Mark Druss

Mark Druss passed away on April 6, 2018 at Longmont, Colorado, after a long illness. He was born during World War II at Jefferson Army Barracks in St. Louis, Missouri, where his parents, Mildred Schpeiser and Harold Nitzberg, were social workers. Mark grew up in New York, first in Brooklyn with his mother’s extended family and then in Roslyn Heights, Long Island. When he was 21, Mark was formally adopted by his beloved stepfather, Abe Druss.


After graduating from Roslyn High School, Mark attended Columbia University in New York, where he earned his BA, MA, and PhD degrees in Anthropology/Archaeology. He conducted field work in Mexico, in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile, and in the eastern U.S.


In 1977, Mark moved west to Idaho where he taught anthropology at Idaho State University and spent decades working in cultural resources management in the northern Great Basin. He and his wife, Claudia, raised three children in Idaho. After a long career, Mark retired from Idaho Power Company where he served as Senior Archaeologist. Mark and Claudia moved to Colorado in 2014 to explore new lands after he retired.


His lifelong love of music led him to play jazz saxophone in local bands in Idaho and Colorado. He also loved motorcycles and anything outdoors, including sailing, canoeing, skiing, hiking and nature photography.


Mark is survived by his wife Claudia and their children Jared, Garek, and Emilie; his mother Mildred Druss (age 101); his sister and brother Sarah Druss and David Druss and their children; and his half-sister Laura Nitzberg. He was preceded in death by his adoptive father Abe Druss, his biological father Harold Nitzberg, and many New York relatives.


Mark’s memorial will take place at 1:00 pm on Wednesday April 11, 2018 at Summers Funeral Home in Boise, followed by burial at Dry Creek Cemetery. Memorials in lieu of flowers may be sent to the Dry Creek Historical Society at or 5006 W. Farm Court, Boise, Idaho 83714.