Born and raised in Green Village, NJ, Mark was the son of Arthur G. Fenske and Helen Carner. He attended Chatham Twp. Schools, and Boston University before moving to New Hampshire. A self-taught businessman and entrepreneur, Mark focused on building a successful career in the restaurant and hospitality industry. In 1984, Mark became a founding partner of T-Bones Restaurant in Salem, NH. He was instrumental in growing partnerships and a single restaurant into a New Hampshire institution: Great New Hampshire Restaurants (GNHR). The company has expanded to include nine locations (T-Bones, Cactus Jack’s, and Copper Door), a central commissary and catering arm, several real estate companies, a management company, and a charitable trust, FEEDNH.org, supporting families, elderly, education and disadvantaged throughout the state.
Mark’s dedication, vision, ability to collaborate and support his businesses, partners and employees was the hallmark of GNHR’s core values and its success. He considered GNHR his second family. As CFO, devoted leader and mentor with a passion for history, architecture, design and quality in all things, Mark most often remained behind the scenes. Nonetheless, he along with partner Tom Boucher (CEO) and the company were honored in 2009 by NH Business Review “Excellence in Hospitality” award. In 2013, Mark was honored again by NHBR as the “Financial Executive of the Year.” Business NH Magazine honored the company in 2020, naming GNHR “Hospitality Business of the Decade.”
A curious, industrious thinker and tinkerer, Mark renovated old houses, restored antique trucks, and was a student of local histories. He loved the outdoors, farming, gardening and was committed to protecting and conserving the state’s natural environment, history and culture. Mark loved The Granite State.
In addition to his long-time business partners and devoted employees, Mark is survived by his brother, Karl A. Fenske of Bradley Beach, NJ, his sister Susan Fenske McDonough of Nashua, NH, his nieces and nephews; Rachel Fenske Davis (Yancy), Catherine McDonough, Martha Fenske, James McDonough (Danielle), Taylor Fenske (Megan), Grace McDonough, and several great nieces.
A “Celebration & Remembrance for Mark Fenske” will be held on Monday, Nov. 27, 2023, at LaBelle Winery – Derry (located at 14 NH-111, Derry, NH 03038) from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m., with a special presentation honoring Mark at 5:30 p.m.
In Mark’s honor, donations can be directed to: FEEDNH.org, Bedford, NH, or to Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, Concord, NH.