Mark Anthony Benitez

Mark Anthony Benitez, 51, a native of San Francisco, and long time resident of Kirkland, Washington, passed away suddenly on December 13th, 2022. He was a warm, kind-hearted, quietly peaceful man of great conviction and held his family as his number one priority. Always taking care of everyone around him, Mark leaves an immeasurable void as father, husband, son, brother, friend, uncle, and co-worker.

Mark’s life began on October 17, 1971. He was born a first generation Filipino-American, to Zenaida and Antonio Benitez of Pacifica, California. The first of three children, Mark is survived by his sisters, Marissa, 49, and Monette, 47, and his nieces, Malia, 19, Devin, 15, and Micaela, 12.

He was a studious, if not mischievous child who enjoyed learning, sports, and enrichment. He attended Our Lady of Mercy Grammar School and graduated from  Saint Ignatius College Preparatory High School in 1990. He played basketball throughout his youth and enjoyed playing football in high school. He discovered his first love, the piano, in 1977, and as an adult became a classically-trained pianist. He loved being SI’s jazz band’s and orchestra’s pianist. Mark was also an elite sports fan, being an avid spectator of everything San Francisco, from the Forty-Niners, Giants, and Warriors to other team favorites, Manchester United, Detroit Tigers, and UW Huskies.

After high school, he went on to study at UCLA for a brief time before transferring to the University of Washington where he earned a B.A. Degree in Ethnomusicology. Mark was a founding father of the Omega Delta Phi Fraternity and served as President of the UW chapter. After graduating he settled in the Seattle area and developed a rewarding career in the tech industry. His career includes past roles at Amazon, Chase Bobko, and Open Market. He started out in QA working tirelessly to break and repair back-end code, and just in the last few years began his journey into Software Development. He found fulfillment in the new challenges presented to him at Smartsheet, where he was devoted to his teammates, provided great mentorship to his colleagues, and showed wonderful dedication to the company in general, since beginning his role there in June 2015.

Mark was a proud and doting father to three beautiful children: Dylan, 23, from his previous marriage to Lisa Gaeta Hammer, Skylar, 10, and Sebastian, 6, and his four-legged companion, Dublin, 1. They were the loves of his life, along with his wife, Joyce, whom he met in 2008 and later married in 2011. Mark’s existence was defined by his devotion to his children, and he was an incredibly involved dad, shaping and molding very caring and considerate children. Mark coached Skylar’s softball teams for several years and Sebastian’s flag football team for just the past two seasons. He also never missed a soccer game of Dylan’s and always encouraged Dylan to reach for the stars through music and education. Mark bolstered a loving, fun household full of humor, music, and sports, along with a quiet perseverance, and utter sweetness and affection.

Services will be held at Holy Family Church in Kirkland, WA on December 22, 2022, at 11:00 am.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Go Fund Me, to help support Mark’s children.


Hi, my name is Shelayne, and I am raising funds for Mark’s wife and children after he tragically passed away on December 13, 2022 due to lymphoma.

As many of you may know, Mark was extraordinary, always caring for everyone else and giving so much of himself; he will be deeply missed. Mark touched so many’s lives, and it’s our turn to give back to his family in their time of need. So many of you have asked how you can help, so please feel free to donate and share this fundraiser link. Mark would be grateful for any support to assist with medical and family expenses.

3 Responses to “Mark Anthony Benitez”

  • Brett & Teresa Stephenson says:

    Mark was one of Brett’s first friends at Smartsheet. He took him in and provided mentorship beyond just work life balance. He was one of the first people Brett told we were pregnant and was with Brett when we found out the sex of the baby. While I was still at Smartsheet I also found myself checking in with Mark and always receiving kind words and love! He was an amazing friend and will be incredibly missed! Our thoughts are with his family.

  • Derek Woodard says:

    Bless you. It’ll take a village to get through this. Let us all be that village.

  • Zachary Green says:

    Being a close friend of Devin, she has told me about this tragic loss and the grief that the entire family has been put through from nearly start to finish. Even though I never had the privilege to talk with Mark before his passing, I can tell that he was a great man and his passing will leave behind a void where he once used to be that can never be filled. My thoughts and prayers go out to to each and every one of you from all the way on the other side of the country in Tampa, Florida.

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