It is with much sadness to announce the passing of Mark Stuart, a longtime Riverdale resident, business owner, and community-proclaimed “Mayor of Riverdale.” He lived an amazing life of 95 years.
Born in Buffalo on Sept. 2, 1925, he and his wife Janet made their way to Brooklyn after he received the Purple Heart in World War II to pursue his singing career. He achieved this dream of his with appearances on the Andy Griffith Show, performances at hotels and lounges throughout New York City and the Catskills, as well as records for his songs “Molly” and “Are You Lonesome Tonight.”
With the birth of his twin daughters, Debbie and Robin, came a career change and move to Riverdale. He opened a Gentleman’s Boutique on Johnson Avenue, which became a staple of the neighborhood for nearly 20 years.
Upon retirement — in his 80s — he spent the remaining years of his life doing what he did best: Living life to the fullest extent, and making the best of every day. Regardless of the challenges that life presented him, he would always respond to others by saying, “I’m fantastic!”
He spent the last 10 years as an active member at The Riverdale Y, alongside the infamous “Table 11.”
He was a family man, a community man, a socialite, and an inspiration to many. He didn’t look his age, act his age, or allow age to be anything more than just a number. He lived, loved, and made others around him happy.
A loving husband to his wife of 64 years, father to his daughters, grandfather to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and friend. He will be truly missed.
He is survived by his daughter, Debra Friedman, as well as three grandsons and four great-grandchildren.
The July 7 funeral was officiated by Rabbi Stephen Franklin at the Louis Suburban Chapel in Fair Lawn, New Jersey.
He is interred in a crypt at the Sanctuary of Abraham and Sarah Chapel in Pine Hill Cemetery in New Jersey.