Mark Richard Warren was born in Coeur d ‘Alene, Idaho on March 9, 1958 to Richard Lavern Warren and Della Melissa (Hutson) Warren. He was one of three children with one older sister and one younger brother. His father worked as a hard rock miner, most notably in Ouray and Silverton.
Mark’s love of rocks and minerals was inspired early on when he went to work in the summers for Benjamin “Benjy” Kuehling at his Columbine Mineral Shop while attending high school in Ouray. It seemed natural that he would later follow in his father’s footsteps when he was hired in the summer of 1974 by Standard Metals in Silverton as a surface worker. The following summers of 1975 and 1976 were spent working for the Camp Bird Mine in Ouray starting as a surface worker and later as an underground nipper.
Mark graduated from Ouray High School in 1976 and went with his father that fall out to the Gooseberry Mine located east of Sparks, Nevada where he began his long career as a hard rock miner. The next 40 years saw him working in more than 30 mines in Idaho, Oregon, Colorado, Nevada, Montana, Utah, Arizona, and California with names such as Sunshine Mine (ID), New Savage Mine (NV), Silver Butte Mine (OR), Sixteen to One Mine (CA), Maverick Mine (Silverton), Brooklyn Mine (Silverton), Mountain Top Mine (Ouray), Revenue Mine (Ouray), Sutro Mine (Virginia City, NV), and many more.
Mark became known for his careful and meticulous skills in timbering the shafts, drifts, raises, and stopes he worked in. He loved the look and feel of the massive square cut timbers used in these operations and incorporated them into the design of the house he built in 2006 in Silver City, Nevada where he lived until he died.
Outside of work, Mark also became known for his daring, and sometimes reckless, approach to life. He had an affinity for fast cars, spontaneous adventures, and dynamite. A headline in the August 8, 2005 issue of the Nevada Appeal in Carson City, Nevada reads, “Mysterious Explosion Puzzles Silver City Residents”. The article goes on to describe a blast that occurred at exactly midnight on August 6th which caused some Silver City residents to fall out of bed and run from their homes. The source of the explosion was never identified by local law enforcement, but the perpetrator was well known to his family and friends.
Mark died of pancreatic cancer in his home in Silver City on March 7, 2022. He was preceded in death by his father, Dick Warren, his mother, Della Norwood, and younger brother, Tony. He is survived by his daughter, Hannah Rose (Warren) Rodriguez and her daughters, Carma and Luna, of Antioch, California, his daughter, Ruby May Warren of Gardnerville, Nevada and his sister, Michelle (Warren) Pierce of Lake City.
Mark’s legacy as a hard rock miner will live on in the hearts and minds of the many men who he worked with and mentored throughout his career. Family and friends will celebrate his life in gatherings being planned later this spring and summer in Silver City, Nevada and Ouray, Colorado.