Obituary: Mark Jackson, 1955-2023 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Life Lines » Obituaries

Obituary: Mark Jackson, 1955-2023

Lake Champlain recovery diver and naval history buff was a dreamer, romantic, helper and nurturer

Published May 23, 2023 at 6:00 a.m.
Updated May 23, 2023 at 10:32 a.m.

Mark Jackson - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Mark Jackson

Mark Jackson, 68, of Ferrisburgh and previously Jericho, Vt., passed away on May 18, 2023, peacefully and surrounded by family, after a long illness.

Mark was born in Michigan but moved to Vermont with his parents and siblings when he was still very young. He grew up in Shelburne and attended Champlain Valley Union High School, graduating in just three years. He had a fascination with the history of the Revolutionary War, especially the naval battles held on Lake Champlain.

Mark was forever the dreamer. At a young age, he started Champlain Divers with his brother David, the first scuba diving business in the Burlington area. He was involved in numerous underwater projects, even searching for the mysterious missing Learjet in 1971. He discovered a “holy stone” during one of his dives, a shaped and banded block of sandstone that was used to scrub the decks of wooden ships. This was donated to and is on display at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. He continued these adventures later in life by starting another diving business, Marine Tech, and participating in multiple search and recoveries. In the 1990s, he heard the warnings and became an industry leader in zebra mussel protection even before they became prolific in Lake Champlain.

Mark was forever the romantic. He married his best friend, Alecia Pingree, in 1975. Together, they hiked New England and vacationed in Maine; Burton Island, Vt.; and Pompano Beach, Fla. Mark was never shy to show his affection for Alecia, routinely bringing home flowers for her. Together, and with the help of friends and family, they built a log cabin from scratch on land they purchased in the woods of Jericho.

Mark was forever the helper. He was well known in the community for always being willing to drop everything at a moment’s notice and lend assistance to someone in need. He spent countless hours in the community in this regard. On one occasion, he became aware of a veteran in dire straits and organized a complete apartment cleaning and renovation, finishing it over a single weekend.

Mark was forever a nurturer. As a loving dad and a father figure to many others, Mark demonstrated what it was to be a parent. He loved to act like a kid and play, even as he grew older. When his wife, Alecia, passed away after a courageous battle with breast cancer, he paid for a small number of family members and friends to take a remote vacation so they could have time away to grieve.

Mark spent his last remaining years living near Lake Champlain in Ferrisburgh. He enjoyed working on his boat and other projects. To those who knew him best, he will always be known as a dreamer. He leaves behind a large hole in the lives of his friends and family that will never be able to be filled.

His family would like to thank the staff of the Medical ICU at the University of Vermont Medical Center, especially RNs Kristin and Michael, who helped make his last days dignified and peaceful and brought much comfort to his family.

A nonreligious remembrance of Mark’s life, hosted by Roland and Cindy Ostrout, will be held June 10, 2 p.m., at Knight Point State Park, 44 Knights Point Rd., North Hero, VT. Instead of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Mark’s name.

Mark your family’s milestones in the newspaper and online with Seven Days:

births • graduations • weddings • anniversaries • obituaries


Add a comment

Seven Days moderates comments in order to ensure a civil environment. Please treat the comments section as you would a town meeting, dinner party or classroom discussion. In other words, keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.