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Mark Watkins Gee, 79, formerly of East Greenwich, died peacefully surrounded by loving family on Thursday, June 23, while residing at The Lighthouse at Lincoln. Born in Boston, he was the son of Charles McQueen and Matilda Moulton Gee, and brother to Cynthia Gee de Monbrison of Paris, France; Charles McQueen, Jr., and Michael Moulton Gee, both of whom predeceased him. In 1965, he received his B.S. from Washington & Lee University, where he also fostered his lifelong love for music, singing for the Sazeracs acapella group.
Mark then served in the U.S. Navy as the Communications Officer aboard the USS Norris (DD–859), achieving the rank of Lieutenant, Vietnam Destroyer Duty. After an honorable discharge, he was an instructor at the Officer Indoctrination School in Newport. From 1970 to 1976, Mark was a marketing rep in the Data Processing Division of IBM Corp. In 1976, he founded Data Resources, Inc., which specialized in custom business forms and data processing supplies. Mark held various elected offices while living in East Greenwich – Fire Commissioner (2008-13), Town Council member (2011–14), and R.I. State Senator for District 35 (2015-18).
A Newport resident for many years, he was involved in the city’s early Colonial restoration and redevelopment process, including the concept and installation of 200 authentic gas lighting fixtures. Over the years, Mark joyfully volunteered for a myriad of community organizations. Some of these included Operation Clapboard; Norman Bird Sanctuary; Historic Hill PAC; Power Lunch; Dorcas Place, tutor and mentor; East Bay School to Career Partnership Council, chair; East Bay Literacy; East Providence Prevention Coalition, chair; Senior Project judge, Barrington and East Greenwich; Providence InTown YMCA, chair; East Providence Community Emergency Response Team; Rochambeau Library, board member; East Greenwich Citizens Who Care/Substance Abuse Task Force; and Main Street Association of East Greenwich.
Mark’s favorite pastime was exercising, whether it was running with his beloved Cranston Road Runners, working out at the InTown Providence or Kent County YMCA, swimming across First Beach in Middletown, biking a Century ride through Southeastern Massachusetts (with no training), or simply walking the trails of East Greenwich. He is survived by his wife, Dana Warren Gee, whom he married while they ran in the 1995 Thanksgiving Day Newport Pie Run, and their children: Zadoc (known as Zing), Griffin, and Hope, all at home. Mark leaves four children from his former wife, Lillian Rothe Dick: Annelisa Alden Gee of Saint-Barthélemy Island; Sarah Dawson Green and her husband Bill of Wayne, Pa.; Alexander Rothe Gee and his wife Jennifer of Newport, R.I.; Christina Gist Gee Kryca and her husband Igor of London; 10 grandchildren; and his childhood imaginary friends: Gowky, Sutter, Peas, and Mr. Hooton from Newton.
He was a member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in East Greenwich. A service of burial with Military Honors will be held at the R.I. Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Exeter, in mid-July. For future details and online condolences, visit www.AveryStortiFuneralHome.com.
A graveside service of burial with Military Honors will be held at the Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Exeter, on July 16, 2022, at 11:30 a.m. A reception will follow the service at the Gee Residence, 99 Middle Road, East Greenwich.
Mark was a very entertaining and active guy and a pleasure to run into as we went about our townly missions back in the day. We had many impromptu topical conversations in cemeteries and along the roads and I did notice that he never stood still long. He crammed a lot of life into his 79 years. I have missed him being around and am sad for his family.