Richard Kent Marks (O.D. ’70)

Richard Kent Marks, OD, 77, born to Lucille and Leslie Marks on November 6, 1942, in Sheldon, Iowa, passed away of natural causes on April 15, 2020.

Due to the current health situation in the world, there will not be an open ceremony.

Richard is survived by his older sister Judy Lutzi, his three younger brothers Steve, Wesley, Russell, and Richard’s former wife Susan. Richard has three children: Kelby, Marla and Staci, as well as three granddaughters: Natalia, Gabriela, and Tayler. He was proud of the family that he and Susan loved and supported together.

Richard spent most of his early life growing up between Nebraska and Kansas before graduating from the Kansas State Teacher’s College in Emporia in 1966. Later on, he finished his Optometry Doctorate at the University of Houston in 1970 and moved to Derby, Kan., where he established a widely respected and successful 45-year optometry practice.

He was a dedicated and active member in the United Methodist Church, the Kansas Optometric Association, The Optimist Club, and a founder of the Derby Running Club. In all of these organizations he served in leadership and presidential roles over the years. He often talked about his time working on the railroad through college and maintained a fascination with trains all his life. He had a great admiration for his Nebraska roots and his family’s Nebraska/German genealogy. He loved to go on road trips through Kansas and Nebraska looking for remnants of the Santa Fe Trail or to locate small Marks family cemeteries and homesteads. He was a marathon runner. He was an accomplished photographer. He was a fervent Jayhawk basketball fan. He LOVED pie – he would frequently drive 50 miles just to get his favorite rhubarb pie.

He was diagnosed with Frontotemporal Degeneration (FTD) in 2016, and his cognitive and physical health began to fade. At that point, he finally retired and spent more time with his closest friends and family. He eventually moved to Bogota, Colombia, where he spent the better part of a year living with his son, Kelby and two of his granddaughters, Gabriela and Natalia. When his health required more constant and professional care, he moved to San Diego, Calif., where he was able to have more visits and time with his two daughters and granddaughter, Tayler, until he passed away.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD):

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