Mark Puch, ceo of Chicago-based Primrose Candy, died last Friday. He was 63 and is survived by his wife, Dawn (nee Castro) and children, Gia, Mark Jr. and Nina as well as his mother Lillian and brother, Jeff, and his wife, Mary.

Puch, together with his brother Jeff as coo, worked passionately to grow Primrose Candy Co., which started as a hard candy manufacturer and expanded to produce a broad range of confections, ranging from caramel, salt water taffy, popcorn confections and nutraceutical confections.

Under Mark and Jeff’s leadership, the company combined Old World candy making techniques with modern automated processes at the 130,000-sq.-ft. plant on the near Northwest Side of Chicago.

Nicole Puch, v.p. of operations at Primose and Mark’s niece, passed along the following memorial about her uncle:

To our friends, family, loved ones and so many who loved Mark Puch. It is with great sadness that we tell you of Mark Puch’s passing.

How do we tell you of the love that he had for you, the industry and people in general? If ever there was a person who had a passion for life, lived every day to the fullest and loved all those that he came in contact with, that would be Mark.

Mark served as ceo of Primrose Candy for 30 years. He along with his brother Jeff lead the family into the 4th generation of candy makers, a feat only 3 percent of family businesses realize. Before accepting his role as ceo of Primrose Candy, Mark worked as a CPA at Ernst and Young, and ran the sales department under his father, Frank Puch, at Primrose Candy. 

He leaves behind a loving wife Dawn, daughter Gia, as well as other working family members Mark Jr. (son), Nina (daughter), brother Jeffrey and his wife Mary, Alouise Gredell (sister), and nieces Nicole, Michelle, and Kimberly Puch.  Mark’s circle was so much greater than that. He had friends from all walks of life. Whether it was from coaching or the volunteering of his time, Mark had many close friends.

Mark loved life! He loved hockey, golf, baseball, biking to name just a few. Most of all Mark loved the people. Whether they were colleagues from the confectionery industry, playing partners at the golf course or volunteers of a charitable organization, he truly loved being around people. He engaged people thoroughly. Too often his conversations became lively discussions with opinions being voiced on both sides, but always with a smile and a hug at the end.

He will be remembered not only as a wonderful Dad and son, husband and father, but a true light in everyone’s heart.

He will be missed dearly but his passion and determination for life will continue on with those whose lives he touched!

Visitation hours will be from 3:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday at Skaja Terrace Funeral Home, 7812 N. Milwaukee Ave in Niles, Ill. A funeral mass will be held at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church (1775 Grove St., Glenview, Ill.) at 10:00 AM.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers donations should be made to the Inner-City Education (ICE) Program (, which is a Chicago-based not-for-profit corporation that helps low-income children obtain educational and hockey opportunities not otherwise available to them.