphy; and many more beloved friends and extended family. He will be deeply missed.