AMES, Mark

Mark Ames, beloved and devoted husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and friend, 72, passed away Saturday, January 7th in Decatur Illinois with his wife Darlene "Dolly" by his side. Mark, known affectionately to friends and family as Goofy or The Duke, was born on June 15th, 1944 to Thelma and Whitney Ames of Findlay Illinois. Mark grew up on a farm where he raised peacocks and mischief with his brother, sister, cousins and friends. He went to school in Findlay where he was a two sport athlete, playing basketball and baseball for the mighty Falcons. Mark was a star on the basketball team, holding the single game scoring record for the Falcons for three decades. After high school he attended Eastern Illinois University on a basketball scholarship. He graduated from Eastern and moved to Decatur where he worked as an accountant for Caterpillar for nearly fifty years. It was at Caterpillar where Mark met Dolly Platzbecker, the love of his life, his wife and partner of 46 years. Mark and Dolly were wed April 4th, 1970, they had two sons, Christopher and Stephen. In 1991, Mark and Dolly opened the Arches Antique Marketplace in downtown Findlay and became a mainstay of the village to this day. Summer was his favorite season, summer meant tomatoes and golf. Mark was an avid golfer. In fact, one of his countless projects was to build his own putting green at Christopher's home, for the times he couldn't hit the links. Mark was truly a visionary with a keenly analytical mind, whose tireless enthusiasm and unique creativity left an indelible mark on the world and all who knew him. A kind and loving man, Mark was generous with his time and enthusiasm and so was rich with friends and family. Mark was a lifelong member of the Goon Squad, a tight knit group of adventurers and ramblers, the likes of which we won't soon see again. Mark was well known for his gregarious, fun loving, whimsical nature. He seldom traveled without his bag of hats and wigs, always at the ready to entertain friends and strangers alike with a goof. He was famous for his annual "Strolling with the Goons" custom crafted guide to the entertainment at the Decatur Celebration, where he loved to take in the sights and sounds with his beloved parrot Frankie riding on his shoulder. Mark took his greatest joy and pride in life from his love of family, his wife and children, parents and siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews and particularly his grandchildren and great grandchildren. Mark was a doting and dedicated grandfather who had a unique, special relationship with and a perfect nickname for each of his grandchildren. Mark was preceded in death by his parents; his siblings Frank and Joy; his nephew T.W. and his dog Little Bits. He is survived by his wife Dolly; his son Christopher Ames of Mt. Zion and granddaughter and grandson in law Kayla and Sam Johnson and great grandchildren Riley and Brody, and granddaughters Jackie and Libby; his son and daughter in law Stephen and Grace Ames of Springfield MO and grandchildren Castle, Decker, Vena and Addison; step daughter and son in law Gina and Doug King of Moscow Mills, MO and grandchildren Taylor and Jim; and many beloved nieces, nephews and cousins. There will be a prayer service at 4:30 pm followed by visitation 5-7 pm on Wednesday January 11th at Graceland-Fairlawn Funeral Home in Decatur. Funeral services will be 10 am Thursday January 12th at our Lady of Lourdes in Decatur followed by burial at Graceland Cemetery. The family of Mark Ames is being served by Graceland/Fairlawn Funeral Home, 2091 N. Oakland Avenue, Decatur, IL. View the online obituary and send condolences to the family at