In Memoriam–Dr. Sandy Marks

Former UNC School of Dentistry faculty member, DR. SANDY COLE MARKS, Sr., died on Tuesday, November 08, 2005, just days short of his 95th birthday.

Sandy Marks was born on November 20, 1910, in Apex, North Carolina. He was the eighth of ten children of Alexander Hamilton and Mary Luola Avent Marks. After graduating from Acme Delco High School, he went to Davidson College in Davidson, NC, for two years, and then to Atlanta Southern Dental College in Atlanta, GA. Following his graduation from Dental School in 1933, he returned to Wilmington, NC, where he opened a dental practice.

In 1936, he married Katherine “Kitty” Stuart Woods, a registered nurse in Wilmington, NC. They had three children, Sandy Cole, Jr. (Julia), Stuart (Martha), and Katie.

In 1948, Dr. and Mrs. Marks went to the mission field as missionaries in the Belgian Congo with the American Presbyterian Congo Mission. While there, Dr. Marks was instrumental in starting a Dental School to train Congolese dental nurses. When Congo became independent in 1960, the Marks family was evacuated to Southern Rhodesia (what is now Zimbabwe). As the legal representative of the Presbyterian Mission, Dr. Marks went back to Congo while Mrs. Marks and Katie returned to the United States.

After Dr. Marks came home the following year, he entered the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received his M.S. in Pedodontics in 1963. After two years on the staff at Howard University, he returned and taught at the UNC School of Dentistry until his retirement in 1976. Following his retirement from UNC, he became more involved with the Medical Benevolence Foundation and the opening of a post-graduate clinic for training dental graduates in Zaire (former Belgian Congo).

There were numerous trips to Zaire during this time and he was usually accompanied by his faithful wife, Kitty. In 1997, in recognition of his life achievements, Dr. Marks was inducted into the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem Knights Hospitaller as a Knight of Merit. The last 10+ years of his life were spent at Glenaire in Cary, North Carolina.

His wife, a son, Sandy Marks, Jr., and a grandson, Mark Sawyer, preceded him in death.

He leaves a son, Stuart (Martha) Marks; a daughter, Katie Sawyer; a daughter-in-law, Julia Westberg Marks; two sisters, “Gee” Myers and Louise Slack; a sister-in-law, Nancy Marks. He also leaves eight grandchildren, Christine (Jeff) Anderson and Sandy (Lisa) Marks, Stephan Marks and Jon (Cara) Marks, and Will (Amy Di La Marra) Sawyer, Kathy (Eric Swanson) Sawyer, Liz (Abby McCarron) Sawyer, and Jesse Sawyer; and seven great- grandchildren.

A graveside service, led by the Rev. William Lovell, will be held at Oakdale Cemetery in Wilmington on Saturday, November 12 at 2 p.m.

Memorials may be made in his memory to the Medical Benevolence Foundation, PO Box 770636, Houston, Texas, 77215-0636, or to the Dental Foundation of NC, Office of the Dean, ATTN: Kelly Almond, 1090 Old Dental Bldg CB #7450, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7450, indicating on the check that this is for the SANDY MARKS FELLOWSHIP FUND.

Arrangements by Capital Funeral Home & Cremation Society, Raleigh, NC.