Mark L. James
Portland - Mark L. James passed away peacefully on February 4th in Portland, Maine, surrounded by loved ones and supported by loved ones from afar. Mark was predeceased by Berl White, his beloved partner of 25 years.


Mark lived a full and adventurous life that took him many places. He spent his childhood in Canton, Ohio-a middle child of eleven children. He traveled the world during his service in the Navy, and afterwards lived for many years in Virginia with Berl, eventually moving home to Berl's family farm in Abingdon where he cared for Berl until his passing. Afterwards, Mark lived between Ohio where he helped care for his mother, and Rhode Island, where he shared a sailboat with his dog, Sky.


Mark considered himself a jack of all trades. He was a sonar technician and nuclear weapons handler in the Navy, a master gardener, a farmer, a sailor, and a community leader. His storytelling and quick wit endeared him to people everywhere he went in life, and he was making jokes and friends even in his final days. He had an artist's eye, always making the homes, gardens, and spaces around him beautiful. He loved caring for plants and animals, and was a devoted caretaker to his mother, to Berl, and to friends. He was also a survivor, living for decades with HIV/AIDS, and through three bouts of cancer. As a survivor and a caretaker, Mark believed in and fought for a more humane health care system based in dignity and human rights.


Mark spent his last twelve years in Maine, first in Houlton and then in Portland, where he cultivated a devoted circle of friends and chosen family. He volunteered with the Frannie Peabody Center and the Southern Maine Workers' Center, lifting up his vision of a world where everyone has the care that they need. Mark will be missed by his loving friends, siblings, nieces and nephews.


To honor Mark, please consider donating to the Frannie Peabody Center.
Published on February 10, 2020

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Showing 10 of 2 posts

Pamela James Simmons
Feb 27, 2020
To my childhood best friend...… I am going to miss you! Your Big sister Pam
Pamela James Simmons
Feb 11, 2020
I was your older sister but you were my childhood best friend. RIP SWEETHEART.