Mark Joel Seals, of Columbia, beloved husband, father, grandfather, son, brother and friend to many, passed away unexpectedly but peacefully in the arms of his wife at the age of sixty-seven on the evening of January 9, 2023.
Born on November 18, 1955 in Gainesville, GA to Paul and Patsy Seals, Mark attended Gainesville High before enrolling in The Citadel where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. During his time at The Citadel, Mark met and fell in love with his soulmate, a College of Charleston girl from Greenwood, SC, Kathleen (Kathy) Baker, with whom he would share and devote the rest of his life.
After graduating from The Citadel in 1978 and promptly marrying Kathy, Mark’s sense of duty and obligation led him to serve the country he loved. He enlisted as an officer and spent the next four years stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in the U.S. Navy. During his service he toured the Pacific as a navigator aboard the USS Ashtabula and achieved the rank of Lieutenant. Following an honorable discharge from the Navy, Mark and Kathy moved to Charlotte, NC where they started their family and Mark embarked on his successful career in finance.
1982 was a big year, highlighted by the birth of their first child, Caroline, and his first job at a small bank named NCNB. Mark’s talents and efforts were instrumental to NCNB’s growth into what ultimately became Bank of America. In 1989, Mark and Kathy welcomed their second child, Mark (Jack) Jr. After fifteen years as the Managing Director in the Capital Markets Group at Bank of America, Mark and his family moved to Gainesville, GA in 2000, where he applied his talents to the operation and financing of several privately held companies. In 2004 Mark joined Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in Atlanta as a member of the Morgan Stanley Alternative Investments Advisory Council and, given his experience and knowledge, was designated Alternative Investment Director and Senior Vice President. To be closer to their growing family, Mark and Kathy moved to Columbia, SC in 2020, where he continued his career with Morgan Stanley.
Professionally, Mark possessed a keen financial mind, rational judgment and garnered the trust and respect of countless colleagues, clients and mentees throughout his career. He was blessed with the ability to simplify the complex, communicate clearly and perform at exceptional levels, all while maintaining the highest ethical standards and personal accountability.
Mark Seals was first and foremost a family man. He relished time spent with the ones he loved, especially at the Baker family farm and lake house where friends and family gathered for holidays, special occasions or just for the sake of being together. His family was the center of his universe, and he delighted in being present for all of their life experiences.
Friendships were also dear to Mark. He nurtured every relationship and possessed a natural, unique gift for making everyone he encountered feel comfortable, important and special. His interest in others, along with a keen intellect and gift for conversation, was genuine and true. Mark Seals never met a stranger and was always friendly, engaging, respectful and supportive.
Throughout his life, Mark enjoyed many hobbies and interests including woodworking, wingshooting, cycling, and fly fishing to name a few. All were mostly a means to an end; intentional opportunities created to share a good story and a laugh and to form new friendships.
Mark made the most of life. He never missed a chance to dance with his wife, take his grandchildren for a ride in his vintage jeep, fondly remember lost family members, share his celestial knowledge of the constellations on a clear night, or call just to say hello or offer sage advice in challenging times. He was humble, kind, generous, patient and a true gentleman. Never at a loss for the right words, Mark could always articulately deliver the most fitting toast, prayer or corny movie quote at just the right moment. Mark never took the people in his life for granted and cherished each moment, big or small. Mark will be sorely missed, but as a dear friend said, “none who knew him will ever forget that twinkle in his eyes and his sunny, warm smile.
Mark Seals is survived by his loving wife of forty-four years, Kathy Baker Seals; mother, Patsy McCullough Seals; sister Marianne Seals Winn and husband Rick Winn; his daughter Caroline Seals Williams and son-in-law Bertram (Tram) Williams IV; son Mark J. (Jack) Seals Jr. and daughter-in-law, Anna Scott Ferree Seals; and grandchildren Baker Williams, Sutton Williams and Mark Seals III.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, January 20, 2023 at Eastminster Presbyterian Church, 3200 Trenholm Road, Columbia, SC 29204. Shives Funeral Home, Trenholm Road Chapel
In Lieu of flowers, the family asks that gifts be made in honor of Mark Seals to the Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital in Charleston, SC. musckids.org
Memories and condolences may be shared at ShivesFuneralHome.com
Posted in: Charlotte Observer
Posted on: 2023-01-16
Link to original obituary: https://www.legacy.com/us/obituaries/indexjournal/name/mark-seals-obituary?id=38643742