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Alexandria Native Mark McCaslin, 58, Passes After Valiant Fight Against Brain Cancer

Graduate of St. Mary's, Bishop Ireton and JMU

Man in baseball cap looking right.
Mark McCaslin, 1965 – 2024. (Photo: McCaslin Family)

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Mark H. McCaslin, 58, passed away peacefully on January 16 surrounded by his loving family. Mark was everybody’s favorite guy; he had a remarkable ability to transform strangers into friends, readily extending a helping hand or comforting presence to those in need. His sociable spirit thrived on shared moments over a cold beer and friendly games. His enormous circle of friends is eclipsed only by his devoted family, who were with him every step of his valiant fight with brain cancer, and he loved them with everything he was.

Born July 3, 1965, in Alexandria, Mark was the son of Robert W. and Wanda L. McCaslin. A proud member of the tight-knit Old Town community, he attended the Basilica School of Saint Mary and Bishop Ireton High School. After graduating from James Madison University in 1988, Mark worked in the Capitol Hill office of Illinois Rep. Henry J. Hyde, chairman of the House Judiciary and International Relations committees, and later joined a Washington, D.C. public relations firm.

In 1989, Mark switched gears, entering the restaurant business where he charmed and entertained as a bartender and manager of various establishments in Old Town, Del Ray and Clarendon. It was during this time that he crossed paths with Alicia Gross at Hard Times Cafe, marking the beginning of a partnership that would change his life. Celebrating 24 years of marriage in October, Mark and Alicia built a family together, residing first in Old Town and most recently in Beverley Hills.

Mark’s impact extended beyond his family. He was a fantastic soccer and lacrosse coach, always going the extra mile for the kids, relishing in post-game snacking and chatting, and delivering his matter-of-fact teachings with a wink and the occasional literary quote. In 2013, Mark became a hands-on partner at the Key Brewing Company of Baltimore, where he was known for his warm smile and kind words, creating a welcoming atmosphere for all who visited.
Preceded in death by his parents, Mark is survived by his devoted wife, Alicia (Gross) McCaslin, and their children Lane and Finn. He is also survived by his oldest brother Robert and wife Tami, his middle brother John, and nieces and nephews Kerry E. McCaslin, Melissa Caughy, Molly Zarzecki, Mark R. McCaslin, Madeline L. McCaslin and Michael R. McCaslin. Beyond his immediate family, Mark leaves behind a vast community of heartbroken friends and neighbors, all of whom are richer for having known and loved him. Mark’s legacy of warmth, friendship and generosity will forever live on in the hearts of those who were fortunate enough to share in his journey.
A viewing will he held on January 25 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Everly-Wheatley Funeral Home, 1500 W. Braddock Road, Alexandria; followed by a Catholic Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 the Basilica of St. Mary, 310 S. Royal St., Alexandria. Interment will be at St. Mary’s  Cemetery to follow.

Mary Wadland

Mary Wadland is the Publisher and Editor in Chief of The Zebra Press, founded by her in 2010. Originally from Delray Beach, Florida, Mary is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Hollins College in Roanoke, VA and has lived and worked in the Alexandria publishing community since 1987.

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