Mark Spencer Finks


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Portland - On Friday morning, June 14, 2019 Mark Spencer Finks passed away at Mercy Hospital at the age of 72. It was sudden, but not unexpected and a heartfelt thank you goes out to The Cedars and all their amazing people for the incredible care they provided him over the past 5 years.
A native of the Portland area, Mark graduated valedictorian of Portland High School, class of 1965 and went on to Yale University. Mark was a brilliant man of many talents and over the course of his life spent time as a teacher and principal, organic farmer, historian, minister, politician, New Orleans jazz musician, and father.
As he so eloquently said in a 2003 article, "My life has kind of a kaleidoscopic quality. It has all of these elements and they kind of tumble around in the kaleidoscope. They make patterns and the patterns change, but the little individual elements are the same they just keep recombining in different ways. The music is always in there and the farming and the bread ministries and so on and so on." While there were many things that kept his brilliant mind racing at a feverish pace music was always present. His love of it became a guiding light, starting at the young age of 5 when he picked up the banjo. Performing for people brought him tremendous joy and he loved nothing more than to see others sharing in his experience playing in the State Street Traditional Jazz Band or on the streets of Portland. We imagine he will now spend his days dancing through the streets of gold playing with his mentor Louis Armstrong.
He is survived by his children Charles Finks and Clarissa Finks, their mother and his former wife Carole Crawford, sister Mary Goodwin, loving companion Martha Williams, best friend Bob Linskey, and his dog Opie. Mark was predeceased by his parents Henry Bayard Finks and Nancy Clarke Finks.
Friends and family are invited to share their memories and offer their condolences by visiting Mark's online guestbook at
A Celebration of Mark's life will be held on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 in the Wilde Memorial Chapel located at Evergreen Cemetery. It will begin with a viewing from 1:00 - 2:00PM, which will be followed by a Christian Service officiated by Pastor Kendall Libby and will conclude with a New Orleans Jazz processional to the gravesite where he will be buried. Arrangements are under the care and direction of Jones, Rich & Barnes Funeral Home, 199 Woodford St., Portland, Maine, 04103. 775-3763.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in memory of Mark may be made to The Root Cellar, 94 Washington Ave. Portland, ME 04101
Published on June 19, 2019
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10 posts

Linda Bean
Jun 24, 2019
Among my mentors on the blessings of liberty was Mark Finks, so soft spoken in teaching but ardently outspoken when “not heard” when his microphone was shut off more than one by the Maine Republican Conventions where he was removed bodily from the hall by the sargeants at arms in RINO defiance of his unswerving dedication to the US Constitution. The last two times I saw him were 1) when wheeled in his chair to add a funeral testimonial snd tribute to artist and Freeport GOP Chair Tom Crotty, and 2) at Cedars last year when I visited and found him much the same very cogent thinker who could document the personalities and words of the Maine Republican Party going back to his earliest... days in it. A dedicated Christian., he made sure the mortgage of his Church of God on Park Street in Portland was paid off and that the Root Cellar nearby was supported as a pantry for the needy. In his sixties Mark played his banjo joyously on the street corners of Portland. He would want us to gather in celebration of his passing, not in mourning. I shall be taking the 4:40 am Amtrak train from Wilmington, DE, to be there tomorrow. Mark, may your onward journey enable you to live forever in divine peace and happiness!Read more
charlotte thomson iserbyt
Jun 23, 2019
A talented musician, highly educated (pre-1970!) individual who passed on to me many truths regarding global politics, and who was very instrumental in the founding of the Maine Conservative Union, a collection of individualists in Maine who believed in the Maine and U.S. Constitutions. I regret not staying in touch with him for the past thirty years: my loss! And, now, to know he is gone leaves me very sad. Maine has lost a great patriot. May the Good Lord embrace him and lead him into His glorious realm.
Susan Blount
Jun 23, 2019
My condolences to Mark's family. He was a loyal friend and stood by our family when we needed the support. I will always remember him for that.
Anne Cole-Fairfield
Jun 23, 2019
Some of the music died with him!
He was an activist and brilliant spokesman for the most vulnerable among us. He leaves some very big shoes to fill!
Pamela G Goodale
Jun 22, 2019
Such an awesome man! Such a talented musician! Such an inspiration to others! My brief encounter with Mark Finks was highlighted by his amazing ability to leave a lasting impression in the hearts of those with whom he crossed paths. I enjoyed Mark’s genuineness when sharing his political views and personal convictions. His love for people, music, and Maine could be detected in the way he presented himself to those around him, whether through his music, his speech, or passion to serve others. I didn’t know him well, but I greatly admired Mark Finks, the man. I am thankful for the opportunity to have crossed paths with him in this life, and I am looking forward to enjoying him in the prese...nce of our Lord Jesus throughout eternity.Read more
Kimberly Black Dubay
Jun 22, 2019
I enjoyed working with Mark when he ran for Governor of Maine. Enjoyed listening to him and his band.
Paul & Caroline Volle
Jun 21, 2019
So sad to lose our most special friend in a brother to my husband Paul. So glad we chatted on the phone with him on his birthday a few weeks ago. He was in good spirits and, as usual, we reminisced about things we used to do together when we lived there for 23 years. Mark was a brilliant soul, a teacher at heart, he had so much to share. He had a passion for history, the Constitution, and was a Mainer to the core. He was a remarkable musician who had a truly Louis Armstrong voice. I can still see him whipping out his banjo in our dining room an belting out, "Just A Closer Walk With Thee" and other gems...what a treat! An always he had his clipboard jammed with notes...a journal ...of his life day to day. What a treasure that would be...the story of his life. He loved to be a blessing to those who needed a blessing. He loved the Lord. He loved his kids. And he loved people! We have a vast library of many cherished memories! He will be greatly missed! We love you, brother Mark! Thank the Lord, we will see you on the other side.Read more
Michael Fasulo
Jun 20, 2019
Mark and I were friends and classmates at Portland High School. I had no idea he was at the Cedars for 5 years, but the last time I saw him was on Congress Street, I think, playing banjo. I am very sorry to learn that he passed away. We were on the debating team and in many classes together at PHS. He was brilliant, and he looked brilliant, with his crisply pressed khaki's and his Harris Tweed sport coat and his blue button-down shirt and omnipresent tie, all carried over from North Yarmouth Academy, which he had left for unspecified reasons. He seemingly went nowhere without his slide-rule, one of the earliest forerunners to the calculator and computer. He had a 1950's Jaguar XK coupe... that he had rebuilt himself. Once we went to visit our girlfriends who were at Colby for Girl's State. As I recall, we took the Turnpike. It was a 90 mile trip that we made in an hour. Mark was full of energy and ideas. He was a strong Goldwater supporter, and through the power of his own debating skill, may have briefly convinced me, the Democratic son of a second generation immigrant, to support Goldwater. The fact that he did live such a full and varied “kaleidoscopic” life takes some of the disappointment out of his leaving life so relatively early.Read more
Jun 20, 2019
I know that i would have liked this man! He definitely had the music in his heart! A New Orleans Jazz band playing in the funeral procession is really cool!!! Mark obviously was the real deal. He has my respect and admiration, and you have my sincere condolences. In an ocean of generic identities,Mark definitely was not a "No - Name- Brand ".
Jun 19, 2019