Metro Detroiter Florine Mark, Former President of Weight Watchers, Has Died

October 13, 2023, 9:39 AM by  Allan Lengel

Florine Mark

Metro Detroit businesswoman Florine Mark, the former president and CEO of Weight Watchers, died Friday, CBS Detroit reports. She was 90.   

The cause of death was not immediately released.

Mark of Farmington Hills once owned the most Weight Watchers franchises in the world. Earlier this year, she sold the last of her franchise business to Weight Watchers' parent company, the Detroit Free Press reports.

She started her first Weight Watchers franchise in Michigan in 1966.

"Fourteen years ago I sold most of my Weight Watchers franchises. I kept Michigan and parts of Canada because I knew I was too young to retire," Marks said in a statement, according to the Freep.

A widow, by age 25, she had five children with husband Irving Mark,  Sheri, David, Jeffrey, Richard, and Lisa.

This week she spoke to CBS Detroit about having three generations of family in Israel.

Marks was known for her charitable activities. She was active with the Jewish Federation of North America, Jewish Federation and United Jewish Foundation of Metro Detroit, and Business Leaders for Michigan, according to  (previously Detroit Renaissance, according to an online biography.

Daniel Loepp, president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan issued a statement:

"Florine Mark, an entrepreneurial icon, empowered leader and dedicated philanthropist, leaves behind an incredible legacy. She motivated us with her courageous story of resilience and, amid all the challenges that came her way, remained a beacon of positivity. Her presence will be greatly missed across Michigan and by the many she inspired over the years. We extend our deepest condolences to Florine’s family."

Sen. Debbie Stabenow posted on X, formerly Twitter:

"Incredibly sad to learn about the loss of my dear longtime friend Florine Mark. Florine was a leader in so many amazing ways – in business, in Detroit, in the Jewish community, as a role model for women and as the matriarch of a close and loving family."

Former Detroit U.S. Attorney Barb McQuade, who is a commentator on MSNBC and law professor at the University of Michigan, wrote on X:

"So sad to hear about the passing of Michigan business woman Florine Mark. She was a pioneering leader in business and civic life and a friend and role model to me and many others. Her last wish was for peace."

The funeral will be held at Adat Shalom Synagogue on Monday at 1 p.m.

Read more:  CBS Detroit

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