Mark David Serafin, along with his twin sister Marsha Jean, was born on October 5, 1952, at the New England Sanitarium and Hospital in Stoneham, MA. The proud parents were Lois and Frank Serafin. Not long after the birth of their third child, Carolyn Elaine, the young family moved to Glendale, CA, where their last child Stephen Michael was born. There the family remained throughout the four children’s school years.
Mark graduated from Glendale High School in 1970. He later earned a degree in microbiology from California State University at Los Angeles. He also completed the coursework for a master’s degree in microbiology at Cal State and took medical technologist training at the White Memorial Hospital in LA, finishing in 1979. Whole working as a medical technologist at Loma Linda University Hospital, he studied for a master’s degree in theology at La Sierra University. He finished all the coursework save for the thesis and became a Seventh-day Adventist pastor, a vocation he enjoyed for four years.
It was during his time as a pastor that Mark was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. He subsequently moved to Wasilla, Alaska, and resumed his career as a medical technologist at the Old Valley Hospital where he eventually became the Clinical Lab Manager, working for four and a half years until his disability made working impossible.
Mark identified a “great divide” in his life a pre- and post-disability. His pre- life was filled with outdoor pursuits. Camping, hiking, bicycling, and birdwatching were among the activities that brought him joy. In his post-disability life, he was confined to his bed, unable to complete common tasks unaided. This he bore with remarkable optimism and grace, treating those who visited with him to stories about his experiences and free doses of his wisdom.
Mark passed away on December 5, 2021, of complications from multiple sclerosis. He is survived by his siblings Marsha, Carolyn Buel, and Stephen; his children Jaime Leigh, Leilani Helena, Erin Renee, and Isaac Jonathan; two nephews Frank and Eric Walter; a grandnephew Marcus Walter; and a grandniece Xandria Walter.
Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!
Psalm 139:23-24 RSV