A.S. "Tuffy" Mark, a working man's man, died Friday in Salt Lake City of cancer. He was 79.
Some men work to live; Tuffy lived to work. And he did it seven days a week, 52 weeks a year. His standard, gravel-voiced greeting: "You working hard?"In 1946 with Lynn Morgan he founded M & M Distributing Co. of Salt Lake City, distributor for the Adolph Coors Brewing Co. In 1986, Coors awarded the firm its Founder's Award, the company's highest recognition for business excellence and community service.
Retirement was not for Tuffy. "I live for the beer business," he said, and he died at the head of his family-held company after running its daily affairs for nearly 50 years.
His major interest outside his business and family was sports, and he quietly sponsored professional and college athletic teams in Utah, from the Jazz, Buzz and Golden Eagles to the annual Big Four Huddle Luncheon for university football. During the flood of '83, he underwrote construction of a foot bridge across the makeshift river on 1300 South so baseball fans could get to Derks Field.
His many charitable sponsorships included Guadalupe School, Multiple Sclerosis Society (Ugly Bartenders Contest), YWCA, Camp Kostopulos and Utah Arts Festival.
Alexander Sandy "Tuffy" Mark was born the youngest of seven children Dec. 18, 1914, in Murray, to Alexander and Filumena Zarlinga Mark. A sister nicknamed him Tuffy. He left junior high school to work as truck driver. Sgt., 102nd Infantry Division, U.S. Army, World War II, in France, Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia.
Married Anne Elizabeth Leone June 15, 1946, Trenton, N.J. Member St. Vincent Catholic Church.
Survivors: wife, Salt Lake City; son, John Alexander "Jack" Mark; three grandchildren; sisters, Grace Hofman, Dee Marino, both Salt Lake City; Mary Olsen, Caliente, Nev. Preceded in death by brothers, George, Jack; sister, Stella Demas.
Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated Monday, 7 p.m., St. Vincent Catholic Church, 1375 E. Spring Lane, Holladay. Thereafter, friends are invited to celebrate his life at a reception in the parish center where refreshments will be served. Private family burial service Tuesday, Mount Calvary Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, family suggests contributions to Guadalupe School, 340 So. Goshen, Salt Lake City, Utah 84104 or University Hospital, 50 No. Medical Dr., Suite 2753, Salt Lake City, Utah 84132.
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