Died peacefully at St. Clare’s Hospital on January 17th, aged 90, Mark Genge, surrounded in his final hours by his wife and five daughters.
Mark was born in St. John’s to devoted parents Lambert and Lily Genge (formerly of Flower’s Cove). He was predeceased by his brothers Nelson, Tony, Bruce, and Dave.
Mark graduated from Bishop Field College and worked at the family grocery business and as a mechanic prior to entering Queen’s College to train as an Anglican minister. He was ordained priest in 1952. He subsequently studied at Durham University in England, graduating with a BA and MA in theology. In 1984 he was awarded an honorary doctorate from King’s College, Halifax.
He spent two years as vice-principal of Queen’s College. Through his many years as deacon and priest, he served in several areas of our province – St. John’s, Corner Brook, Stephenville, Conception Bay South, southern Labrador, Burgeo/Ramea/Grey River, and South River/Port de Grave. He also served in Marbleton, QC and Toronto.
In 1973 he was appointed provincial Secretary of the Canadian Bible Society, which brought him to countless communities throughout the island and Labrador. In 1975 he was elected the first Anglican Bishop of Central Newfoundland and served tirelessly until 1990. Known to everyone as Bishop Mark, he was a true spiritual shepherd. He will always be admired for his down-to-earth goodwill, his humour and story-telling, his willingness to devote himself to the myriad of concerns of all the parishes he served. Among his foremost initiatives, acting on his strong personal conviction, was advocating for the ordination of women.
Bishop Mark played a leading role in the early days of the Cursillo movement in the province. After his retirement, he strapped on rollerblades and undertook a fundraising campaign to revitalize Queen’s College as a training facility for men and women called to the Anglican ministry. In his late 60s, he crossed the island on rollerblades, and later made separate trips to cover the Great Northern, Burin and Bonavista Peninsulas. He voyaged through southern Labrador by snowmobile to complete his campaign. The public attention landed him on the cover of The Globe and Mail, in rollerblades and full bishop regalia.
For several years after retirement he volunteered as chaplain of Queen’s, as well as continuing to bring pastoral care to the sick and shut-in. He was a dear friend and counselor to countless people over the years. He will be forever remembered for his sincerity, his grace infused with a playful wit, and more than a few practical jokes. He lived his life as a true Christian, an inspiration to all who knew him.
Mark is survived by Maxine (Major), his wife of 58 years. Their marriage was one of enduring love and devotion, of understanding and support for the direction of each other’s path through life. Love and concern for family and friends surpassed all other aspects of their years together. With him during his final days were his daughters Angela, Stephanie, Michele, Margot, and Christine. With him always are also his son-in laws Greg Gomes, Scott Wilson, Anton Scamvougeras, and Scott Ackwood, and grandchildren Rebekah, Joshua, Kendra and Marcus; Nathan, Shelby, Molly, Abby and Maggie; Adam, Jacob and Kate; Nicole, Hannah and Grace, together with the extended Genge and Major families.
Visitation will be at Carnell’s Funeral Home, 329 Freshwater Road on Friday, January 19th at 10-12, 2-4, and 7-9. The funeral service will take place at St. Mark’s Anglican Church, Logy Bay Road on Saturday, January 20th, at 11 am. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Queen’s College.
Now it is our turn to pass to Mark his favourite blessing, the one he rendered to so many individuals and gatherings over his many wonderful years with us:
The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be amongst you Mark, and remain with you always.
Carnell’s Funeral Home
329 Freshwater Road
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St. Mark's Anglican Church
203 Logy Bay Rd, St. John's