Mark James O’Leary, 65, tragically passed away in a motorcycle accident in Pacific Beach on a beautiful and sunny Friday afternoon, November 18th, 2022.
Mark was born in Poughkeepsie and raised in Millbrook, NY. He graduated in 1975 from Our Lady of Lourdes High School. After earning his BS in Electrical Engineering, Cum Laude, from SUNY at Buffalo, and experiencing the great blizzard of ’77, he headed to California on his Norton Commando. For almost 20 years he worked primarily in the defense industry in Los Angeles, also taking a brief break to enlist in infantry in the US marine reserves. He moved to San Diego in 1996 where he went on to specialize in communications systems engineering, earn his MEng from UCSD, and author several patents. Throughout his career, spanning over 42 years, he was a well respected professional.
He was a quiet and wise man. From childhood Mark was an avid reader with an inquiring and brilliant mind. In the years, he collected a healthy library of books on a multitude of subjects and always approached each topic of interest with an open mind, formulating his own opinions and conclusions only based on where logic would take him. Mark had great intellectual courage and was never one to accept consensus without a challenge; he was quite independently minded. His family very much misses the many thought provoking and irreplaceable conversations he would initiate, and also his encyclopedic knowledge.
Mark was also adventurous, loved the outdoors and had a passion for health and physical fitness. Over the years he had been a rock climber conquering spots like Lily Rock in Idyllwild, a runner, fondly remembered by the neighbors who would see him zip by on his daily routine, and a hiker accompanying his wife, Liz, on miles and miles and miles of mountain trails. Mark had always owned sport bikes to commute, and with Liz, also a motorcyclist, they rode every twisty around San Diego County and did track days at Willow Springs. Later on, to ride with his son, Michael, he bought dirt bikes and together they went to have fun on desert and mountain trails . Most recently, he got started bicycle riding and was very much enjoying this new sport. He was very proud of the ease with which he could enjoy so many activities.
Mark was a kind and noble soul, who doted on his family. He was a loving husband and companion, and a proud father. Most of all, he was nowhere close to being done with life and is sorely missed by his wife, Elisabetta (Liz) Fogu, his son, Michael Terrence, and his step son David Edward Pierce. He is survived by his sister Jeanne Campbell and her husband Robert, brother John and his wife Nancy, nephews Sean Campbell, Robert Campbell, Brendan O’Leary and niece Shannon Planck. Also mourning his untimely passing are his sister-in-law Cristina Fogu and her husband Antonio Satta, brother-in-law Alberto Fogu and his wife Giuseppina and mother-in-law Anita Baum, all from Sardinia, Italy. He was predeceased by his parents Patrick and Gladys O’Leary and his brother Patrick O’Leary.
Arrangements were entrusted to Pacific Beach – La Jolla Chapel in San Diego.