Mark Thomas Rifenbark, 54; National Paddle Tennis Champ


18-obit-rifenbark, mark   Mark Thomas Rifenbark (also known as “Rifey” to his close friends) died on April 2 in Santa Monica.

He was born January 4, 1962, the son of Richard King Rifenbark and Gina Rifenbark. He was the Palisadian-Post’s First Baby of the Year.

Mark was named after his grandfather, Reverend Mark Rifenbark. He was raised in Pacific Palisades and attended St. Matthew’s Parish School. He played tennis in both high school and college, graduating from Palisades High School and attending both UCLA and San Diego State.

As a member of the Bel Air Bay Club, Mark spent endless hours practicing paddle tennis in his youth and winning countless tournaments. He was one of the very few paddle tennis players to win the National Open singles, doubles and mixed-doubles titles. He always added fun, flair and spectacular shot-making to his matches. He became a legend at the Club not only for his paddle tennis prowess, but also his teaching abilities.

He taught countless members and their children the joy of the game.

Mark also loved to boogie board and body surf, and was an avid Grateful Dead fan. He will be greatly missed by all.

He is survived by his brothers, Richard King Rifenbark, Jr., and Neil Petree Rifenbark; his sister Martha Hindin; seven nieces and nephews and three great-nieces and great-nephews. A celebration of his life was held at the Bel-Air Bay Club on April 27.

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