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In her own words, Brenda Sherbine loves to talk about her late husband Mark. Although he was a prominent and successful businessman, she says he wasn’t without his challenges. Early in his high school years, he became involved with alcohol and marijuana. But Mark realized that these activities could limit his ability to fulfill his potential. While still in college, Mark limited his drinking and stopped using drugs. He often told Brenda that it was the best decision he ever made, and it shaped the path of their future.

While in high school, Mark was a lot of things–captain of the scholastic quiz team, the bass player and the drum major in the band, a member of the national honor society, and a member of the pistol club where he was an excellent marksman. The only sports he participated in were the ones where he didn’t have to play in the band–wrestling, and track. He was also co-valedictorian of his graduating class. In college, Mark played bass in the Pitt Band.

Mark graduated college with a Bachelor of Science degree in English Writing with a minor in Philosophy. He then went back to school and got an MBA with a concentration in Human Resources. Brenda says the combination of these skill sets is what helped him be so successful in his career.
Mark’s success in business and Brenda’s work as a CPA provided a good income for the pair and they lived their life comfortably. They both had a dream however to move to Montana and build a log home in the mountains. “Mark was the creative dreamer, and I was the number cruncher,” said Brenda. Brenda created a financial plan for them that helped them achieve their dream. They gave up jobs, took huge pay cuts, and moved to Montana to build their dream home. They lived in their log home, Moose Manor, described as “heaven on earth”, in Montana for fifteen years before returning to Pennsylvania to be close to their family.

Mark was a computer enthusiast. His love of computers, language, and music, gave him the ability to write stories and several songs, including love songs for Brenda. He bought his fancy “toys” to compose and record music. He also wrote and voiced several audiobooks in his home studio. Brenda treasures these books as she has his voice to listen to, anytime she needs to.

Mark was committed to education. While he didn’t necessarily believe that going to college made you smarter, the commitment to put in the time and energy, and finish what you started was what was important. Brenda started college in her thirties. It took her six years, but she was determined to finish and make Mark proud.

Mark passed away in 2021 after a brief and courageous battle with cancer. In honor of Mark and his commitment to education, Brenda has created the Mark J. Sherbine Memorial Scholarship Fund with the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies. The fund will provide an annual scholarship to a senior at Portage Area High School who has a history of participating in the National Honor Society, Scholastic Quiz, or band–all activities that Mark was a part of when he was in high school.

“I’ve never felt that life isn’t fair–life can be difficult, but I consider myself to have been extremely lucky to have had the life, love, and time I shared with Mark.”

To learn how you can create a fund to honor your loved one, please contact

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