Former state senator and Vietnam Navy veteran Mark Watkins Gee of East Greenwich dies aged 79

Saturday 02 July 2022

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Mark Watkins Gee, 79, formerly of East Greenwich, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on Thursday June 23, 2022 while residing at Lincoln Lighthouse. Born in Boston, MA, he was the son of Charles McQueen and Matilda Moulton Gee, and brother of Cynthia Gee De Monbrison of Paris, France; Charles McQueen, Jr., and Michael Moulton Gee, both predeceased him. In 1965 he received his BS from Washington & Lee University, where he also nurtured his lifelong love of music by singing for the acapella group Sazeracs.

Mark then served in the United States Navy as a Communications Officer aboard the USS Norris (DD-859), rising to the rank of Lieutenant, Vietnam Destroyer Duty. After an honorable discharge, he served as an instructor at the Officers Indoctrination School in Newport, RI. From 1970 to 1976, Mark was a marketing representative in the data processing division of IBM Corp. In 1976, he founded Data Resources, Inc., specializing in custom business forms and data processing supplies. Mark held a variety of elected positions while living in East Greenwich – Fire Commissioner (2008–13), City Council Member (2011–2014) and RI State Senator for District 35 (2015–18).

A resident of Newport for many years, he was involved in the city’s colonial restoration and redevelopment process, including the design and installation of 200 authentic gaslight fixtures. Over the years, Mark has happily volunteered for a myriad of community organizations. Some of these included Operation Clapboard; Norman bird sanctuary; PAC Historic Hill; Energy lunch; Dorcas Place, tutor and mentor; East Bay School-Career Partnership Council, Chair; East Bay Literacy; East Providence Prevention Coalition, Chair; Senior Draft Judge, Barrington and East Greenwich; Providence InTown YMCA, President; East Providence Community Emergency Response Team; Library of Rochambeau, member of the board of directors; East Greenwich Citizens Caring About Substance Abuse Task Force; and the East Greenwich Main Street Association.

Mark’s favorite pastime was exercise, whether it was running with his beloved Cranston Road Runners, working out at InTown Providence or the Kent County YMCA, swim on First Beach in Middletown, bike in Southeast Massachusetts (no workout), or just walk the trails in East Greenwich. He is survived by his wife, Dana Warren Gee, whom he married while running the Newport Pie Run on Thanksgiving in 1995, and their children: Zadoc (known as Zing), Griffin and Hope. , all at home. Mark leaves behind four children by his ex-wife, Lillian Rothe Dick: Annelisa Alden Gee of Saint-Barthélemy Island; Sarah Dawson Green and husband Bill of Wayne, PA; Alexander Rothe Gee and his wife Jennifer of Newport, RI; Christina Gist Gee Kryca and her husband Igor from London; ten grandchildren; and his imaginary childhood friends: Gowky, Sutter, Peas and Newton’s Mr. Hooton.

A burial service with military honors will take place at the RI Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Exeter on July 16, 2022 at 11:30 a.m. A reception to follow the service will be held at the Gee Residence, located at 99 Middle Rd, East Greenwich, RI 02818.

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