Mark William Lauff of McDonald passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his wife and children after a year-long battle with Pancreatic Cancer. He was born July 13, 1961 to the late Joseph P. (Joe) and Doris M. (Mitzie) Lauff.
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For 30 years, Mark was married to the love of his life, Lisa Lynn (Baldigowski), who survives him. Together they raised 4 wonderful children, Marina (New York, NY) and Roman, Daria, and Gabriel (all in Pittsburgh). He is so loved and will be greatly missed.
Three of the best trips Mark and Lisa shared were to St. Petersburg, Russia to adopt Marina, Roman, and Daria. Even Gabe got to travel to Russia as Mark and Lisa found they were expecting a baby while in preparation to meet Daria. During these three trips Mark and Lisa made numerous friendships with drivers, interpreters, and baby home workers, plus the families with whom they traveled. Experiencing the history, culture, and beauty of Russia was a nearly indescribable experience. The ability to help others fulfill their dreams of a family through adoption held a special place in his heart.
Mark is survived by 3 older brothers, Jeff (Miriam) of San Diego CA, Kevin (Patty) of Burgettstown, and Chris (Janet) of McDonald and a younger sister Marsha (Pete) Broccoli of McDonald.
Mark counted himself lucky to have wonderful in-laws in Lisa’s parents, John and Linda Baldigowski of McDonald as well as Lisa’s brother Sam (Deb) Baldigowski of South Fayette.
Mark had a close relationship with his seven nieces and nephews: Sarah (Ayrton) Vieyra, Morgan, Brian and Michael Lauff and Sami, Ryan, and Alex Baldigowski. In addition, he leaves behind numerous aunts, uncles and cousins on both sides of the family. Graduation Parties and Weddings were always a chance to gather everyone together, bringing lots of love and joy to Mark’s life.
Mark was a 1979 graduate of Burgettstown High School as well as Slippery Rock State College, circa 1983. For nearly 30 years, he worked at GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare as part of their sales organization. In 2015, he retired from GSK and went to work for Advantage Consumer Healthcare. Mark considered himself deeply fortunate to have so many co-worker friendships that lasted well beyond the office space and continued for many years.
Mark was a black & gold fan and enjoyed watching the Pirates, Penguins and Steelers with Lisa whether in person or on TV. He also followed both Burgettstown’s and West Allegheny’s football teams and tried to make it back to Hill Memorial stadium in Burgettstown each season to watch the Blue Devils play and catch up with former teammates. A skilled athlete, Mark himself remained active on the field or in the rink for much of his life.
As an avid hockey fan and loving father, Mark passed his commitment to sports on to his sons and enjoyed watching them both play for West Allegheny’s Ice and Inline Hockey Team and his son Roman play for St Vincent College. For 10 years, Mark was a volunteer member of West A’s Inline Hockey program, acting as both a Coach and Organization Board member. His goal was always to introduce more kids to the sport of hockey and have them enjoy playing the game. Building on hockey tradition, he always encouraged the older players to give back to the younger players through teaching them the game, inviting them to play alongside, and donating equipment that no longer fit. His considerable contributions to the West A hockey community is being honored by the West Allegheny Ice Hockey Association with the Mark Lauff Indian Pride Award. The award will be presented to a player who best represents Pride, Respect, Sportsmanship, and Dedication.
Mark was also a fan of both Marina and Daria’s pursuits including Dance, Plays, Musicals and Cheer. You could always count on him being in the audience enjoying the performance given by his talented daughters.
In lieu of flowers, Mark is requesting donations be made to the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. The 2020 pandemic points to the importance of ensuring all residents of SW Pennsylvania have enough food on their table; something that no one should take for granted.
Through his battle with cancer Mark embraced the Warrior spirit by waking up each day focused on today and not worrying about yesterday. He borrowed one of his favorite phrases from the US Navy SEALs: ”The only easy day was yesterday.”
He also liked to point out that when a shark stops swimming, it drowns. That is why you could find him outside doing yardwork or washing the family cars even during cancer treatment -- he always wanted to keep moving.
His message to his loved ones: Keep Swimming!
Family and friends will be received on Sunday, November 22, from 2:00 – 8:00 PM at Thomas-Little Funeral Service, Inc. McDonald, PA (724-926-2800). A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, November 23, at 10:00 AM at St. Isidore, the Farmer, St. Alphonsus worship site, McDonald, PA.
To better ensure the safety of the family and those closest, when entering the funeral home, please abide by CDC guidelines, please practice social distancing, wear a mask, and sanitize/wash hands frequently.