Mark died August 13, 2022 from a hiking accident in British Columbia, at the age of 35. Mark, his partner Paola and their dog Ollie had recently moved to BC where Paola had accepted a position at the University of Victoria.

Mark was educated in Halifax at Oxford and St. Patrick’s. After high school, he travelled to Uruguay and Sooke, BC with Canada World Youth. He then obtained his B.Sc. in Geological and Earth Sciences at Dalhousie, and M.Sc. in Geology at University of Toronto.

Mark’s life was an adventure. As a geologist, his work and studies took him throughout Canada and overseas, including Northern Ontario, Nunavut, the Yukon and Turkey. His travels included far-flung places all across Canada, and Central and South America. With Ollie, he explored many lakes, beaches and mountains from NS to BC, as well as Ecuador, with their favourite walk being Long Lake in Halifax. He had many memorable vacations with family to Keji and Milford House, as well as Bowron Lakes BC, Algonquin Park and Peru. Mark met many friends through sports, particularly soccer and basketball.

Mark is survived by his partner Paola Beneras, parents Margie and Bruce Higgins, brothers Ian (Jess) and Ross (Hilary), sister Jenna (Glen Nicholson), nephew Henrik and baby niece Flora, of Halifax; Paola’s family in Ecuador; several aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

Cremation has taken place. A Celebration of Mark’s life , for sharing memories and stories, will be held at the St. Mary’s Boat Club, in Halifax, NS on September 25th from 1-5 PM.

Condolences may be offered to the family below.

McCall Gardens


  • Clary Kempton

    Bruce, Margie and family – So sorry to hear of Mark’s passing. Please accept our sincere condolences. We are thinking of you.

    Clary & Debbie Kempton

  • Martin Gibling

    I remember Mark very well from his time at Dalhousie. He was such a warm and thoughtful person, and it was always a pleasure to spend time and conversation with him. His passing is a great loss, and all the family are much in my thoughts through this difficult time.
    Martin Gibling

  • Kyle Johnson

    My deepest condolences to the Higgins family. Mark was one of a kind, he will be missed dearly.

    Rest easy big guy.


  • Stephanie Hughes

    Sending my deepest sympathy and love to Paola, and to the Beneras and Higgins families.

  • Neil MacIntyre

    My sincere condolences to the entire Higgins family. I will never forget Mark’s kind nature, sense of humour and ability to tell a great story. We shared many great memories and laughs since our time meeting on the UKC soccer team.

    Rest In Peace, Mark

  • Barbara Emodi

    Oh Margie this is just heartbreaking. I am so sorry. I am remembering simpler times when all the kids were little. You always were the best mother. Such a tragedy. Condolences to you all.

  • The James Family

    To Margie, Bruce and Family: there are no words that can bring comfort at this time of profound loss. Please know that we are thinking of you all. Mark was always so kind to all of “Margie’s kids” including Hannah and CJ. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Andrew Stretch

    Bruce, Margie, Jenna, Ross & Ian.
    We were shocked and saddened to hear of Mark’s passing. You’ve all been in our thoughts for the past month.
    Mark was a fine young man, gone far too soon. Lean into the beautiful memories that you all shared as a family.
    Our deepest condolences.

    The Stretch Family
    Andrew, Marion, Nolan & Lucy

  • Denise Hansen (Gaul)

    To the Higgins family – We were all so very sorry to hear the news about Mark. He was a wonderful young man, a great friend to our daughter Gina and a sort of older brother to our son Kevin. Such a loss. Deepest sympathy.

    Denise, Barry, Gina and Kevin Gaul

  • Cindy and Edgar Creighton

    Dear Ian and Jessica and the Higgins family. Edgar and I were so saddened to hear of Mark passing. We meant Mark at Ian and Jessica wedding. A young life gone so suddenly, hold your memories dear and know our thoughts are with you.

    Love Cindy and Edgar

  • Rob and Margie Oliver

    Margie, Bruce and family
    We were so very sorry to hear of Marks death! A great young man gone way too early!! Our sincere condolences are with you as you navigate this tragedy with your family. Somehow words seem so inadequate at times like this. May you gather strength from the arms of your loving family as they gather at the celebration of his life and find some peace and comfort there! You are in our thoughts! Sending hugs!

  • Audrey and Wayne Smith and family

    Margaret, Bruce and family, it is with deep sadness to hear that you have lost one of your beautiful sons. We remember when you told us you were having twins shortly after having Ross. Those memories of our little ones playing in our driveway and backyards is so precious. Mark sounds like he was such a beautiful person and will be dearly missed by those who were very fortunate to know him personally. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this very sad and difficult time . Lots of love and hugs to all of you. Wayne , Audrey ,Chris,Kevin and Brian your old neighbours.

  • Deb, Ian, Stew and Andrew Paterson

    To the Higgins Family
    We were so saddened to hear of the tragic accident that has so suddenly taken the life of your beloved Mark. It is beyond comprehension.
    May you find some moments of peace and solace in these dark times, and find the strength and support to move forward through the love and care of the family and friends around you.

