Honoring Mark H. Leff

Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger generation. —Albert Einstein

Mark’s compassion for this community was beautiful, and will live on in the hearts of others. We are honored and humbled to have known and learned from Mark, and to have joined him in working to make a difference. You will be missed, friend.   Mark H. Leff  (January 23, 1949 – February 22, 2015) Mark H. Leff

Mark H. Leff, 66, of Urbana, died in his home on Sunday, February 22, after a year of living with cancer.

Mark, son of Sam and Melitta Leff, was born in 1949, in Cincinnati, Ohio, and grew up in Washington DC. He received a B.A. in Economics from Brown University and a Ph.D. in History from University of Chicago. He taught American History at the University of Illinois from 1986 to 2012. He married his wife of more than forty years, Carol Skalnik Leff, in 1971. He will be remembered and deeply missed by Carol and the rest of his loving family including: his daughter Alison Leff Washabaugh, her husband Bill Washabaugh, and their son Rowan; his son Ben Leff and Ben’s fiancée Melissa Schoeplein; his sister Deborah Leff; and his stepmother Adele Leff. Mark was a passionate, devoted and challenging teacher who was beloved by his students and believed the study of history helped create informed, engaged citizens. Among numerous teaching awards, he was named the Carnegie Professor of the Year for the state of Illinois in 1998. He cared deeply for his family and many friends and constantly reminded them how much he loved them. Mark was a kind, warm, person with a quirky sense of humor who routinely put others before himself in his personal life as well as in involvement in community social justice organizations. And he was self-effacing to a fault; if given the chance, he would have quickly (and incorrectly) pronounced himself unworthy of the preceding praise. The date and location of a celebration of Mark’s life will be announced later. In lieu of other gestures of condolence, gifts may be made to the Eastern Illinois Food Bank or the ACLU of Illinois. repost source

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