Mark P. Holencik


Mark P. Holencik, D.O., 56 of Elliotsburg, Perry County, PA, died Monday, August 30, 2010 in the Penn State Milton Hershey Medical Center. Born in Houtzdale, PA on January 18, 1954, he was the son of Thomas Holencik & Juanita Doolacky Holencik. Mark graduated from Monshannon Valley High School, Houtzdale, PA in 1971 & graduated from Dickinson College, Carlisle Pennsylvania, in 1975 with degrees in Biology & English. During his undergraduate years he played intercollegiate football, was a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity, a member of the Omicon Delta Kappa honorary fraternity for seniors with outstanding leadership ability, was a Humanities teaching assistant, & did volunteer work at the Carlisle Hospital & the Harrisburg State Hospital. Mark graduated from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1979 & did orthopedic rotations in Pediatric Spinal Surgery & Adolescent Sports Medicine at Dr.'s John Hall & Lyle Micheli Children's Medical Center in Boston Massachusetts, in Adult Reconstructive Surgery at Brigham & Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, in Adult Traumatic Orthopedics at Boston City Hospital, Boston University, & in hand surgery at the Jewish Hospital, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky. He did a rotating internship at the Community General Osteopathic Hospital & residencies at Grandview Hospital & Medical Center, Dayton, Ohio, Children's Medical Center, an affiliate of Wright State University Medical School, Dayton, Ohio, & a Clinical Fellowship at the Brigham & Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Holencik was in private practice with the Arlington Orthopedic Clinic, Harrisburg, from 1984- 2002, the Susquehanna Valley Orthopedic Associates, Bloomsburg, PA from 2002-2003, & from April 2003 at Conservative Orthopedics, Carlisle, PA. He was a member of the active staff of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Pinnacle Health System, Harrisburg, PA, & had served as the Chairman of the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the Community General Osteopathic Hospital. He had been involved in the clinical education of medical student interns & residents on a continuous basis from 1984 & lectured frequently to residents in the Pinnacle Health system. Dr. Holencik was the team physician & Orthopedic Surgery Consultant for Dickinson College, Central Dauphin High School, Central Dauphin East High School, Bishop McDevitt, & Harrisburg High School between 1984 & 2002. He had also served as team physician for the Hershey Impact, Harrisburg Heat, Harrisburg Patriots, & as Orthopedic Surgical Consultant for the Harrisburg Senators. Dr. Holenick was a former Board Examiner for the American Osteopathic Board of Orthopedic Surgery, a former Clinical Instructor in Orthopedic Surgery at Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine, Athens, Ohio & at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. He received numerous teaching & faculty awards, & was a member of the American Osteopathic Association, the American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, & the American Osteopathic Board of Orthopedic Surgery. He was awarded Fellow status by the American Osteopathic Academy of Orthopedics. Dr. Holencik is survived by five children, his son, Erik Holencik, of Redding CT, a daughter, Kieran Holencik, of Berlin, Germany, a daughter, Molly Holencik, of Mechanicsburg, PA, a son, Nicholas Holencik, of Mechanicsburg, PA & a daughter, Carly Holencik, of Mechanicsburg, PA. In addition, he is survived by his brother, Thomas Holencik, of Ramey, PA, Thomas's wife, Diane Vancas Holencik, a niece, Dr. Susan Holencik of Latrobe PA, & nephews, Paul Holencik & Steven Holencik, both of Ramey, PA. He is also survived by his special caring friend, Deborah L. Packer, & devoted colleagues & friends, Curtis Goltz, D.O., David Tanner, D.O., William Wewer, D.O., Timothy Mulick & Heather Little. After your first office visit with Dr. Holencik, he knew where you were from, what your parents did, & what kind of dog you had. & you knew what he liked. Dr. Holencik omitted the white coat, insisted his patients call him Mark, & saw art in labor & the use of one's hands, celebrated football, fishing, old cars, & he honored truth & decency & small towns & service to your country. These were all footnotes to a life written between still waters & pyrotechnics. His was a life thick in incident & with remembered detail. Mark loved football. Mark was not the arm chaired, "hope they win on Sunday" football fan, but the type whose love of the game can only begin in a coalmining town. During high school he started both offense & defense, played lineman at Dickinson, & after graduation remained close to the sport by becoming a PIAA official & serving as Team Physician to several local high school teams & Dickinson College. The pinnacle of his football career was when he became the only team physician ever to be thrown out of a collegiate football game over his overly enthusiastic critique of a referee call. NCAA rules require that a team have medical staff on the field, so in order to resume play, a compromise was reached where he had to leave the sidelines but stay within sight by the bleachers. He was both embarrassed & proud as half the stadium cheered & half the stadium booed his antics. While Mark was a Steelers fan, his real love was scholastic & collegiate football & this love would often take him to high school & Division III games on fall weekends. Mark was an avid collector of classic cars, specifically orphan classics. Orphan classics are old cars whose manufacturer have long disappeared - Studebaker, Rambler, Nash, Kaiser, to name a few of the over 300 cars he owned in his life. & not one was a '57 Chevy. These cars were the abandoned ones no one cared about, ones he felt compelled to rescue & restore. As his friends joked, Mark was the crazy cat lady of the classic car world. His love of old cars was instilled by his father, an auto mechanic & later service manager of the local Chevy dealer in Houtzdale. But Mark's cars were not eye candy. He loved what was under the metallic skin, & enjoyed turning wrenches & yanking carburetors before taking them out for test drives along the back roads of Perry County to "shake them down," out of the view of local law enforcement. These jaunts were frequently followed by calls at all hours of the day or night to good friends & favorite mechanics to come pick him up after a breakdown. Mark's other passion was fishing, a grace transfused by his father. Both son & father were accomplished fisherman & Mark took to heart his father's advice that the day you only care about catching a fish, is the day you should stop fishing. Sunrises & their low slung mists restored him, & catch them he did. Not to clean & fry, but brought home to his spring fed pond where his brownies & rainbow trout were relocated & fed to provide evening hours of quiet entertainment. Fishing had become one of his filters distilling his life experiences, some hard, leaving a solution of contentment & comfort. Mark liked to season his conversation with colorful similes but beneath all the guffaw was a brilliant man with a mastery of the English language. He used his command as both weapon & laurel. Mark often bragged that he was the strongest & bravest man in Harrisburg. He was. Visitation with the family will be held on Saturday, September 4, 2010, from 10:00 AM to 12:00 noon in the Trefz & Bowser Funeral Home, 114 W. Main St., Hummelstown, PA. A funeral service will be held directly after at the funeral home. Interment will be at the Sandy Hill United Church of Christ, Kistler, PA in a private ceremony. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Penn State Institute of Neurosciences, Neurosurgery Stroke Center Research Fund, 30 Hope Drive, EC 110, Hershey, PA 17033