Mark George Detweiler

mark detweiler
Mark George Detweiler

Mark George (“M.G.”) Detweiler departed this life Wednesday, May 10, 2023 after a long illness.

Mark was born October 27, 1928 in Johnstown, PA to Maurice and Celia Detweiler. They, and his brothers John and Bob, predeceased him.

Mark earned his bachelor’s degree from The George Washington University and his master’s from American University. In 1956 he married his beloved wife Shirley (nee Bettin).

After his Army service, Mark began a distinguished 40-year career in the CIA as an intelligence officer, manager, and executive. He received various honors and awards including a Certificate of Merit from the Office of Imagery Analysis. He was also active in the community, serving as church council president and HOA president.

In retirement, he and Shirley traveled the world. They made memories on every continent and in everything that could fly—from hot air balloons and the Goodyear Blimp to helicopters, prop planes, and jets. Mark continued to use his organizational skills as an officer in the Washington Chapter of the Explorers Club and the Circumnavigators Club.

Mark was a devoted family man. He loved his children Karen (Alex) and David (Sabine) and grandchildren Peter, Anna, Clara, and Max. He enjoyed watching them grow and find their way in the world. He took great joy in celebrating their accomplishments.

The family will receive visitors on Wednesday May 17, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. at the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, 1545 Chain Bridge Road, McLean, Virginia 22101. The funeral service will begin at 11:00 a.m. Burial will follow at Columbia Gardens Cemetery.

Donations in his memory may be directed to the NWFCU Foundation, CIRA (NFCU) for scholarships, at P.O. Box 7154, McLean, VA 22106-7154, or to the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer youth ministry with notation in memory of Mark G. Detweiler.

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  1. On behalf of the Washington DC Chapter of the Circumnavigators Club, I would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to you, and those who he kept close to his heart as he slips over the horizon.

    Most sincerely yours,
    Jason Chang

  2. Prayers of peace and comfort. . I have wonderful memories of my great uncle Mark. We looked forward to seeing him & Aunt Shirley when they visited Bedford. A wonderful man, a kind soul, a patriot, who will be greatly missed.
    Love Dana Detweiler Sill

  3. Shirley and Family,We are so saddened to hear of Marks passing,such a great,caring guy,he is not suffering anymore or tearing your heart apart going to see him everyday ,seeing him struggle with that terrible dementia..We so enjoyed you and Mark meeting us at Dennys ,with Terry and many laughs and always talking or showing pics of grandkids!! Things change !! We will be thinking about U and David,Sabine children Karen Alex Peter saying bye for now to loved one???Im sure he will be watching over u all.RIP MarK..Casey & Kathy Detweiler

  4. Mark was my recruiter when I entered CIA, as he specialized at the time in recruiting US military members. He made a daunting process easier and gave it a human face.

    • I was another of those recruited to the Agency by Mark. He fished me out of a political science conference in the late 1980s, and saved me from what would otherwise have been a career in academia. I have been grateful to Mark throughout my 32-year Agency career, and now into retirement. I have always remembered him fondly, and I share Nick’s view that he made that long-ago onboarding process more human. I still remember that he initially interviewed me without revealing who he represented, and I wrongly guessed that he must be hiring from a super-conservative religious college — because, instead of asking about my syllabus and teaching style, he wanted to know if I’d ever been arrested or done drugs! Imagine my surprise when he revealed that he was a CIA recruiter! I still remember that meeting with a smile, and I am saddened to learn of his passing. May God bless him and keep him in peace. With prayers and gratitude to his family, most kind regards, Julie

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