Mark Beck, author of The Theory and Practice of Therapeutic Massage

Mark F. Beck, born to Leonard and Vivian Beck on July 17, 1947, in Illinois, passed away on Nov. 17, 2016.

Mark was an adventurous, kind and patient spirit who inspired all he touched. Mark’s passions included family, massage therapy, peace-making, music, dance, love and hemp awareness.

Starting his career as the one of the first massage therapists in Fort Collins, Colorado, in 1975, he went on to create a business and then went on to massage school in Twin Falls, Idaho.


The Theory and Practice of Therapeutic Massage

In 1988, he authored The Theory and Practice of Therapeutic Massage, a comprehensive and contemporary textbook for massage therapy, for which he recently completed the sixth edition (Cengage Learning, 2017). This edition was also translated into Spanish.

By 1990, he was developing a bodywork healing modality called Structural Muscular Balancing, which he believed could have greatly impacted the massage industry, both for the practitioner and recipient.

But due to an accident on the ski slopes, it wouldn’t come to be. He always regretted not getting to share this knowledge and passion with the world. 


Living with Grace and Dignity

Living as a quadriplegic since 1990, Mark demonstrated the ability to rise above any obstacle with grace and dignity. His unwavering determination helped him remain active in his life and pursue his passions.

He was an advocate for practical housing and accessibility for the disabled as well as a leader to youth through restorative justice facilitation. He sang with the Rainbow chorus and enjoyed volunteering at Lincoln Center and Bas Bleu Theaters.

With humility, Mark lived as a gracious teacher and generous spirit to the world. 

In 2014, he was inducted into the Massage Therapy Hall of Fame, which is administered by the World Massage Festival.



Family and Celebration of Life

During his life he loved greatly: his first wife, Susan K. Miller; second wife, Susan G. Mudgett-Beck; and stepchildren Jill Marie Grenda, Eric James Grenda, Kiva Slack and Cory Slack. 

Mark is survived by his life love, wife and partner Kiri Saftler; his beloved kitty Yin Yang; his children, Angelina Sky Beck, Calendula Rose Beck and John Beck (wife Marie); his grandchildren Briana, Christopher, Cooper and Maggie; his brothers David (wife Mary Ellen) and Bill (wife Sharon); and sister Margaret.

A celebration of Mark’s life will be held on Saturday, Dec. 17, at 11 a.m. at First United Methodist Church, 1005 Stover St., Fort Collins, Colorado, with a reception immediately following.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Mark Beck Memorial Fund. Please see obituary at