Mark David Aisner
1903 - 1992
Through The Stars"
loved the stars... any part of nature. His perspective on this
world was from up there, looking down on a magnificent sphere,
teeming with life and awed by the very notion of such a thing,
and in knowing that we are anything but unique in this endless
"For peace and hope reach out to the power and intelligence
of the universe."
--July 18, 1991 Mark Aisner
His father's name is on the Ellis Island wall; passing by in
the last century with one goal -- to save enough money to bring
the rest of the family from mother Russia. Mark married Ethel
-- one son, Robert. Later moved to Chicago and in 1936 married
Blossom. They raised Vicki, Leslie and Michael. In the 30's he
sold Cadillacs and LaSalles from his own agency and then off to
advertising. He commuted into Chicago for 40 years as Sales Manager
for Heet, a gasline antifreeze.
He came about a refractor telescope in the late 50's, standing
in his Glencoe, Illinois yard checking his star chart against
the magnified objects. And there were trips to Chicago's Adler
Planetarium, glowing stars on bedroom ceilings, Willy Ley books
of space, waking kids to see Saturn and Orion nebula, and even
a day home (rare for a man who was never sick) to watch the Ranger
spacecraft crash into the moon on live TV. The influence so strong...
the vision Mark held about the universe, its vastness and beauty,
our mere place in it all set the stage for an enlightened and
All this quietly fed a secret place deep inside him. A place
he could retreat from the world at will, and he did. It was a
place that brought him unqualified genuine peace in the midst
of commuting to work and life's turmoils. This peace was not from
a book or a lecture -- it was from "his" nature -- the
things he selectively invited in -- the palms, pelicans and herons,
cactus and the sea, bison and ants, meadows of corn, the stars
and sun and moons and planets, crabs and sand. This was a man
who could look out over a flat Kansas scape and relish in its
beauty. Not many humans made their way into this secret place
-- a species he was less fascinated with knowing -- Blossom, his
children, grand and great, earned their place, not many others.
Strong characters did attract him and made their way into his
talented copy-artistry: children, old black faces, a slickered
weathered Maine fisherman....
Unhumanly honest, he was a model father. Outside of Blossom,
he relied on himself with a self-kindled personal peace. Love
was of deep regard -- unqualified and earned. An inspiration for
his family -- to only be as good and sane and healthy and strong
and talented and at ease with themselves.
So now he, and we through him, look at the earth from above.
Who would ever have thought? Not Mark Aisner so grounded in the
tranquillity of his own home. But the exclamation from up there,
'Oh my!' he'd say about the richly fertile blue globe below. And
so, with this voyage, his inner space now becomes his outer space.