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Mark Burr Woodhouse

Mark Burr Woodhouse, born May 14, 1944, passed away (or as he would have said, left the earth plane) on March 9, 2022, after more than a decade living with Parkinson’s disease. 

Born in El Cajon, California, to Alice Hamilton and John Woodhouse, Mark spent his formative years in Florida. He grew up in St. Petersburg, attended Florida State University, and earned a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Miami. During this time, he worked as a camp counselor, played the clarinet in the marching band, and joined the University of Miami water ski team, where he was renowned for skiing on canoe paddles and dinner plates.  

Mark was intellectually adventurous and defined by his wide-ranging interests. He loved a healthy debate and there was rarely a topic that he wasn’t willing to take on or a perspective he wasn’t willing to consider. His textbook, A Preface to Philosophy, was in print for over thirty years and used in colleges across the country. As the title indicates, he sought to establish some basic parameters for philosophical discourse as well as preemptively dispel a few basic misconceptions about the discipline.

Most of his academic career took place in Atlanta, at Georgia State University, where he taught courses ranging from Eastern religion to metaphysics. As a professor he was beloved for his warmth and kindness, and best known for delving into unexplained phenomena in his courses on parapsychology.  Many of his students stayed in touch with him long after graduation, a testament to Mark’s power to inspire and guide those with whom he came in contact.

Mark spent much of the 1980s and early 1990s exploring what he considered seismic changes at the end of the millennium.  He addressed these developments in a 1996 book, Paradigm Wars, that drew on both traditional and emerging conceptions of science and spirituality to explore changing worldviews in areas ranging from personal psychology to healthcare.  Eager to be in closer contact with nature, he retired early and moved to the North Georgia mountains where he built a geodesic dome and joined a community of like-minded thinkers. During these years he also traveled the world with close friends always in search of both profound experiences and simple enjoyment. 

Mark was married once, to Cristina de la Torre, with whom he had two children. He was a devoted father, instilling in his children a sense of adventure and inquiry, whether regarding the nature of consciousness, current events, or the nuances of driving a manual transmission. He advocated for them fiercely and supported them even when they sought out roads less traveled. He was always up for long bike rides, boisterous singalongs in the car, and trying new waterski acrobatics.  Ever the camp counselor, he joyfully supervised many rope swing sessions and improvised innertube rides, and always found time for one more ride at the water park.  The nieces and nephew (Grace, Frank, and Margarita) from his marriage always cherished their fun uncle, and all the memories they made together during childhood.

He is survived by his children Alex and Erik (Evagelia Tavoulareas), three adored grandchildren, Melina, Sofia, and Andreas Woodhouse and by his former wife and lifelong friend Cristina de la Torre. 

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