Mark Rice was born January 25, 1950 and on February 21st at the intersection of Franklin Ave East and East Blaine he died of natural causes at the age of 67 years old.

When I heard this today my heart just dropped, so veryVERY sad to say goodbye to such a sweet man and goodGOOD friend. Mark was one of the first people I met when I moved my architecture office about seven years ago to the Fremont neighborhood.

Mark visited regularly, would come in and say something I did not hear or understand, and then, before I could ask what he had said, he would start laughing and then we would both be smiling.

Whenever Mark was in the office he was looking through piles of clothing donations, searching for JUST the right shirt, coat or hat; despite sleeping outside in the woods under the Aurora Bridge or other tucked away hidden places, often showing up with pieces of bark in his hair, still, he cared deeply how he dressed, always with a certain fashionable look, Mark was always beautiful.

It was clear too that Mark was a deep thinker, but when we would sit and talk, it was difficult for him to put more than a few sentences together that would stay connected, always it would end with him laughing and then sharing a thoughtful look.

Between all the confusion there were these beautiful insights; once while in the office Mark said, “Nature stays in tune, it is an embellishment to who and what we are, AND it is important to remember that it is nature that will get us out of trouble when we feel angry.”

One of the times Mark walked into the office and sat right down, which he didn’t usually do, you could tell his energy was a bit low and he was thinking about something. I asked him what was up and he said right away, “I need some new trappers.” Not knowing what those were I asked and he told me that they were shoes that could take you between worlds, that without them it gets too complicated, that he gets trapped, even the smartest can get trapped when life gets too crazy. He explained that by going between worlds he can find a place to be calm and get energy.

Another time he said, “I would like to get out and talk with more people but they are happy being with themselves.”

Maybe one of my favorite exchanges with Mark was when he came in one morning all smiles, I asked how last night went with sleeping under the bridge and he said, “It went good, on my back, looking up, waiting for the great trawler in the sky.” I wasn’t sure what he meant, so I asked if he was talking about God and he said no, just wishing I could be out on a fishing boat!

Mark wandered the streets of Fremont for all of the time I knew him; I heard Mark received housing a year or so ago, I’m not sure if it is true or not, I believe it is as I never saw him again.

Over the years I heard that Mark’s wanderings and campingOUT in the backs of properties was unsettling, a worry and bother to some. I just want to share how extremely beautiful I found this man, his gentle sensitive way was beyond endearing and his quick laugh and smile was enough for our friendship.

PLEASE CONSIDER JOINING Wheel & Women in Black on Wednesday, March 8th, from noon to 1 PM outside the Seattle Justice Center (5th/Cherry) where they will stand to honor and remember 22 beloved and not-forgotten people, one of which is our friend Mark Rice.

PEACE and LOVE to you Mark; happy fishing my dear friend.

Fremont neighborhood | Rex

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