“All eyes aloft. Look far above your
heads. On a towering structure of steel
you will see the great...” The line still
rolls off Ed Mark’s tongue with the
perfect inflection of the Happy Land
Carnival circus announcer he once
And jokes and stories follow as he
always needed a joke for a customer
for the years he worked as a salesman
working for companies like Keebler.
Not to be outdone, Greta—
daughter of Seattle musician Gretchen
Smith—sang in her band. She also
worked 21 years as a credit manager
for the Bon Marché at Northgate, until
she was replaced by computers.
Ed and Greta moved to
Northaven four years ago. Greta
had a heart attack just months after
moving in, and she recalls how much
help Rosa (from our housekeeping
department) was during that time.
Greta has two children, and Ed has
three from long previous marriages.
One of Greta’s daughters works for
Dr. Sage, the dentist across the street,
who donates a day a year to the
Medical Teams International mobile
dental van when it comes to Northaven.
They have been married 47
years and, with Greta’s diabetes
and macular degeneration and Ed’s
Parkinson’s, “We take care of each
other now,” they chime in together.
And they always have a ready smile.
Greta is a Seattle native, and Ed
was born in Eldorado, Kansas and
went to high school in Toledo, Ohio,
where he was a cadet in the Nazareth
Hall Military School Academy.
Greta, 89, says she “found a
younger man the second time” in Ed, 84.
Ed cooks their breakfast every day.
“I make the best waffles there are.”
Greta cooks lunch, and both are proud
of their culinary skills, having taken
cooking classes early in their marriage.
“It was always a great date night.”
They take their evening meal in the
Northaven dining room with a group of
people who have become good friends.
“Alex (our bus and medical van
driver) takes us to all our doctor
appointments. Rosa does our laundry.
We have never seen such caring
people, and it starts with Darlene,
Northaven’s executive director."