Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice



By Nancy Ludin

I am really sorry to share sad news. My oldest brother, Mark Newberger, passed away from pneumonia on May 2, 2020. He was born June 29, 1952, just shy of 68 years old. Mark attended Haverford College where he was their all inter-academic soccer goalie and then went to Cornell Law School. He followed in his father’s footsteps and became an administrative law judge in the Philadelphia suburbs. His daughter, Lauren, was the love of his life, and he was so proud that she graduated from Stanford, got her PhD in economics and worked as a professor at the University of Michigan. Mark was so excited four months ago when is grandson, Charlie, was born.

Mark was very loving, bright, athletic, great looking and humorous and the girls really liked him. They practically lined up to date him, and there were so many of them! My father said Mark should write a book—The Gals in my Life from A-Z.

I have so many positive memories. Some people have older brothers who picked on them. Mark never did.  Mark was always loving and very protective. I used to tell other children that I had two big brothers who would beat them up if they bothered me.  When I was 8 and Mark was 15 we took a family trip out west. At one of the canyons, I got tired and could not hike any more. Mark put me on his back and carried me all the way to the top of the canyon. I was a very big 8-year-old, so it was a really kind gesture. (Mark gave me hundreds of piggy-back rides during my youth, but this was by far the most difficult one.)

Mark and our brother, Craig, had great singing voices and whenever our family traveled in a car, we would all sing folk songs. Mark and Craig and I were in the temple choir. Mark and Craig always played one of the lead roles in the Purim Cantata. I dressed up as a beauty contestant, since I had no musical talent, but was treated as if my role was equally important.

I watched a lot of sports with Mark, I never cared much for the games, but Mark used to tackle and tickle me, and I liked the attention. Mark and I played ping-pong daily, and my greatest joy was beating him once when I was around 18 years old. I made such a big fuss, and he was proud of me instead of feeling diminished.

When I attended the University of Pennsylvania, Mark’s law office was nearby, and he took me out to lunch each week. I always liked showing him off to my friends.

One thing I learned from Mark that I later experienced with my own sons is that children go to the lowest common denominator. I never felt our age gap, because Mark acted my age when he was with me. He was always so much fun. I think I was tickled and poked throughout my entire childhood.

My absolute favorite memory of Mark is when I was in middle school and he was in college and our parents were taking us out to dinner. Apparently, we were obnoxious in the driveway, so they took the other car and left us. We decided to make them feel bad, so we went into the house and got snacks and games and returned to the car and ate and played (pretending that they had left us without keys to the house). Our parents felt so bad when they returned from their dinner and apologized profusely.  That could have been the end of the story, but the funny part happened later. The next day, my mother was driving and heard a rattling sound in her car. She was very concerned and took the car to be serviced. The man checked everything out and diagnosed that the issue was Chinese checkers. Mark and I had left the game in the car.

Mark is survived by his mother, Gloria Newberger, his brother Craig Newberger (Trudy Phillips), his sister, Nancy Ludin (Craig Ludin.) He is also survived by his daughter, Lauren, and her husband Jeff Berquist and their son Charlie. He had three nephews—Daniel, Aaron and Evan Ludin, and a niece,Heather Newberger. He adored his dog Ricky.

Donations in Mark’s memory can be made to a charity of choice.


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