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It is with profound sorrow that we announce the passing of
David Mars, a 99 year old resident of Lynchburg, VA and
Rockville, MD on October 4, 2023.
He was the beloved husband for 70 years of the late Gloria A. Mars; cherished father of Larry
Mars, Marianne (Michael Gross) Mars and Carolyn (Todd) Mars Angioli; loving grandfather of
Jennifer (Tim) Mars O’Neill, Derek (Chelsea) Mars, Amanda and Kelsey Gross, Emelia and
Leah Angioli, and proud great-grandfather of Bodie Mars.
David was born in Brooklyn, New York, to parents Lawrence Mars and Marion Spitz Mars. He
spent his childhood with his parents and paternal grandparents. He graduated a year
early from Boys High School, a Magnet Science and Technology High School in Brooklyn.
As soon as he turned eighteen in July 1942, he enlisted in the Army. Stationed in Georgia, he
began college as a chemical engineering student. His unit, the Tenth Armored Division, was
sent to Europe after D-Day in 1944. He recalled that in France, he spotted a German V-1
missile (buzz bomb) noisily flying overhead towards England. He participated in the Battle of the Bulge.
After the war, he joined a Battle of the Bulge club of soldiers and together they shared experiences and
stories from World War II for many years.
As a Jewish soldier, he was aware of the extra danger he would face if captured by the
Germans. When there was an immediate threat of capture, his superiors told him to discard his
dog tag, which displayed the letter “H”, signifying he was Jewish. Decades later, he recalled in
an interview with the Lynchburg newspaper “I didn’t have to be told twice.”
He had a long and successful career as a nuclear engineer. After his return from World War II,
he completed bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering at City College of New York and
New York University. Later he obtained an MBA from the University of Lynchburg. His career as a nuclear
engineer began at Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island. He then became a project engineer
with Babcock and Wilcox Nuclear Energy Company, which moved him and his young family to Lynchburg,
VA. He worked with B&W until he retired at age seventy. David’s expertise was in nuclear safety. He
was part of the investigation and response to the Three Mile Island event. He worked in
conjunction with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
David had a wide range of interests. He was a member of the Lynchburg Toastmasters Club. In
1961, he won an award for his humorous speech titled “ Going to the Cats”, a reference to his
family’s many cats. He loved history, especially early American history, and read many books on
Being part of the Lynchburg Jewish Community was extremely important to him. David was an
active member of Agudath Sholom Congregation, where he and his wife Gloria were members
for 66 years. During that time he served as president of the congregation. He was also a principal
and teacher for the synagogue’s religious school.
One of his favorite activities was volunteering with the B’nai B’rith Brotherhood every year on
Christmas Eve in the local hospital emergency room. He thoroughly enjoyed this and looked
forward to it every year. He and his partner always stayed longer than their assigned shifts.
Another one of his priorities was passing along Jewish learning and traditions. He enjoyed teaching and
reading Hebrew with his grandchildren. In addition, through the years he taught Hebrew to friends and
colleagues during his lunch breaks.
He prioritized family and his life revolved around being a part of his children’s and grandchildren’s lives.
He attended many of his grandchildren’s dance recitals, school concerts, sporting events, graduations,
B’nai Mitzvahs and weddings. He felt the greatest joy when his family was together for holidays and other
A passionate and excellent writer, he regularly wrote to family about Judaism, current family events and
details about family history. These long letters served as family glue, keeping aunts, uncles and cousins
close to one another despite living many hours apart.
We will miss you so very much.
Services were held at Quantico National Cemetery with Rabbi Amy Sapowith officiating.
Services entrusted to Sagel Bloomfield Danzansky Goldberg Funeral Care.
Donations in his memory may be made to The David Mars Memorial Fund at Agudath Sholom
Congregation, 2055 Langhorne Road, Lynchburg, VA. 24501; (434)- 846-0739.
Agudath Sholom Congregation
2055 Langhorne Rd,, Lynchburg VA 24501
The David Mars Memorial Fund