  • Emily & Andrew

    Dear family and friends of Mark,

    We are so beyond words for this tragic event. In the little time we shared with Mark, his genuine warmth and kindness was felt immediately. Our hearts are with you during this most difficult time.

  • Fonnie MacAulay

    Sincere condolences to Margie and family on Mark’s passing. I hope the comfort brought by family and friends at this very difficult time help ease the pain of his loss.

  • Paula levangie

    Margie I’m so sorry to hear of your sons passing. Your in my thoughts and prayers. Hugs.

  • marcel aucoin

    Margie and Bruce our condolences to you and family . We did not know of your tragic loss until today while checking the Chronicle Herald.Our thoughts are with you now as you get through the days of mourning of such a tragedy
    Godblees and wish we could see you but we are far away until Dec.

  • Joy Barkhouse & John Newbery

    Dear Margie, Bruce and Family — Please accept our deepest and most sincere condolences. News of Mark’s death is utterly heartbreaking. He was such an adventurer, who loved life and the beauty of nature. A walk in the woods, a paddle, sitting around a campfire telling stories — these are the memories to treasure. Your family has been an inspiration to many and in return, many are there for you to lean on as needed. Much love ~ Joy, John, Jack and Skye

  • Sheila Dixon

    Sheila, Brian and Stephen Dixon

    Our sincere condolences to the Higgins Family…such a tragic loss of one so young.
    May the many good family memories you have made, help you find comfort in your grieving process…..

    Sheila, Brian and Stephen

  • Sandra J Hickey

    Margie and Bruce and family – I was so sad to hear of Mark’s tragic accident. You are all in my thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.

  • Heather and George Kennedy

    Dear Margie,Bruce and family,
    So sorry to learn of Mark’s passing.Our thoughts are with you.Take care .Heather&George Kennedy

  • David and Lenora Murray

    To the Higgins family, we would like to send our heart felt condolences to your family during this difficult time. We were blessed to have met Mark at Ian and Jessica’s wedding. Life isn’t always fair so cherish your wonderful memories of Mark!

  • Roz and Mark Penfound and family

    So very sorry for this terrible loss. Please accept our sincere sympathies.

  • Martin Shannon

    My thoughts and prayers are with the Higgins family. Great family that I admire and am glad to know. May his memory be a blessing to all who knew him.

  • Nino Kovačević

    Mark was someone I looked up to during our time together on the UKC Soccer Team. He had a unique grace with which he tackled the challenges we all faced as student-athletes and was a truly wonderful storyteller. We shared meaningful memories and hearty laughter.

    My deepest condolences go to his family.

  • Katie Bradley (Pickrem)

    To the Higgins family, I was so sorry to hear of the passing of Mark! Growing up around the corner, spending many days at Ardmore park, then Oxford, Mark was always a staple in the neighborhood! Sending my condolences to you all, he was a great guy! May you gain comfort in all your memories, and may he rest peacefully

  • Jamie MacDonald

    My deepest condolences to Mark’s family and friends. What a tragedy. My thoughts are with you during this sad time.

  • Joanne Duffett & family

    My sincere condolences to you Margie and Bruce and all your family. My thoughts and prayers have been with you all since I heard the news about Mark’s sudden passing. May he forever Rest In Peace.

  • Coleen & Jack Corbett

    Ian and Jess: Our deepest sympathy to your whole family. Our family is holding you all in love and prayers during this tremendous time of grief. Coleen, Jack and Family

  • Sharon MacLeod

    I was so very shocked to hear of Mark’s passing. Please know my heartfelt prayers and condolences go out to all of you. I wish you all strength at this devastating time.

  • Paddy Kelly

    Deepest condolences. So many great memories with Mark from our hockey pools sports and many more. Such an amazing person. RIP Mark

  • Dave and Elise Boudreau

    Elise and I want to express our sincerest condolences for your loss. A wonderful life lived; gone much too soon… Please know that all of you; Mark’s loved ones, family and friends are in our thoughts and prayers during this most difficult time and the days ahead. Hoping that you find comfort and solace in knowing he is dearly loved, respected and adored by so many. He will never be forgotten…
    David and Elise Boudreau

  • Brandon Adams

    My deepest condolences to the Higgins family. I knew Mark when we were young, and he was a bright, kind and funny young man. As an adult, I was so glad to see what a good man he had become. He will always live in my heart and those he touched.

    I’ll miss lacing up the skates with you, and all of your quick-witted commentary. Prayers and Love. Peace be with you.

  • Jerome Downey

    My deepest respect and condolences to the Higgins Family and all who loved Mark. An incredible energy, vision, impact and life lived and never forgotten!

    Jerome L. Downey

  • Alison MacKay-Lyons

    Dear Family,

    My heartfelt condolences for the death of Mark. It is an unimaginable loss. Hoping you find comfort in the memories you shared with him. Although I did not know him well, I knew him to be kind and sincere. A bright light.


    Alison MacKay-Lyons

  • Sara, Jon, Erik and Seth Nicholson

    Our deepest condolences. A life well lived and tragically cut way too short.

  • Alex Poulton

    A wonderful man whose smile, sense of adventure, and humility impressed everyone around him. May he rest in peace.

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