Mark George Moran
Published 5:58 pm Monday, November 6, 2023
Nov. 8, 1950-Oct. 29, 2023
Mark George Moran died peacefully at his home on Oct. 29, 2023. He was 72. Mark battled a variety of health issues over the last year and a half, exhibiting a tenacity and a will to live that was truly inspiring to family and friends.
Mark was born in Chicago, IL on Nov. 8, 1950, the first of four sons born to William F. Moran and Violette Tillman Moran. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Theater Arts at Blackburn College in Carlinville, IL in 1972.
Mark was extremely talented, which manifested itself in his love and appreciation for music and the theater. He was a kind soul with a fast wit and had a “live and let live” approach to life.
He was a professional pianist most of his adult life. Unlike his other brothers, Mark relished the weekly piano lessons his mother required and they paid big dividends. For over twenty years and right up until his death, Mark provided accompaniment for the Grand Rapids School of the Ballet, as well as Hope College’s dance department. He also played keyboards for The Rhythm Section Jazz Band, a Grand Rapids-based group that gigs all over Michigan.
Mark was an actor from the day he was born. In grammar school plays and the first-class high school productions at Luther South High School in Chicago, Mark was in his element. He met his wife, Frances, when he landed his dream role as Henry Higgins at Grand Rapids Civic Theatre in 1986, and together and separately, they contributed to many local productions both on and off stage.
Mark owned an extensive collection of vintage sheet music, an archive he spent years developing and maintaining. He was proficient at playing various styles of music, with jazz as his first love. He hated attempting the music of Chopin…” I don’t have that many fingers!”.
Mark is survived by his wife, Frances Gentile, of Grand Rapids; brothers David (Karen) Moran of Dowagiac, MI; James (Kathi) Moran of Waterford, MI; nieces Carol Moran, Karen Haehnel, Mary Ibanez, Kelsey Ramsbottom, and Jeanne Moran; nephews William F. Moran, III, John Moran and David Moran. He was preceded in death by his parents, and brothers William F. Moran, Jr. and Don Moran.
Arsulowicz Brothers Funeral Home in Grand Rapids is handling arrangements for the family. Cremation has taken place and there will no immediate formal proceedings. A celebration of Mark’s life will take place in Grand Rapids in spring 2024.