Mark F. Vancas, 69, was born Sept. 7, 1947 in Deadwood, SD to Francis and Muriel (Sugden) Vancas. In 1957 the family moved from Deadwood to San Manuel and this has been his home since that time. Mark passed away at home surrounded by family on Jan. 19, 2017.
Mark graduated from San Manuel High School in 1965. He received a degree in Chemical Engineering in 1970 from the University of Arizona, and established a distinguished life long career in the mining industry, which spanned the globe, mainly designing and building Solvent Extraction Electro-winning copper plants.
Mark’s lifelong interest in archery started in his youth. He was a champion archer who was on the U of A archery team, which competed on the national level, and where he met Susan, a fellow teammate, who later became his wife. Together they were All-Americans for 3 of their 4 years on the team. A highlight of his competitive years was qualifying and trying out for the Olympic archery team. He later served for a number of years as president for the National Archery Association.
An avid hunter, Mark took the majority of his game with a bow and arrow. For the past several years he edited the Arizona Bowhunting Record Book.
Mark was a researcher of everything, always keeping up with the latest and greatest. He remodeled their home in San Manuel in a different design and built several out buildings to accommodate their needs. He built a unique workshop on their land in Catalina and at the time of his death was overseeing the construction of the one of a kind home he designed at the same property.
His wife, Susan, of 46 years, and son, David survive him. Also surviving are: brothers: David and John, sister Carol, mother-in-law, Frieda, brothers-in-law: Ken and Rod and sister-in-law Nancy. Numerous cousins, nieces and nephews also survive.
There was no challenge too great for Mark. He lived everyday to the fullest, even after being diagnosed two and a half years ago with incurable, only treatable, cholangiocarcinoma (cancer of the bile ducts in the liver). He loved people and people loved him.
A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017 at 2 p.m. The location will be announced at a later date.