Award-winning journalist and long-time Texas State University spokesperson Mark Steven Hendricks, whose worldly understanding produced a rare clarity of writing, died Tuesday, January 3, in San Marcos at the age of 63.
Mark was born on June 10, 1953, in Spokane, Wash. He was preceded in death by his father, Col. Clayton V. Hendricks. Mark grew up on and around various military bases, including the Marine Corps Air Station at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. Mark attended high school in Virginia, graduating from Annandale High School in Annandale, Virginia in 1971.
After a “colorful” academic career in which he received letters from five universities advising him that his “services as a student were no longer needed,” he made his way to San Marcos and graduated from Texas State University in 1981 with a degree in journalism. Mark liked to boast that he managed to parlay those academic experiences into a quarter-century long career in higher education.
Besides being a gifted writer and a great story-teller, Mark had a sly but self-deprecating sense of humor, and his many friends and family will miss those epic evenings of conversation and laughter.
Mark’s first job in journalism was as a reporter and then news editor at the Laredo News, owned by the Tony Sanchez family. He soon returned to San Marcos, where he worked as a city and news reporter for the San Marcos Daily Record for nearly a decade before starting a 25-year career as the spokesperson for Texas State University and the Director of Media Relations and Publications, until his retirement in 2014.
Mark married Rebecca Averyt in 1983, and they had two children, Patrick Clayton and DeLynn Victoria. Mark was very involved in their lives, from Little League and band contests to college and beyond. Among his proudest moments were walking DeLynn down the aisle at her wedding and witnessing Patrick walk the stage to receive his undergraduate degree from the University of Texas.
On April 17, 2004, Mark married Diana Becker Finlay and they made their two families one. His parental pride grew to include HalleyAnna, Sterling and Jenni as well. Mark and Diana enjoyed traveling, visiting Kaua’i multiple times, exploring the Mississippi Blues Trail, and enjoying the good life on the Florida and Texas Gulf Coasts, the Delbert McClinton Cruise, and countless concerts and live musical events.
Mark was also especially close to Barkley, the rescue dog he and Diana adopted from PAWS in 2014. He wrote essays about Barkley and some of their experiences, and often argued that it was truly Barkley who rescued him.
While Diana wishes she could have had forty more years with him, they truly lived happily ever after, enjoying every single day of their life together. This year, as Diana finished writing the Delbert McClinton biography, One of the Fortunate Few, Mark agreed that he, too, was among the fortunate few in this world.
Survivors include the great love of his life, wife Diana Finlay Hendricks; mother Mary Kading Hendricks; children DeLynn Hendricks Mitchell and Paul Mitchell and grandchildren Nora and Caitlin Mitchell of Katy, Texas; Patrick Hendricks of San Marcos, Texas; Jenni Finlay and Clay McNeill of Austin, Texas; Sterling Finlay and granddaughter Annie Finlay of Martindale, Texas; HalleyAnna Finlay and Dustin Welch of Martindale and Wimberley; former wife, Rebecca Averyt of Canyon Lake; sister Vicki Bruner and her children Jordan and Barry Bruner Jr.; faithful companion, Barkley; and numerous other relatives and dear friends.
A celebration of Mark’s life will be held Sunday, January 22, 2017, at the Texas State University End Zone Complex at Bobcat Football Stadium in San Marcos from 3 to 5 p.m. Donations may be made in Mark’s name to the PAWS Shelter in Kyle or the Center for Texas Music History at Texas State University.
A memorial webpage is being developed at www.MarkHendricksTribute.com. The family invites friends to visit the site and leave comments.