Mark H. Biddle

A few thoughts on Mark.

Most memorial thoughts flow towards the beneficent deceased. In Mark’s case, the thoughts are not so positive because those still here would like answers as to why he killed his former wife and then took his own life. I believe he bore a lot of trouble from his upbringing that might be the root of his demise.

Mark lived across the hall freshman year. He was a pleasant guy, without a lot of worldly experience, who relied on his family for most of his advice on life. I recall our arranging a party and Mark having to check with his mom to see if he should go to the party.

I bumped into Mark a few times during my working career in Chicago, and he was much the same. He worried about his place in life and whether he was doing the right thing. He seemed caught in the trap of working for a big law firm and wasn’t sure if there was an alternative.

Then he seemed to change. He left the big law firm and seemingly found happiness in a small boutique law firm. Unfortunately, his wife wanted out of a failed marriage (he had married the right girl from the right family as per his family’s wishes). The divorce was a difficult one.  Still, he seemed happy with a new wife and his children.

I have to think his background and family contributed to whatever it was that made him snap when he took his former wife’s life and then his own.

Jim Hartman

Mark Biddle and I were both students and admirers of George Wilson Pierson, Professor of History and Historian of the University.  Mark used to ride his bike out to Mount Carmel where Pierson lived; Mark and I enjoyed sharing thoughts about him. Later, Mark worked for the Campaign for Yale while I worked in the Beinecke Library. I regret his passing.

William Keller

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