Mark Richter

Mark Richter was born on October 31, 1951 in Sydney, Australia. Mark was grandson of Australian explorer Charles Francis Laseron. He was a gifted squash player and horseman. Mark left school at the age of 16 to apprentice as a livestock auctioneer; he watched the Apollo 11 moon landing from a TV set in a cattle yard. He married Geraldine O’Connor and started a family at the age of 19, but soon decided to return to school. While studying at university he often felt out of place because his hands were rough and scarred from shoeing horses and building fences, which helped to pay the bills. Mark completed an undergraduate with honors and a PhD in Biochemistry at the University of New South Wales. He and Gerry divorced and Mark eventually became custodial parent of his two children, Daniella and Martin, whom his mother Judy helped him raise. Mark secured a postdoctoral research position at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. He arrived in the U.S. on Thanksgiving Day of 1981 with his mother, his two children and seven suitcases. In Tallahassee he met and married Kimber Paschall. Mark completed a second postdoc at Cornell University and in 1987 joined the Biochemistry (now Molecular Biosciences) Department at the University of Kansas. He and Kim purchased their Lecompton home in 1989 which Mark extensively renovated over 30 years. While at KU Mark was promoted to full professor and served as department chair over two separate periods. He conducted federally-funded research on photosynthesis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and on biosensors for GABA, serotonin, histamine and nicotine. Mark taught undergraduate and graduate biology, biochemistry, and physical biochemistry. He won numerous awards for teaching—colleagues often wondered if students gave Mark extra points for his Australian accent. He helped found the recreational division of the Lawrence Adult Soccer League in 1998. Mark became an American citizen on August 27, 2020 and voted in his first election on November 3. He loved his family, science, his cat Max, the morning newspaper sudoku, red wine, mystery novels, and all kinds of games—especially, during COVID, socially-distanced but very competitive croquet. Mark died December 26, 2020 following a 7-week battle with COVID-19. He is survived by his wife Kimber Paschall Richter; his sister Margaret Withnall of Sydney, Australia; and four children: Daniella of Cooroy, Australia; Martin of Padre Island, Texas; and Nicholas and Loren, both of Kansas City. Mark is also survived by three grandchildren and 4 step grandchildren; 6 great-grandchildren and 8 step great-grandchildren; and his many master’s and doctoral students—who were all like family to him. The family suggests memorials to the Mark Richter Fund of the KU Endowment which will soon be established; the Kansas Land Trust at klt.org; or, if you want to support Medicaid expansion and other important policies by getting political—and Mark often did—donate to Kansas Governor Laura Kelly’s re-election campaign at www.laurakellyforkansas.com. The family will hold a memorial service in Lawrence when it is safe to gather together in person—possibly mid- to late-summer of 2021. Information on how to donate to the Mark Richter Fund, and details on the upcoming service will be announced by Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, rumsey-yost.com.

Messages & Condolences

From Kim Murphree...

Kim and family,
Dr. Richter was so memorable! I will never forget his encouragement to pursue biology….and although time did not allow, his demeanor and, yes, his accent, and his willingness to encourage resonates with me even today. It is one of my favorite memories. I am saddened to hear of his passing, and send sincere condolences to the family. May God bless you with comfort today and always.

From Flavia Costa...

Dear Kim and Family,

I just now saw this and I am so sad to hear that. I will always remember Mark with his deep passion for research, kindness, and his big smile. He will be missed by many people and it is hard to believe that he left so soon. My condolences to you and the whole family.

From Jess Williams and family...

Dear Kim,
I am so sorry for your loss. We will be thinking of you and praying for you and your family.

From Hume A. Feldman...

Kim and family,
Mark was smart, funny, kind, welcoming, and engaging – all around an incredibly decent and good hearted person (the highest praise I can think of). Mark will be missed far and wide by all who crossed paths with him. My heartfelt condolences to all those touched by him and loved him.

From Brian Hernandez...

Kim,
Condolences to you and your family. I met him only once but I remember he had a great spirit. So sorry for your loss.

From DF Estrada...

Mark was a formative influence on me as a student, and continues to be as I mentor my students today. I will always remember his warmth and patience. His absence will never be filled.

From Olivia Arizmendi...

Francisco and I are so sad to hear about Mark’s passing. He was a remarkable human being and we will always remember how kind he was to us when we transferred to KU. Mark was the head of the advisory committee for my PhD and was incredibly helpful when I was feeling a little bit lost, encouraging me to pursue my goals. Your family is in our thoughts during this difficult time.

From Ellen Quillen...

My deepest condolences to Kim and everyone who cared for him. Mark was the first professor to invite me into his lab. Without him, I might not be a professor today and I strive continuously to be as warm and inspiring to the undergraduates I work with as he was to me.

From Anthony Jaworowski...

Aurora, Nyssa and I are deeply saddened by the news of Mark’s passing. Mark and I were very close during our undergraduate and postgraduate careers and we remember him and his family with much affection. The world is a poorer place without him and our thoughts are now with Kim, Martin and Danielle who we remember fondly.

From Kim Richter and family...

Hello everyone – thank so much for your wonderful memories and warm wishes. Mark was a prince of a human being, wasn’t he? We miss him so much.

From Berl Oakley...

