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A life of promise cut short by tragic bicycle collision

Mark James Martinez Angeles ’15

A picture of Mark Angeles

Mark Angeles ’15 volunteering at Lane Community School in 2013 Daniel Cronin

Mark James Martinez Angeles ’15, May 27, 2015, in Portland, from head trauma.

Mark was killed when a tow truck struck his bicycle just nine days after he graduated from Reed. Professors and friends described him as a dedicated student who was passionate about chemistry, cycling, and community service. “Mark brought all his gifts to the Reed chemistry department: his intelligence, hard work, and discipline could penetrate any topic, a huge heart that could lift any classmate, and a deep laugh that melted away sadness,” writes Prof. Alan Shusterman [chemistry 1989–]. “My chemistry colleagues and I loved having Mark in our classes, as a student, a scholar, and a friend.”

Mark wrote his thesis on the role of organometallic catalysts in neutralizing toxic pollution with Prof. Sarah Kliegman ’02 [chemistry 2014–]. He dedicated it to the late Prof. Maggie Geselbracht [chemistry 1993–2014], who introduced him to “the beauty and wonder present in science, mathematics, and the natural world.”

Mark cut a distinctive figure on campus. He ran the Bike Co-op; served as a Paideia czar; sang with Reed’s a cappella group, the Herodotones; and was a house adviser.

He was also deeply committed to serving the community. He volunteered as a mentor for underprivileged youth at Lane Middle School with Reed’s SEEDS program. He fixed bikes for free and taught bike safety to kids in northeast Portland. “Mark excelled at connecting with others and building community and also inspiring people to push their own boundaries,” says Meredith Dickinson, program manager for SEEDS.

“Giving to the community and to those around me has always been part of who I am,” he wrote in a thank-you letter to the donor who provided the scholarship that made it possible for him to attend Reed. “I am extraordinarily thankful for this opportunity, and hope I can pay it forward in the future—both to the Reed community and the world at large.”

“Mark represents among the best in us,” writes his family. “He was smart, witty, passionate, and driven, but at the same time incredibly thoughtful and loving. He made it his mission every single day to simply love people, in whatever way he could. He always saw the good in other people, even when all they could see was bad. He was a true and unique light to this world, and he will be sorely missed.”

Survivors include his parents; a sister; and a multitude of grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews.

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Honor Mark's memory with a gift to the Mark Angeles ’15 Memorial Fellowship, established by his family to continue Mark’s legacy of volunteerism and commitment to physical engagement as a component of service.

Appeared in Reed magazine: September 2015

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