Elliot Marks

Published 1:55 pm Tuesday, October 28, 2014

On Sept. 29, 2014, the Feast of the Archangels, Elliot Michael Marks passed from this life suddenly at the age of 81.

He was born in Bogalusa to Isadore and Marguerite Marx on Jan. 26, 1933. He grew up in Bogalusa and attended college at Tulane and then Mississippi College, where he earned a law degree. He changed the spelling of his name to Marks and began practicing law in Jackson, Miss. His career spanned over 50 years, and he put in a full day of work the day of his death. His oft-stated wish was to be able to work until he died. He was admired and respected by the legal community in Jackson.

Visitation was held Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014, at Parkway Funeral Home. Funeral services were followed by entombment at Parkway Memorial Cemetery, Trinity Mausoleum.

Elliot, known as Mike to many of his friends, is survived by his wife, Carman Kelley Marks; one son and daughter-in-law, Max and Shereen Marx of Baton Rouge; one daughter, Michele (Shelley) Marks of Ridgeland, Miss.; two stepdaughters whom he raised, Mandy Smith John of Pass Christian, Miss., and Christy Smith Burr of Athens, Texas; three grandchildren, Jessica and Matthew Marx and Desiree Poturny; five step-grandchildren; niece Susan Doub Millet and husband Butch; nephew Terry Doub Jr. and wife Gail; and numerous great- and great-great-nieces and nephews who loved their “unk.”

He was preceded in death by one daughter, Melinda Marx Poturny, his parents, Isadore and Marguerite Marx; and a sister and brother-in-law, Terry and Jane Marx Doub.

Elliot had a great love for his Jewish heritage and enjoyed telling stories of his Jewish grandmother, Mina Levin Marx. He often entertained with his Yiddish accent and expressions, telling jokes he could not finish because he was laughing so hard. He spent much time and money researching the Marx and Levin families left behind in Russia. He even submitted DNA to a Russian program and learned that matches were found in Belarus and Poland. He was also in the habit of writing down stories of his parents and grandparents and sending them to the younger generation for posterity.

Elliot was a devout Catholic after a conversion in midlife; he felt that God was calling him to a deeper prayer life. He shared his thoughts with an interdenominational group of men in Jackson, and they founded the Shekinah Society, devoted to promoting contemplative prayer. He began writing what became known as the “Friday letters,” sending them to hundreds of people every week to encourage their faith and prayer life. He wrote these letters for over 30 years. He was an active member of St. Peter’s Cathedral in Jackson, and though he was often tempted by the casinos on Saturday night, he was always faithful to his duties as usher at St. Peter’s on Sunday morning.

Elliot was a devoted football fan. He loved his alma mater Tulane, and frequently called his nephew Butch to commiserate. He also loved the Saints and Mississippi State. The night he died, however, he called a family member and left a message stating he was burning all of his Saints memorabilia and asked that no one say the words “Who Dat” to him ever again. This was in response to the Saints’ loss on Sunday night.

Elliot will be greatly missed by family, friends and colleagues. He signed every letter with these words … Dominus vobiscum (The Lord be with you) and L’chayim (To life!).