Edward Mark Sheldon

Edward Mark Sheldon


Edward Mark Sheldon is also known as E. Mark Sheldon but better known as Mark Sheldon is the Great Great Grandson of the Rev. Henry Olcott Sheldon. Mark was born 23 Nov 1919 to Frank Hobbs Sheldon and Dorothy Elizabeth Skinner in Colorado Springs, El Paso County, Colorado. His family moved to southern California for his early years and then to the Reno, NV area for his high school.  It was there he met his wife-to-be.

He married Betty Rose 25 Dec 1939 in Oakland, Alameda County, California. They had two children.  He graduated college from San Francisco State College in 1941.  A draft card lists him at age 21 as a music teacher in an Elementary School system in Kingsburg, CA. He joined the Navy in 1941 Radioman 2nd Class.  His talents as a teacher were quickly realized so he became an instructor in the school.  He was commissioned with the rank of Ensign in 1943.  In 1944, he served in the South Pacific establishing radio bases in the region of the Philippines. He was released from active duty in 1946 yet remained in the Naval Reserves.  He achieved the rank of Lieutenant in 1949 and Commander in 1973. He retired in 1979.

After leaving active service he taught electronics at the City College of  San Francisco.   In 1959 he joined Ampex Corporation; a company involved in sophisticated electronics.  He joined them to establish a corporate training program. In 1965, he joined Control Data Corporation and helped establish the curriculum for the Control Data Institute.  Control Data was very instrumental in the development of computer software.  His career clearly exhibits his love for teaching and cutting-edge technologies

The Minnesota cold where he lived during his Control Data days eventually drove him and Betty back to California in 1969. He worked for a number of different companies, eventually joining  the Xerox Corporation in 1974.  He retired from Xerox in 1984 as a corporate trainer.

An active boatsman for much of his life (are we surprised) and a family man had him relocate to Jacksonville to a place on the St. Johns River that was not far from family.

We are most fortunate and thankful that he brought all these skills with him to the Sheldon Family Association.  His passion for genealogy was a lifelong one because in the 50s and 60s he was an organizer of family gatherings in the Reno and northern California areas.

The 80’s saw Mark get very active in the SFA

1981    He is Chairman of the Conference Committee

1983    He became SFA President

1985    He is identified as SFA’s computer guy and as Past President, a member of the Board

1988    He is awarded special recognition by the Federation of Genealogical Societies for his efforts in computerizing and categorizing SFA genealogic records.

1989    He is involved in the SFAQ layout

By 1990, the Sheldon Family Genealogy system had grown in capability to include four remote computer stations and a master station.  This facilitated the production of genealogical publications. In years to follow, he remains active with the annual meetings, his role as past president, at one point even Editor of the SFAQ.  It appears that in around 1997, he puts his efforts to rest.

Betty, his companion of 63 years with whom he celebrated their anniversary on the 25th of every month (they called it their Month-Aversary) passed away in 2004.  Mark, himself passed away 19 Feb 2008 in his 89th year.  Both he and Betty are buried in Orange Park, a suburb of Jacksonville in Jacksonville’s Memory Gardens under St. Mark’s Tower.

Like his great-great-grandfather, we honor Mark Sheldon for his tremendous contributions in moving the Sheldon Family Association forward. From data management to SFAQ  publication and annual meetings…. virtually everything we do he touched in some way.

This biography was written by Michael B Sheldon with assistance from SFA publications written by Mark Sheldon and with generous input from his sons Ross and Robert.