In memory of
Mark Trela New Harmony, Indiana - Mark Trela, 67, of New Harmony, Indiana passed away peacefully at his home on June 25, 2020 after a nearly four-year-long battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his four sons and close friend Karen Davis Brown. Mark was born in 1952 to Walter and Marie Trela in East Chicago, Indiana. His strict Catholic upbringing, which often involved family vacations to religious shrines instead of theme parks, helped shape his signature sense of humor and wit. After attending Indiana University, he went on to write comedic radio plays for the Sears Radio Theater in Los Angeles, California, inaugurating a lifelong commitment to writing which, while full of twists and turns that would find him stowing away in Dick Butkus's dressing room one day and publishing poems in a gardening magazine the next, allowed him to express his boundless creativity. While living in California, Mark discovered biodynamic agriculture, an organic approach to gardening inspired by the writings of Rudolf Steiner that brought into concert his love of nature and deep spiritual tendencies. His mastery of the practice eventually drew him back to Indiana, where he took on the challenge of incorporating a biodynamic approach to landscaping and gardening in the town of New Harmony. With the support of town patron Jane Blaffer Owen, Mark transformed New Harmony into a paradise on the Wabash. His abundant knowledge and deep sensitivity to the natural world brought a wash of color and beauty to the streets of the historic town, and many of his eye-catching landscaping projects remain today. Perhaps his greatest work was the creation of Fragrant Farms, at its heyday home to over 8,000 peony plants and six acres of grape vines, all cultivated biodynamically. Mark, as friends and family recall, was a uniquely creative and joyous spirit. He loved golf, gardening, Scrabble, Chicago sports, spiritual exploration, ancient runes, silly puns, The Big Lebowski, leaving events unexpectedly early, discovering new music and sharing it with his friends, writing his own song lyrics, and spending time with his grandsons, Bryson and Jace. His memory will live on in the many seeds he planted, both literal and spiritual. Mark is survived by his mother: Marie Trela, of Highland, Indiana; sons: Casey (Lesa) of Evansville, Indiana, Grady of Evansville, Indiana, Riley (Natalie) of Los Angeles, California, and Bailey of Brooklyn, New York. He has two grandsons: Bryson and Jace Trela of Evansville, Indiana; his siblings: Tim Trela (Maryclare) of Chicago, Illinois, Bruce Trela (Leanne) of Lake Forest, Illinois, Brian Trela (Beth) of Memphis, Tennessee, and Maryann Schaefer (Mike) of Ogden Dunes, Indiana, and many nieces and nephews. The family wishes to thank Mark's dear and close friend Karen Davis Brown, whose wonderful, loving, and dedicated care made his last months as smooth and peaceful as anyone could ask for. A celebration of life event will take place 1-3 p.m. on Friday July 3, 2020 at Holy Angels Catholic Church Park and Community Center, 419 Steam Mill Street, New Harmony, Indiana 47631. Expressions of sympathy may be made to the family online at: www.werryfuneralhomes.com .
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