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Mark Robert DeCaria

Mark Robert DeCaria, 70, former Second Judicial District Court Judge, Weber County Attorney, husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend to many, died peacefully, surrounded by family and friends, December 12, 2021, after a heroic struggle with complications from a surgery to repair an aneurysm.

Mark was deeply devoted to his family. He was born on December 4, 1951, to Joe T. DeCaria and Leta Isola DeCaria and raised in Ogden, Utah with a strong and nurturing, often celebrated, Italian heritage. His mother, Leta was exceptionally warm, engaging and an excellent cook, often making wonderful Italian meals for their wide but close group of friends who regularly gathered, a trait Mark inherited, cherished and incorporated into his life. He attended St. Joseph’s Elementary and graduated from Ogden High, attended Weber State, and graduated from the University of Utah before earning his law degree at Hamline University’s School of Law in Minnesota.

After law school, Mark chose to make his life in Ogden and married Tracy Youse in 1983. Together they had three children, Stefanie, Alexander (who died as an infant), and Angela. After Tracy’s tragic death in 1988, Mark was both mother and father to his daughters for 14 years.

In 2001, Mark married Meri Ploetz, after meeting her through a family friend while golfing. He was so proud of his daughters’ accomplishments in the medical field and his wife's career in the arts. Together they adored their grandchildren, enjoyed art, worked NYT crossword puzzles, and shared their warmth with their broad circle of friends. They loved traveling, especially their repeated trips to Italy. Visiting the town of Lucca, Mark reunited with relatives who had remained there. He was inspired to speak Italian, often practicing with his sister, Chris.

Mark’s legal career was guided by his integrity, an inherent sense of justice and his belief in the power of redemption. Governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. had the insight in 2009, to name then fourth-term Democratic County Attorney DeCaria to the bench of the Second Judicial District Court, the capstone to his long and distinguished career. He served there with distinction until he retired a decade later. His strength of conviction and intelligence were tempered by his humility and open mindedness on the bench. Those who were fortunate enough to come before Judge DeCaria’s Drug Court often were given a second chance to turn their struggling lives around.

Mark served many local and national organizations with wise counsel and leadership. These included the National District Attorney’s Association, the American Bar Association, the Weber/Morgan Children’s Justice Center, the Ogden-Weber Community Action Agency and the ACLU of Utah. As Weber County Attorney, Mark helped found the Weber/Morgan Domestic Violence Coalition.

Mark savored life. He was energized by people, made friends easily and shared his life openly and generously. He loved good food, literature and music (both listening and by playing the guitar), skiing, golfing, hiking, cycling and scuba diving. He also enjoyed cooking, recreating some of his mother’s recipes and sharing food and drink with family and his many close friends. A perfect sunny winter’s day would include uninterrupted runs down Wildcat at Snow Basin, followed by playtime with his grandchildren, then returning home with Meri to enjoy a dish of Bolognese pasta.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Joe and Leta DeCaria, and his first wife, Tracy Youse DeCaria, and his infant son, Alexander DeCaria.

He is survived by his wife, Meri Ploetz DeCaria, his daughters Stefanie (Andrew) Wright and Angie (Cole) Panter, his brother Joe DeCaria (Reno Nevada), his sisters Elizabeth (Neil) Krutz (Reno Nevada), Mary Anne DeCaria (Reno Nevada), and Chris DeCaria (Salt Lake City) and five beautiful and loving grandchildren.

A celebration of Mark’s life will be scheduled for the spring when the weather will allow a safe gathering outside.

In lieu of flowers, etc., Mark’s family ask you to consider a contribution in his memory to any of the organizations in which he was involved.

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mark DeCaria , please visit our flower store.


Mark used to protect myself and my younger brother on the bus ride to St Joseph's when we were kids. He was a good friend a good neighbor and a good man God bless your eyes mark. John and Peter Lyon

Peter L Lyon Jul 29 2022 3:20 PM

What a great loss to this world. I had the pleasure and honor to see this man make changes in the lives of many for the better. He saw the good in all and used his gifts to better humanity. Thank you God for allowing us all to be blessed by such a fantastic human. Be with his loved ones and offer peace and gratitude for the time he did have.

Andrea "Andie" Morris Apr 14 2022 3:48 AM

A candle was lit in memory of Mark DeCaria

Rosa Caballero Mar 10 2022 9:12 AM

Meri, sending you my deepest condolences, we are so sorry about Mark, it's unbelievable that he's not here with us anymore, but he will live in our hearts, you guys were family to us not just friends, we loved him so much.

Rosa Caballero Mar 9 2022 10:24 PM

I am so sorry about Mark, sending you my deepest condolences, we are still in shocked and so, so sad that he's gone, Meri do you remembered when we invited you to my mom's birthday party couple years ago, that you and Mark were so happy eating Mexican bbq at my parent's home? You guys were family to us not just friends but family, we loved him so much.

Rosa Caballero Mar 9 2022 10:21 PM

Sending you my deepest condolences, I am so so sorry about your loss, Mark was so special for us he was like a family, Do you remember when we invited you guys to my mom\'s birthday party, that he was so happy eating a Mexican bbq at my parent\'s place? We will miss him so much but just keep in mind that he will be in our hearts for as long as we remember him.

Rosa Caballero Mar 9 2022 10:15 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Mark DeCaria

Rosa Caballero Mar 9 2022 10:09 PM

We were surprised and saddened by the passing of our good friend, Mark, We closely followed the reports of his hospitalization, and hoped and prayed he would recover. Mark was a remarkable person in so many ways. He was an excellent attorney, a great administrator and an outstanding judge. We will both treasure our many experiences with him in the law, government, and politics. His calming influence always helped solve problems and left people feeling good about the solutions. His energy and excitement helped even challenging situations progress smoothly. He will missed by the two of us personally, and our entire community.

Reed and Martha Richards Feb 2 2022 1:57 PM

So sorry for your loss. Mark was a kind and loving man, his presence on the bench will be forever missed. My husband, Mel Wilson , were good friends.

Sue Wilson Jan 31 2022 3:37 PM

A candle was lit in memory of Mark DeCaria

David C. Wright Jan 15 2022 3:56 PM

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