Mark Orion Hobgood of Indian Head, Maryland passed away suddenly on April 2, 2022 while on vacation with his wife, Jean Smith Hobgood. He was sixty-one years old. Mark and Jean were entering their fourth month on a cruise around the world: the trip of a lifetime celebrating their retirement and their life together. Their trip had been years in the planning, and Mark documented their travels extensively on his blog. Although Mark passed away at sea he disembarked in Jordan the next day, ending his journey in the Holy Land he had long waited to see.
Mark was born in Detroit, Michigan on July 14, 1960 to the late Clyde Novell Hobgood and the late Elsie Morgan Hobgood. Mark was the first—and only—Hobgood born north of the Mason-Dixon line, his parents and elder siblings having left their native Alabama to join the bustling auto industry. His late sister Moselle and brothers Rodney and the late Ronald remained close their entire lives, keeping in touch even as life scattered them across different states.
Mark grew up in the frequent company of his best friend and partner in crime, the late Bill Morrison. Their exploits included an ill-fated road trip to Mexico and a camping trip where they awoke buried beneath a foot of snow. Mark would eventually follow his roots to the south, earning a Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering from Auburn University of Alabama in 1982 and a second Bachelors of Science in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1997.
After college, Mark followed in his brothers’ and father’s footsteps and joined the United States military. Denied recruitment to the Navy because of an old medical condition, Mark was the first of his family to serve in the Marine Corps. His tour of duty included time spent stationed in Okinawa and South Korea, although he would joke that the only combat he saw was in a training exercise when their Korean allies ‘assaulted’ the wrong hill. Mark served on active duty for three years, advancing to the rank of Captain before joining the reserves.
Mark met Jean Smith while working as a civilian contractor for the Department of Defense at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren, Virginia. Both Mark and Jean were involved in a community theater production and after a rocky start in which Mark asked her on a date while forgetting her name they married on April 14, 1990 in the Dahlgren chapel. Mark and Jean have two children: son Michael and daughter Amanda.
Mark remained an active member of his community his entire life, serving as assistant scoutmaster in local Boy Scout Troop 253, for which he published a cookbook, as a Sunday school teacher, and as deacon of Indian Head Baptist Church. He was an avid ukulele player, recording and publishing many songs to his YouTube Channel and enjoyed performing at family gatherings, at celebrations, and any other moment when he could find the time.
Mark is survived by his wife Jean, son Michael and his wife Christina (Benitscheck) Hobgood, daughter Amanda and her husband Tim Wilmot, a collection of grand cats, and one grand dog. His memory is perhaps best summarized by one of his favorite quotes: “A noble spirit embiggens the smallest men.” Mark Hobgood was larger than life, and his spirit remains embiggening even now.
A viewing will be held at the funeral home on Wednesday, April 20, 2022 from 5:00 to 7:00 PM.
A second viewing will be held at Indian Head Baptist Church on Saturday, April 23, 2022 from 10:00 AM until noon. At noon, a memorial service will be held at the same location with a potluck lunch to follow.