Luther Whitfield Marks, III

L. Whit Marks, III


Luther Whitfield Marks III, —Whit, Dr. Marks, Shike, Dad, Daddy, Grandfather, Far-Far, Yé Ye (爷 爷) — born November 2, 1926, in Fairfax, OK. Died June 18, 2015 in Oklahoma City.  Second son of Luther W. Marks Jr. and Alice McCaulley Marks.

Attended Edmond Public Schools, graduating in 1945 from Edmond High School. Entered the Navy at the end of WWII. Married Willa Mae Larkin June 10, 1948. Graduated from Central State College (now University of Central Oklahoma), and the University of Oklahoma where he earned a PhD in Physics. Established the Department of Physics at CSC in 1955. Served as department chairman, International Student Advisor, faculty advisor to the Baptist Student Union. He was active in Kiwanis, civic affairs including Edmond Economic Development, and was a long-time member of Highland Park Baptist Church.

Survived by wife Willa, daughter Martha Dixon (husband Brad), son Randy (wife Sharon Astrin), daughter Marian Payne (husband Ronnie), and son Jonathan (wife Shana), 12 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren; brothers John, Freddie (Winona), Frank (Janette), numerous cousins, nieces, nephews. Preceded in death by mother Alice, father Luther, sister Martha Louise Sanders, sisters-in-law Leta and Laura Lee, and brother-in-law Bill.

He is mourned by many former students around the world who called him Dad. Whit was a man full of faith who loved Jesus, and was known for his keen mind, his tireless energy in helping others, and his love of family. He was devoted to the development of UCO where he taught for 45 years and pursued research in solar energy and hydrogen energy. He enjoyed gardening, writing, and puzzling, passing on to his children, and even more to his grandchildren, a passion for crossword and jigsaw puzzles.

 In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the UCO Dr. Whit Marks Endowed Physics Scholarship Fund or the Wycliff Bible Translators.

 A Memorial Service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 24, 2015, at the UCO Ballroom. Services are under the direction of Matthews Funeral Home in Edmond.

9 thoughts on “Luther Whitfield Marks, III”

  1. Ron Little

    A mentor and Christian friend, we will miss you for a short time, see you later in heaven.

  2. So sorry for your loss. Whit was a scholar and Christian mentor for us and so many more. His legacy will live on and heaven rejoiced to welcome him. Thanks for the founding of Highland Park Baptist Church! Love and prayers,
    The Rhodes family

  3. Virginia Kleeman Gregory Pahdocony

    I remember Whit from my days at Central State from 1958 to 1960. He was a kind and caring professor and friend to me and many of my friends. It was even better when I later learned he was related to some of my friends named Holmes. Sending sincere sympathy to all the family.

  4. Suzanne Lillard

    Dr. Marks was a friend to students and the Baptist Collegiate Ministry (Baptist Student Union). He had a loving ministry to international students.
    He wanted students to understand that he was eager to help them in the process of their education. He said, “If students would just come to me when they don’t understand something, I can help them. If they wait until final grades come out, that’s too late.” He was truly an educator.

  5. Elizabeth Bailey Kastl

    Dear Willa and Family,
    Thinking of you and sending my deepest sympathy. Whit leaves such an amazing legacy of dedication and caring for your family as well as his UCO family. May memories of good times shared be of special comfort to you.

  6. Dear Willa, so sorry to learn of Whit,s passing. We have such fond memories of time spent with the two of you. He was a very special man and touched a lot of lives through the years. He will be missed. We pray God’s comfort for you and your family. Jerry and June Pierce

  7. Whit Marks had a huge, positive, and productive impact on the academic community, Christian community, and to an infinite number of family members, friends, and students – throughout the world. A brilliant man! I have to say that his charisma and creativity were among the traits that made those around him stay motivated. Whit helped me develop a research program in photovoltaics (solar energy derived from plant organelle isolations) – with incredibly ingenious ideas. I will be forever thankful that Dr. Marks touched my life, and many others, with science that will change the future of the world. He will long be remembered!!

  8. So very sorry to hear of Dr. Marks passing. He served all of use so well at the BSU. He might have been the reason I got out in four years. There was never a problem he would not undertake for us studends. I was so blessed that he was a part of my life. But I will always remember his teaching, trips, sugar popcorn, noonday and homecoming floats.

  9. Aisha-Kimberly Hashmi-Taylor

    My second father. Dr. Marks worked with my father, Ed Taylor, in the Physics Dept. at CSU, now UCO. I will forever mourn his loss. He really was a father g=figure to me, even more so at the time my father passed away, then again when my murdered sister and her 6 year old daughters bodies were found in 2013, he was right there by my side to offer emotional support and comfort. I will never forget the gentle, compassionate and empathetic man who touched so many, loved with a true and fierce loyalty and that I was so humbled to have as a mentor, father figure and above all, a loving, trusted friend that even my children loved as a grandfather, To have him taken from us has been so hard, and I am just coming to grips with the loss. I love you, miss you and think of you often, daddy and Dr. Marks, both of you meant everything to me.

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