LGBT Parents Group Founding Member Morris (Mark) Mones Dies
Queens, NY – Morris (Mark) Mones a founding member of the Queens Chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) died on September 1, 2017. Mr. Mones passed away just before his 90th birthday. Mark, as he was fondly known, was a former board vice president and treasurer of the organization.
“Mark’s legacy as one of the first fathers to openly support his gay son over 25 years ago will always be remembered by those of us in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities,” said NYC Council Member Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights, Elmhurst). “His contributions are tremendously significant especially because in the early days few fathers were willing to fight for the rights of their gay children.”
At PFLAG meetings, originally held at the Church on the Hill in Flushing and now at the Reform Synagogue of Forest Hills, Mr. Mones would talk to other fathers about his unconditional love for both of his sons – Eric, who is straight, and Glenn, who is gay. He led by example supporting and educating parents about homosexuality. His ultimate goal was to get fathers, in particular, to advocate for their LGBT children. His work was groundbreaking and unprecedented.
Mr. Mones worked as a public relations specialist for many years promoting Broadway shows and representing some of the top celebrities of his time. He used skills from his job to help promote PFLAG and often times secured tickets to Broadway shows to be raffled off at PFLAG fundraising events among other things.
Mr. Mones was married to Selma Mones who died in 2010. Selma was also very involved in the PFLAG/Queens chapter – staffing the group’s hotline from their home in Rego Park. Mark and Selma were honored for their work in 2009 by Queens Borough President Helen Marshall.
“Together they were quite a team,” Dromm continued. “They counseled parents who had just found out their child was LGBT – often times during late night or early morning phone calls.””
Mark was a lovely person,” said Anne Quashen, president and founding member of the PFLAG/Queens Chapter. “He was part of the PFLAG team for years and served as the treasurer of our chapter. Mark and his wife ran the hotline. He was always there for us. His son Glenn came out to him when he was 31. Mark was always so supportive of both of his children. I will always remember how he danced at my 80th birthday—he was a regular Gene Kelly. Mark was a joyful person, always full of life. He was a pleasure to be around, and I will miss him dearly.”
“Mark was a great dancer and could cut a rug at any occasion,” said Mary Audrey Gallagher, Dromm’s mother. “He and Selma attended almost every Queens Winter Pride event from its inception where we would dance the night away. Along with Anne and Larry Nelson, the group’s current outreach and media director, we formed a deep bond. We were like family in so many ways spending holidays, summer vacations and monthly dinners with each other. I will sorely miss him and his advocacy for the LGBT communities.”Mr. Mones is survived by his sons Glenn and Eric and his wife Teresa.
Mr. Mones funeral will be held at Schwartz Brothers Chapel in Forest Hills, Queens at 11:30 am on Tuesday September 5, 2017. Burial will follow at Beth Moses Cemetery in Farmingdale, NY.