Liz and I offer our deepest and most heart-felt condolences to Kim and all of Mark’s family. He meant a great deal to our department and to me personally. He was always positive and helpful, always trying to make things work out for the best. I will miss his liveliness and optimism, his wisdom, fairness and helpfulness and his fair and encouraging service on graduate student committees. I will miss our labs’ social get togethers. Mark was a wonderful scientist, teacher, mentor, colleague and friend.

From Le-Thu...

Dear Kim and Richter family, I am so sorry for your heartbreaking loss. Mark lived a remarkable life well-lived life! He left his legacy both in academia and on the soccer fields. Ever since I left KUMC, I have thought of you often and wondered how you were doing. Know you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Sending you virtual (((hugs))) and lots of love.

From Shellie Ellis...

Kim, I am so sorry for your loss and will be thinking of you and your family.

From Colonel Bappaditya Dhar...

Professor Mark Richter was the PI of Priyanka, my daughter in law and he was in the advisory committee of Rik, my son at KU. During my visit to USA, I met the professor for two h in September 2019. We had elaborated conversation on various subjects right from, human civilization, politics, humanity and religion. I remember him as one of the finest human beings, full of love and compassion. He was the father figure to both Rik and Priyanka. It is a great shock to all of us that he departed this mortal realm so early. This is almost a family tragedy to us. May almighty give strength to his bereaved family and other kith and kin. Personally, I shall always miss him as a good fellow human being and a good friend. Though I met him only for two h but he was always mentioned by Rik and Priyanka with doting accolade in their regular life. Such was his contribution to his each student. May God give his soul a rightful place alongwith the angels. RIP- Colonel Bappaditya Dhar retd from Indian Army.

From Elsie Middleton...

Kim and family: I am so sorry about your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

From Abel Leon...

This is very sad news indeed. Twenty years ago Mark was the first person who welcomed me in this new community through the sport he loved. I have fond memories playing indoor soccer on Mark’s teams along with Kim and their kids. He will be greatly missed.
Kim, you and your family are in our thoughts during these difficult times.

From Greg & Carol Howard...

Kim, Nick and the rest of the family:
Our family is sorry so to hear the loss of your husband/father. It is such a difficult time to lose a loved one, but please know we are praying for you and your family.

From Julian Ivanov...

Kim and Family, I am so saddened to learn about Mark’s passing! I missed seeing him on the pitch for some time and I always hoped that we may get another chance to discuss various topic over a glass of whiskey or so! I am hurting! I am so sorry for your loss!

From Michelle Gundy...

Kim and Family, we are so sorry for your loss. I have fond memories of Mark going back to the early LASL days up through more recent wally/volleyball matches and gatherings to hear music. What a truly classy, warm and generous spirit. Our thoughts are with you at this time. Love and hugs to you.

From Abdellah Laytimi...

I am so sad about the passing of Mark. I have always enjoyed playing soccer with him and his wife Kim. When I think of Mark the first thing that comes to me is his smile. I will miss you, I will miss that smile and his soft conversation. My condolences to Kim and the kids. Just can’t believe that he has passed. The soccer community will miss you.

From Diego Bonsignore...

To the dear Richter family my condolences for your loss. I met Mark and Kim playing in the LASL. So sorry!

From Drew & Randall Roberts...

Kim and family, we’re so sorry for your tragic loss. We’re thinking of you all.

From Osama Mulki...

We’re deeply sadden for the passing of my good friend Mark. Our prayers go to you Kim and family. He will be missed

From sue glatz...

Dear Kim and Family,
I am so very sorry to hear about the passing of your beloved Mark. What a sweet , kind , caring man he was. I always enjoyed visiting with him at gatherings or on the soccer field.

I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers as you grieve this life changing loss.
With deepest sympathy and love,
Sue Glatz

From Andrew Bentley...

Mark Richter was one of the founding members of the Lawrence Adult Soccer League in Lawrence that has now grown to 4 divisions and in excess of 700 players. I have fond memories of serving on the board and playing alongside Mark in the early days of the league. Mark was also a fellow KU employee. Our condolences go out to family and friends from all at LASL. Please wear masks and socially distance to protect all.

From RICK FOOS...

My condolences to the Richter family. Mark was a great human being and a great neighbor. He was the type of person to give you the shirt off his back and bend over backwards to help you in any way he could. He will leave a great void in this world and my thoughts are with his family at this time of sorrow.

From Cyndi Treaster...

I am so saddened to hear of Mark’s passing. Please know that our family is sending you our love and hugs.

From Julie Campbell...

Mark was one of my favorite professors and a genuinely warm person. There will be a big hole in the department with his passing.

From Kelly S. Harrison...

Dr Richter was an absolute blessing. He was a fantastic mentor, stepping in at the last minute to read and edit my dissertation, provide valuable feedback and was one hell of a Wallyball player. I’ll miss those after game beers at 23rd street and grueling committee meetings. I can’t believe such a wonderful soul was taken so soon. Rest In Peace Dr Richter. I never would’ve made it this far without you.

From Jackob Moskovitz...

Mark was my colleague at the university of Kansas. We were research collaborators and he was a wonderful person and a great scientist. He will be greatly missed and my deepest condolences go to his family. It is hard to comprehend that he passed away.

Please Share Your Message & Condolences

*All fields are required. Your email address will not be published.