Sky Scene 06

Mark Jay Wolfson

January 21, 1947 ~ December 18, 2023 (age 76) 76 Years Old

Mark Wolfson Obituary

Mark Jay Wolfson, 76, a resident of Henderson, NV, passed away in a Las Vegas hospice on
December 18th, 2023 with his family by his side. Mark was born in New York in January 1947
to Stanley and Beatrice Wolfson.

His lifetime best friend, Joe, says, "in his high school and college years he was talented at most
everything he pursued. Mark was a great dancer, played folk guitar, and could have been an
Olympic fencer. Mark loved photography, his eye for framing and composition served him well
in the broadcast industry."

Mark attended Southern Illinois University, earning a B.S. in Radio and Television Broadcasting.
While at SIU he took up flying and earned his pilots license, years later achieving his instrument
rating as well. After graduating Mark did a stint in the Army National Guard.

His first job offer came in 1972 from KAET, the Phoenix PBS station located at Arizona State.
There he produced and directed educational and entertainment programming. While there he
began playing racquetball, a sport at which he excelled and would keep him fit for the rest of his
life. Also, while there, he met his wife of forty-eight years, Nina. They married in 1975 and one
year later moved to Los Angeles to pursue their dreams.

Once in LA, Mark quickly landed a job with a start up pay TV service called ONTV and began
producing and directing live sports telecasts. A forty-six-year award winning career in live
television was born.

He started out directing their Dodger telecasts, then was assigned Lakers basketball, LA Aztec
soccer and USC events. His coverage of key horse races from Santa Anita won two Eclipse
Awards for Outstanding Coverage of Thoroughbred Racing, and his Dodger coverage began
winning LA area Emmys. When cable arrived and ONTV folded he was hired by KTTV to continue
covering the Dodgers.

Mark felt it an honor to travel with the Dodgers for sixteen years. One of his all-time fondest
memories was suiting up at spring training and taking batting practice with the team. He loved
"the silent drama of baseball," and the innovation he brought to the telecasts won him several
more LA Emmy Awards. KTTV also gave him the opportunity to direct live entertainment, the
1991 Rose Parade one of his favorites.

In 1988 NBC called Mark to direct the diving coverage of the XXIV Olympiad in Seoul, Korea. He
was thrilled for the challenge and added a national Emmy to his collection.

When FOX took over the KTTV in 1992, the Dodger telecasts moved to a rival station and Mark
moved to KRON in San Francisco, as Executive Producer/Director of the Oakland A's telecasts.
San Jose Earthquakes soccer and Sacramento Kings basketball also added to his resume.

Meanwhile, baby girl, Rachel, was born in 1993 adding devoted father to his list of
accomplishments.

In 2010 Mark moved to Pac 12. Basketball, football, gymnastics, track and field, swimming and
diving, volleyball, baseball, and softball, plus championship meets in track and field, swimming
and gymnastics concluded his career. He was well pleased when his UCLA gymnastics special,
"Farewell to Val" earned him his final Bay Area Emmy.

His younger brother, Andy, remembers Mark as a most loving and caring brother. Mark
introduced him to many interests they'd share for a lifetime, such as photography, playing
guitar, fencing, high end audio, and computers. Due to Mark's love of technology, in 1976 when
Apple introduced the first personal computer, he was an early adopter. He and Andy joined a
pioneering online computer service and were emailing each other in 1983, the year the internet
was born.

Along the way Mark made many career-long friends whom his family would like to thank for
their messages of support and stories previously unheard.

"My best memory of Mark was just after the "Daredevil Duo," a motorbike jumping contest that
he worked his ass off for. He was excited for it, but he was even more excited when he came
home and found you pregnant with Rachel. I didn't think he could be that excited, but he was."
- Dennis Kirkpatrick

"Mark was always forward thinking and willing to try new things. That willingness to experiment
and push the boundaries was something I truly appreciated.... Mark was sneaky good at so many
things and those talents would appear out of nowhere. One night in a sports bar in Anaheim,
some of the A's players were shooting pool when A's broadcaster, Greg Papa, challenged Mark
to a game. And wouldn't you know it, Mark was a bit of a shark, running the table... Typical
Mark, sneaky good when you least expect it. The joy on his face that night was something I will
never forget."
- David Feldman

"A man of impeccable attention to detail and incredible passion for life.... The two examples that
stand out to me were when Mark was repeatedly kicking my ass on a racquetball court, with a
smile on his face, and how he lit up while working production at the stables of Santa Anita.
Passionate in the pursuit of excellence. I'm so lucky to have had him as my mentor and great
friend.
- Scott Solky

"Renaissance man" is a term often used to describe Mark. He was a voracious reader who loved
the theatre and traveling, with a special fondness for Japan. He was an amateur magician, a
ham radio enthusiast, an audiophile since his teens, and a computer wizard always hungry to
get his hands on the newest technology, both at work and at home. More recently he'd developed a deep appreciation for English Premier League football, Arsenal his team. His concern for the kind of world we are leaving our children spurred him to pen Letters to the Editors of the Las Vegas newspapers, several published. Mark was a generous, funny, and loving husband, and a patient, extremely proud father. He is sorely missed.

Mark often said he was lucky to have been around during the golden age of televised sports.
Not many people can say they truly enjoyed their decades long career. Mark did.

He remained an avid racquetball player into his seventies, his fitness no doubt contributing to
the length he was able to fight what lay ahead. With metastasized cancer diagnosed in Sept of
2021, he battled chemo right up until the day he passed.

Survived by his wife, Nina, daughter, Rei (pronounced Ray-Japanese spelling of Rachel), his
brother, Andy, sister-in-laws, Sonia and Val, niece, Christa, nephew, Josh and their families, dear
cousins, Neenan, Gina, and Andi, and the most recent addition to Mark's family, puppy Suki, whom he
dearly loved. 

Mark's doctor and valued friend, Dr. Ren Yu Zhang, was one of the last people to visit him in the
hospital. He believes Suki is Mark's spirit.

As per his wishes there will be no formal memorial service, however, an informal celebration of
his life will be planned at his home in the coming months.

In lieu of flowers, his family has set up a Memorial Fund to benefit Sonia "Sunnie" Fromang, his
beloved sister-in-law and 24/7 on call registered nurse of 48 years. He would be so pleased to
know his passing could help her after she's spent a lifetime of selflessly helping others.

Donations are absolutely not expected, but are appreciated. 
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