Classmates establish scholarship to honor lifelong friend


Friendships, like good memories, often transcend time.  

Mark Estock, Roger Jones, and Mark Schaeffer met as Bulger Hall freshmen at The University of Akron nearly 40 years ago. Wide-eyed young men full of promise yet nervous about their new beginnings, the fresh-faced trio shared the ups and downs of collegiate life.

Nearly five years later, the young men all made it through, graduating in 1983 with degrees in mechanical engineering and cementing friendships that would last their lifetimes.

After graduation they moved on in the world, building careers and lives, with their friendship forever linking them. Ultimately, and sadly, the strength of their alliance has even survived Mark Estock’s passing away in 2013.

Estock, Schaeffer, and Jones

Mark Estock, Mark Schaeffer, and Roger Jones at a Cleveland Indians game

Last year, Jones and Schaeffer established The Mark A. Estock Memorial Endowed Scholarship to honor the life Mark lived and to continue the service to others he exhibited.

Mark Estock was a lifelong Conneaut, Ohio, resident. He was owner, president and CEO of Creative Millwork of Ohio for seven years and was key to the company’s success for 25 years. Known by his friends and family for his dynamic and charismatic nature, he constantly found ways to help young people and elevate his community. Mark served as president of both the Buckeye Local School district and the Buckeye Band Boosters.

A devoted husband to his wife, Cindy ‘85, and father to his five sons, Mark belonged to several organizations. He participated in the Northeast Ohio Soap Box Derby, taking great joy and accomplishment in helping his sons--four of whom are UA graduates; the fifth a current student—build competitive soap box cars.

Jones and Schaeffer say their friend enjoyed life and took his community work seriously, delighting in the differences he helped make in people’s lives. They say the depth of his friendship and willingness to get involved and promote education will always be remembered.

Schaeffer even credits Mark (and Roger) for his graduating from the University.  “They were always willing to help me when I was trying to figure out our mechanical engineering coursework. I would not have made it through UA without both of their help and patience,” said Schaeffer.

“Higher education is not all about a degree, or building a career or a resume to be proud of, but ultimately, the main purpose is to build strong communities,” said Jones, a member of the UA Mechanical Engineering Advisory Council. “Mark was selfless and always gave. He has inspired me to be more intentional about my time and to use it for good purposes, to do things that are focused on helping other people.”

Mark Schaeffer shared the college trio often dreamed of starting their own consulting firm together after graduation, even coming up with the firm’s name and defining the role each would hold in the company.

However, it was Mark Estock’s zest for life that will always remain with Schaeffer.  “Mark was always up for an adventure. He had a willingness to jump in and try new things,” says Schaeffer.

The Estock family also made contributions to The Mark A. Estock Memorial Endowed Scholarship and welcomes additional gifts from others. For information on making a gift, please contact Megan Hopper, Director of Development, at or 330-972-5686.