Tuesday, July 19, 2016


     Mark Lipinski, 65, of Bradenton, FL died on July 14, 2016 of natural causes. He was 65 years old and had a remarkable life. Mark was born in Chicago, IL to his Canadian father, Stanley W. Lipinski and to his mother, Donna M. Wilson, a North Dakota native. The family moved from Chicago to St. Paul, ultimately landing in Lakeland, FL for most of Mark's childhood. 
     Mark's father, Stanley was an Orthopedic Surgeon. Mark had a normal childhood playing little league baseball, practicing karate with his father and fishing mostly unsuccessfully. In high school, Mark became an enthusiastic (but never as good as he thought he was) golfer. He enjoyed water skiing with his high school and warmed the bench playing both baseball and football at Lakeland High School. Mark's teenage work ethic was established early, as he worked summers and holidays in college in the phosphate pits of Central Florida. Mark set the bar for all the Lipinski children and graduated high school with honors, an early indication of the successful powerhouse he would become. 
     In 1969, Mark made the decision to attend Washington and Lee University but transferred to the University of Florida after 1 year which led to his lifelong devotion to the Gators, later evidenced by his ever-present Orange Shirt and Gator hat. During his undergraduate years, Mark went through a rebellious stage – and became both an avid skydiver after taking a friend's dare (resulting in over 90 jumps) as well as scuba diver – working part time in an dive shop based in Gainesville, FL.
      It was interesting that through all of Mark's schooling, he only had one profession in mind. The Law. He knew from high school age that he wanted to pursue law as a profession. After graduating from University of Florida law school, he joined the Palm Beach County Public Defender's Office for a 2 year sojourn, he move to Sarasota and worked for the State Attorney's Office. After leaving the State Attorney's Office he had short stints with Henry Trawick and Larry Byrd. Mark then migrated to Palmetto and joined Jerome Pratt's firm as a young defense litigator. 
     In 1990, Mark opened his own practice focusing on criminal defense and worked tirelessly in the pursuit of improving his craft. Most weekends his car could be found parked in back of his office to continue working with clients as he was always committed to the unending quest for answers questions of law. Many in the community considered him a walking encyclopedia of law, known for his ability to recite case law off the cuff. Mark reveled in the opportunity to push his colleagues and associates to bring their very best to each legal argument, because he believed that in doing so – it raised the overall quality of our legal system. 
     Mark had only three loves in his life: His wife Marilee, Arlo and The Law. Mark was a man of honor and honest to a fault. He was an incredibly loyal friend and a fearsome opponent in court. Although Mark lost his sight in one eye in 1997, it did not slow down his enthusiasm nor his work pace. Mark was generous – frequently allowing young attorney's beginning their practices to use office space upstairs in his building rent free and he was renowned throughout the Bradenton and Sarasota counties for his story telling abilities. Mark Lipinski was a man of the millennium so unique and complex that he will never be replicated. 
     Mark is survived by his wife, Marilee Lipinski, step-daughter, Dorothy Putman, her husband, Blake and his grandchild, Gracie Putman. Services for Mark Lipinski will be held on Tuesday July 19, 2016 at the Manatee County Historical Courthouse in the historical courtroom on the second floor, from 4 PM-6 PM, with a Celebration of Life beginning at 6 PM. Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel is in charge of arrangements. Given Mark's own experiences with loss of sight, he would be grateful if any contributions you might consider making would be directed to the: Southeastern Guide Dogs, 4210 77th St. East, Palmetto, FL 34221 in order to help those with sight disabilities www.guidedogs.com. Condolences may be made to www.brownandsonsfuneral.com.

Published in Herald Tribune on July 19, 2016

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