M. Mark Lesher of Mt. Pleasant, Texas, passed away on Jan. 30, 2021 from complications due to COVID. He was born on Jan. 7, 1946 in Bartlesville, Oklahoma and grew up in the Panhandle, graduating from Borger High School in 1964. Mark attended the University of Texas at Austin, where he was President of Pi Kappa Alpha (Pike), and graduated with a pharmacy degree in 1969 and a law degree in 1972. He began his law career as an Assistant District Attorney in Bowie County in 1973 and went into private practice in 1975. His practice focused on medical malpractice, personal injury and criminal defense cases; he achieved several multi-million dollar settlements as well as 10 not guilty verdicts for clients. Always looking for a better mousetrap, Mark had multiple ventures including co-founding a medical device manufacturing business that developed and sold a state-of-the-art auto injector.
Mark was a gifted attorney and had a knack for connecting with juries and explaining complicated medical concepts. He strongly believed that every person was innocent until proven guilty and earned a reputation for defending the little guy. To him, civil rights were everyone’s rights and he became known as a “professional agitator” for routinely speaking out for those treated unfairly. Mark relished the publicity and said that it was always good for business as long as his name was spelled correctly. He wasn’t afraid to take a stand in court, even if it meant spending a night in jail for contempt of court, or becoming the target of scurrilous lies. Mark “thought big” and broke rules for the greater good.
Mark practiced law in Texarkana for 20 years before moving to Red River County in 1996 and opening a second law office in Clarksville. There, he met Rhonda Long, the love of his life, and they were married in 2003 at their ranch, surrounded by friends and family, and serenaded by Ray Price. Mark and Rhonda enjoyed traveling to Central America, particularly Costa Rica. In 2009, they moved to Titus County and he opened a third law office in Mt. Pleasant. They hosted Thanksgiving for friends and family and invited everyone to bring someone if they didn’t have a place to go. Mark was incredibly generous and never greedy – he was known for helping people who were down on their luck and needed someone to give them a break. He could act like a grizzly bear on the outside, but he was a teddy bear on the inside and always supported the underdog.
Mark loved meeting people, telling stories, drinking beer and chewing on cigars. He was an avid reader and consumer of news – so much so that CNN was permanently etched on the screen of his first large screen TV. Mark was a lifelong yellow dog Democrat and actively participated in politics at the local, state and national levels. He was a baseball enthusiast and attended Whitey Ford’s Fantasy Camp. His hand-eye coordination was excellent, and he enjoyed hunting and golf. Mark also seemingly knew how to play any kind of game and handily beat others at dominoes, cards, dice or ping pong.
Mark is survived by his spouse, Rhonda Long Lesher, his children, Brandy Lesher Treadway (Jason Treadway), Baxter Lesher (Sunny Sliger) and Clayton Lesher (Elizabeth Lesher), and five grandchildren, Allen, Jane, Luke, James and Rachel.
A celebration of life will be scheduled later this spring. Mark’s family would like to extend their heartfelt appreciation to all the nurses, doctors and healthcare providers that worked with him, and in particular, the staff at the Titus Regional Medical Center.
In addition to any condolences, do what Mark would do and reach back and help the “little guy”.
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