Loyal, honest, compassionate, generous, hard-working, humorous.
Mark William Ludwig was all of these things and more to many people.
He was a devoted brother, son, uncle, nephew and brother-in-law. Mark
was a strong man, wise beyond his years, with an incredibly unique
sense of humor and a heart the size of Texas. He was a strong,
ambitious man who touched everyone he met with his positive attitude.
His life intertwined with numerous people who will never forget him.
Born on August 25, 1964 in Mt. Kisco, NY, Mark was the third of
four children. He was a beautiful, fair-haired, good-natured toddler
who would amuse his family by taking his plastic bucket and shovel
outside while belting out the Rascal’s hit, “It’s a Beautiful Morning”
by changing the words to “I think I’ll go outside and dig”. His
sunny demeanor never changed in the 39 years we have had him here with
As he grew up, Mark was always known for making others laugh. He
disarmed people with his humor and then charmed them with his
personality. He would set a goal and work diligently until it came to
fruition. If one avenue wouldn’t work, he would just simply find
another way. Mark was someone who could sell ice to Eskimos. He was a
successful car salesman and restaurant manager, but his forte was
always computers. When the opportunity arose for him to move to
Austin with his longtime pal Jonathan Smith, he chose to take a
chance. It wasn’t long before he was hired by Polycom and that’s when
his life made a move for the better. Mark was always one to welcome
challenges, and his career at Polycom offered him plenty to thrive on.
In five short years in Mark’s professional career, he achieved more
than he had his whole life, after being promoted from a temporary hire
to Senior Manager of Software. He had also been voted on the Board of
Directors for the International Multimedia Telecommunications
Consortium as their Treasurer. This was quite an honor for Mark and
one that he well deserved due to his strong motivation and drive to
bring ideas to reality. Mark’s move to Austin gave him a job that
made him feel fulfilled, a home of his own, financial security and a
large circle of very dear friends - everything that Mark had wanted
for his life. He shared his success generously with his family and
friends without hesitation. That was just Mark’s way.
To know and love Mark has been one of the biggest joys in our
lives. He has amazed us with his strength and ability to understand
what is important in life and what is not. He had the ability to show
us how much fun life truly was with his unstoppable humor and
extraordinarily bright mind. Mark loved his family so much that you
couldn’t help but feel it when he walked in the room. His dedication
to all of us was shown in everything he did. He was the kind of
person who made you feel like you were perfect, just the way you are.
As all families do, we have had our ups and downs, but Mark was always
a stabilizing force, often a voice of reason. He was our “fixer”.
Mark was a great listener, someone who would let you know how he felt,
and not stop until he helped you reach a satisfying resolution.
Although we know Mark was a special person to our family, it is
obvious that he has touched lives far greater than just ours. He
always talked about his friends and co-workers in Austin as though
they were his family. Mark knew how to make every person he cared
about feel incredibly special and important. We always knew Mark was
one of a kind. We will not have Mark with us in body anymore but we
can keep his memory alive forever by treating people the way he
treated people – with kindness, respect, caring and love. Life will
never be the same, but he will live on through all the lives he
touched. Mark would want us to remember him with a smile, reliving
the good old times we shared. We’re going to honor him by doing just
that, and we know that he is smiling down on us. We have been
fortunate to be his family and friends. We will miss him dearly every
day for the rest of our lives until we are reunited with him in
We’d like to close with a poem by Henry Ward Beecher that we feel
strongly represents Mark and the extent to which others have been
influenced by his life.
“When the sun finally drops below the horizon in the early evening,
evidence of its work remains for some time. The skies continue to
glow for a full hour after its departure. In the same way, when a
great person’s life comes to its final sunset, the skies of this world
are illuminated until long after he is out of view. Such a person
does not die from this world, for when he departs he leaves much of
himself behind – and being gone, he still speaks.”