Mark D. Sokolik, a corporate lawyer remembered as a fitness and music enthusiast, died last week after complications from a fall.
He was 30.
A former Hunt Valley resident who attended Loyola Blakefield in Towson, Mr. Sokolik went on to graduate from the University of Baltimore and become a top student at Georgetown University's Law Center. Since 2010, he had worked as a corporate attorney at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in New York, one of the nation's top law firms.
"Mark was a real gentle person," said Frank Sokolik, his father, whom Mark talked with constantly on the phone. "He was sensitive, kind, positive. I'm never seen him angry at anybody."
This weekend, friends and family remembered Mr. Sokolik as a kind-hearted, music-loving natural athlete, who participated in many sports, playing soccer and running track at Loyola. Later in life, the passionate Ravens and Orioles fan continued to pursue fitness activities, going skiing and scuba diving, playing racquetball and taking classes for spinning — a form of stationary cycling.
When his sister, Corinne Sokolik Jackson, asked him to run a half marathon last year with her in Baltimore, he showed up and beat her, without training, she said.
"He was really super athletic," she said. "When he was little, he won all the swimming and running races without even trying."
Mr. Sokolik was also an avid fan of the band Phish. His sister estimated that he attended about 100 of the group's concerts.
"He was definitely into the jam band scene," said his father.
Born in Baltimore, Mr. Sokolik graduated from Loyola Blakefield, then was awarded honors and a degree in history in 2006 from the University of Baltimore, where in 2005 he was a member of a championship team in the Ethics Bowl, an intellectual and ethics competition. At Georgetown's law school, he became an executive editor of the Georgetown Law Journal and earned an internship with Paul W. Grimm, the chief magistrate judge of the U.S. District Court in Maryland
"Mark really poured his heart and soul into law school," his sister said. "He was really, really smart."
Upon graduation, Mr. Sokolik was hired at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, where he focused on legal work involving capital markets, corporate governance and merger and acquisition transactions.
Strauss Zelnick, a friend from New York who has known Mr. Sokolik for about a year, said he was struck right away by Mr. Sokolik's "sunny" disposition.
"He was incredibly outgoing and friendly," Mr. Zelnick said. "He had a warm and open personality. If you asked how he was doing, he would almost always say, 'Kind of great.' That properly captured him."
Family members say they will always remember his kindness.
"He also always had a lot of friends," Corinne Sokolik Jackson said. "He would never say bad things about people. He was very trusting of other people. He didn't see a bad side of people at all."
Ms. Jackson named him the godfather to her daughter, Natalie. Ms. Jackson said her brother greatly enjoyed spending time with his nieces and nephews.
"He really loved his family," agreed Frank Sokolik.
Mr. Sokolik is survived by his parents, Frank and Violet Sokolik; sister Corinne Sokolik Jackson and her husband Mark; niece Natalie; and nephews Danny and Brady.
His funeral will be held at the Catholic Community of St. Francis Xavier Church, 13717 Cuba Road in Hunt Valley, today at 10 a.m..