April 1, 2009

Mark Kistner
Beloved Instructor and World Traveler

On April 1, 2009, we lost a beloved friend in the diving world to a brain aneurism. Mark loved the outdoors and all that it encompassed embracing every sport he could.

As an attorney, Mark practiced family law, but that was not all. Mark was also a firefighter for the Metamora Volunteer Fire Department, a licensed Sea Captain for the Wreck Diver – St. Ignass and The Intrepid, and a member and past president of the Michigan Underwater Preserves for the Great Lakes.

A diver for over 15 years and an Instructor for over 10 years, Mark’s best friend, Chris Colombo stated, “If Mark wasn’t teaching diving, he was diving with him.” Mark and Chris traveled the world enjoying the wonders of the underwater world and all it has to offer.

Chris shared the fact that Mark never drank, smoked and never touched drugs but was full of life and energy that never stopped. A dive story which Chris shared involves meeting for a scuba class at Portage Quarry on a Friday evening. When Chris and Siede arrived, they noticed a single line of bubbles coming up from the platform. They put on their gear to check on Mark and found him sound asleep on the platform! He came up and said, “I knew you guys were coming so I wasn’t worried – I thought I would catch a quick nap before class.”

Another story – the year 2000. Under Michigan’s Mackinac Bridge lies a shipwreck, the Cedarville, which is over 500 feet long. Three wreck divers went inside, but only two came out yelling that they lost one inside. With no hesitation, Mark, wearing only a bathing suit and tank, jumped into the freezing water diving to 70 feet to find the diver. He found him with his head hanging out of a port hole and out of air. Mark swam to him, shared air for over a half an hour, still wearing only a swimsuit, until the other divers found him and was able to bring him up. Mark never mentioned the story to Chris, but instead Chris read about it in the papers. That was the kind of man Mark was – he always did the right thing without hesitation.

Mark is survived by his loving mother, Ann, and sister, Cindy.

Someone once said, “The best way to live life is to give away the things we need.” Mark gave away all the things he needed, and all of us got what we needed from him.

Mark will be greatly missed by all.


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