Dr. Mark Stuart Kassop of Allendale, NJ, passed away peacefully on Friday October 1, 2021, at the age of 74. He was born February 12, 1947, to Harry and Harriet Kassop in Forest Hills, NY. Mark’s birthplace explains his lifelong loyalty to the New York Mets despite their often-lackluster performance.
A renowned and accomplished professor, Mark would devote the entirety of his adult life to academia. He began his pursuit as an underclassman at Ohio Wesleyan University where he was lovingly referred to as “Stu” by his Tau Kappa Epsilon brothers with whom he would remain in contact throughout his life. He would continue his education by earning a master’s degree from Syracuse University, and a doctorate from New York University. His hard work and dedication would culminate in a 48-year career teaching Sociology and Marriage and Family at Bergen Community College. Mark also played a pivotal role in the creation and implementation of online courses before it was commonplace, at both BCC and Thomas Edison State College.
Mark developed a passion for the outdoors at the age of five while attending Camp Seneca in Pawling, NY where he would eventually become a head counselor. An avid hiker, he would volunteer his time maintaining trails for the NY-NJ Trail Conference. Evenings were spent playing racquetball, reading, or watching a sitcom while dozing in his favorite chair.
He split his time between Vermont in the summer and Allendale, NJ, where he lived next door to his beloved best friend of 43 years, Joe Carrero. No matter the location, Mark formed strong bonds with those around him due to his pleasant disposition, positive attitude, corny sense of humor, and respect for others. Mark would become known as “mayor of the mountain” by residents of Great Hawk in Rochester, VT, where he served as president of the homeowner’s association for 7 years. The community is home to two trails bearing Mark’s name, which he would design and maintained over the course of his residence.
Mark is survived by his loving wife of 23 years, Donna; and two stepsons, who he considered his own - James and Erik Yankowsky. His ex-wife Nancy and their two daughters Erika Breton, and Allison Gidley, and their spouses Val and Quint; his cherished grandchildren, Levi, and Jasper Breton; sister Sue London and husband Martin; as well as nine nieces and nephews, and five brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law. Mark will be deeply missed, and his memory a blessing to all who knew him.
Professor Kassop will be cremated, and the family will celebrate his life in the spring - with information to follow. Arrangements for Mark were done by Vander Plaat Funeral of Wyckoff, www.vpfh.com, 257 Godwin Avenue Wyckoff, NJ 07481. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Mark’s memory can be made to WhyHunger, www.whyhunger.org, or a charity of your choice would be greatly appreciated.
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