Mark Van Bergh passed away peacefully on February 4th with his wife by his side after a courageous two-year battle with cancer. Mark was a beloved husband, son, stepfather, brother, friend, photographer extraordinaire and so much more. He is deeply missed.
Mark was born in New York, NY on November 28, 1956, to Elinor and the late Peter Van Bergh. He was the eldest of two sons and grew up in White Plains, NY. Mark graduated from White Plains High School and attended Syracuse University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa with a BA in Political Science in 1978. He remained an exuberant Syracuse sports fan and weekends often found him enthusiastically following Cuse football and basketball games.
Mark moved to the Washington DC area to attend the George Washington University School of Law and graduated in 1981 with a JD with honors. He started his career at Kenkel, Barnard and Edmundson and went on to practice at other Washington DC law firms as a communications lawyer before going out on his own as a solo practitioner in 2003. Mark was an active member and photographer of the Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA) and had many memories and stories from the time spent and roles held with the FCBA and FCBA Foundation. Always the avid news consumer and political debater, he loved current events and politics, often rooting for the underdog or being the devil’s advocate for the topic at hand. Parallel to his legal career and of equal significance was Mark’s work as a photographer. He photographed different events over the years, including weddings of friends and colleagues, events for the Federal Communications Bar Association and Foundation, Free State Foundation, National Kidney Foundation, and On Tap magazine, to name a few. Like his long-term law clients who became personal friends, many of the annual photography events that he undertook became more than just business. Events became traditions and the people he worked with became friends.
Mark was also very involved with the Friends of the National Zoo Camera Club and served in various positions, including most recently as the co-president. He was a mentor to many, generous with his photographic knowledge, experience, and time. Mark was an avid traveler usually in pursuit of wildlife images. Throughout his life he traveled to different parts of the world and some of his favorites included Africa, Alaska, Antarctica, and West Yellowstone National Park. His soul and passion for wildlife and travel photography live on through his images. His kindness and heart live on in the loved ones and friends he has left behind.
Mark is survived by his wife Lisa Russell; stepdaughters Sydney and Isabella Darko; mother Elinor Kopmar; brother Jim (Agnieszka) Van Bergh; stepbrother Paul Kopmar; stepsisters Rona Kopmar and Allison Kopmar; nephew and nieces, Jacob, Sara, Nina and Dalia. Mark was predeceased by his father Peter Van Bergh, stepfather Israel Kopmar, and nephew Danny Kohen.
No service is planned at this time but a celebration of Mark’s life will occur later this year.
A scholarship has been established in Mark’s name through the Federal Communications Bar Association Foundation and donations may be sent to: FCBA Foundation, c/o Mark Van Bergh Scholarship, 1020 19th St, NW, Suite 325, Washington, DC 20036.
The family also wishes to acknowledge their gratitude to Dr. Jeannie Hoffman-Censits and the team of care providers at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins and Sibley Memorial Hospitals.
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