Mark Arthur Shekter, Dallas architect and GLBT advocate, passed away from pancreatic cancer on July 19 just before his 73rd birthday.

Mark was owner/principal broker of Surrealty real estate firm, founded in 1981. For 44 years, he was the owner of the award-winning nationwide residential design firm Graphic+Design+Group+International+Inc. Since 1971, Mark and his firm designed more than 10,000 projects in 40 states and have won more than 15 McSam Awards presented by the Home Builders Association.

Born in Toledo, Ohio, Mark attended the University of Cincinnati and received his BA in Architecture from the University of Oklahoma in 1967. Throughout his many achievements, Mark has been a past board president of the Stonewall Professional and Business Association, and he was a founding member of the North Texas GLBT Chamber of Commerce, where he received a lifetime achievement award in April. In the late ’80s, Mark created MOM (Meals on the Move), the first meal program to deliver food to people with AIDS. He was an early supporter of The Dallas Way.

Mark has been a member of the Oak Lawn Committee for more than 30 years, including five terms as president and as a past member of the Oak Lawn Forum.

Mark is survived by his sister Mimi, his nephews Hank and Sam Brasch, their wives and children. He was preceded in death by his parents Ruth and Henry Shekter.

A memorial service was held on July 23 at Temple Emanu-El in Dallas and a celebration of life that evening in the Rose Room at S4.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to AIDS Services of Dallas, P.O. Box 4338, Dallas, Texas 75208 or the Great Oak Lawn Fund, Communities Foundation of Texas, 5500 Caruth Haven Lane, Dallas, Texas 75225.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 24, 2015.