Mark Greenleaf
July 27, 1951 - June 16, 2024

Mark Greenleaf lived a full life, fortunate to have shared it with a loving family and so many good friends. Born in the back of a pick-up truck, his life was marked with a sense of adventure. He spent his childhood between the excitement of the city and the wonder of nature in his rural home of Hyampom. He thrived in the woods along the family Greenleaf ranch while fishing and hunting.

As a young adult, Mark grew long hair and joined the hippy generation, traveled through Europe and rocked with up-and-coming musicians of the time. Mark enjoyed the company of friends with long discussions over the social issues of the ‘60s and ‘70s.

Mark learned the value of hard work from his father and shared his mother’s passion for old things. He had an impact on his brother Steven’s intellect as a young boy, planting seeds of interest in the arts and science. Growing up with a deaf sibling, his older brother Joe, gave Mark the empathy and awareness of the needs of others. Joe was his buddy as they grew up sharing secret conversations in sign language. This experience led him to work at the School for the Blind where over 25 years he nurtured the growth of many residential students. It was on a roller-skating field trip with his students where he met Sandy, the love of this life. They married in 1980 and spent the next 44 years together. He loved being a father and found he could extend his “joy of life” with his two daughters, Jenny and Monica.

Mark loved his second career as an advocate for the California State Employees Association (CSEA). Helping others navigate their careers and work issues was a challenging but rewarding endeavor. This role extended as a CSEA union representative and his position as President of the Central Labor Party for Humboldt and Del Norte Counties. He served where needed, such as when he pitched-in as postmaster in Hyampom while the position was vacant. He also served as a volunteer fireman in Trinity County. Throughout his life he tended to the family ranch as well, which included general maintenance, care of cows, two horses, chickens and a huge garden.

Mark had a passion for life. He liked to cook and try new recipes and share them with friends. He dabbled in poetry and journal writing. He was on the lookout for good bargains at flea markets and garage sales. He loved to read and had a keen interest in anthropology, history and tribal art. He was a traveler as well and enjoyed interacting with different cultures and people. He was an advocate for environmental justice and sustainability. He loved his dogs and played a regular game of catch with them.

Mark leaves behind his loving wife Sandra Greenleaf, his daughter Monica Filice and son-in-law Marco Filice, grandson Enzo Filice, his daughter Jenny Greenleaf, his brother Steven Greenleaf and his sister-in-law Dianne Greenleaf and his many extended families and friends whom he loved dearly. He was proceeded in death by his parents Gene and Evelyn Greenleaf and his brother Joe Greenleaf.

Mark’s spirit, characterized by generosity and warmth, will continue to live in the hearts of his family and friends.

A private memorial will be held in his memory.


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Mark Greenleaf’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.