I.W. Marks, Jeweler, Philanthropist, 73

Legendary Houston area business and philanthropic leader, I. W. Marks, died Thursday at 3:25 p.m. at The Methodist Hospital. The cause of death was Aden carcinoma and multi-organ failure. He was 73.

The announcement was made by his sons, Brad and Daniel Marks, who were at their father’s side at his death along with their respective wives, Melissa and Susan. Also at I.W. Mark’s bedside were Marks’ wife, Shelly Ann, Mark’s sister, Ruth Silver, and her daughter, Marla Levine.

“He was an incredible role model to my brother, Daniel, and me and to so many people throughout the community through his business and charitable works,” said Brad Marks. “We will do our best to live up to his great reputation for serving and supporting our community, our customers and our industry with the greatest vision, caring and utmost respect.”

The brothers serve as vice presidents of I W Marks.

Founder, president, and namesake of Houston’s largest independent jewelry store, I.W. Marks leaves an indelible mark on the city, having served on the boards of the Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan Houston, Houston Grand Opera, Houston Symphony, Crime Stoppers, Society for the Performing Arts, and Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo as well as several business and bank boards. His store was elected into the Leading Jewelers of the World , representing the entire Southwestern U.S.

I W Marks led his store as a multiple winner of the Better Business Bureau Award for Distinction and Award for Excellence, five-time recipient of the Business Committee for the Arts, Inc., and FORBES Magazine’s national Business in the Arts Award, including THE BCA TEN Award for Top 10 companies supporting the arts in the U.S., and the Jefferson Award for community service.  

The family would like to publicly thank all of the physicians and nurses at The Methodist Hospital and TIRR for their outstanding medical care and compassion. They would also like to thank their extended Houston family—friends and employees, business associates, members of the philanthropic community and, of course, their customers.  Over the past seven months the family has been overwhelmed by all the outpouring of prayers, love and concern for their Dad, according to Brad.

Marks had been in intensive care for five consecutive months last year at The Methodist Hospital where he was treated for a very resistant staph infection. In December he was moved to TIRR for rehabilitation. He was diagnosed with cancer this month.   
His parents and his first wife, Diane Golman Marks, predeceased Marks. His survivors are his wife, Shelly Ann Marks, son and daughter-in-law Daniel and Susan Marks and their sons, William and Andrew, his son and daughter-in-law Bradley and Melissa Marks, his sister, Ruth Silver, numerous nieces and nephews, and his dedicated employees, including Jay Holtorf, who have worked at I W Marks for more than 20 years. 

Funeral services are pending.