Mark Mincer, owner of the University of Virginia sportswear store that’s been a local institution for decades, died Saturday. He was 60 years old.
“He was my whole life,” his son Cal Mincer told The Daily Progress.
Mark Mincer was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a rare form of brain cancer, in October of 2020. Doctors told the Mincer family that he was likely to live another 14 months after he underwent a surgery. He lived another 27 months.
“He told all of his friends and family over and over again, that it would have been way worse to just get hit by a bus or something like that,” Cal Mincer said. “It definitely feels too early.”
Glioblastoma is a particularly aggressive and treatment-resistant cancer. It claimed the lives of the late U.S. Sens. Ted Kennedy and John McCain.
The time between his father’s diagnosis and his death gave Cal Mincer and his family time to adjust and figure out how they would run the store and their lives without him, Cal Mincer said. They plan for the business to remain in the family, as it has for four generations.
Cal Mincer took over as the store’s primary operator after his father became sick.
Mincer’s started out in 1948 as Mincer’s Humidor, a smoke shop with a location down the Corner, according to the store’s website. In 1954, it moved to its current location and began selling magazines. For a period, it was the area’s largest seller of records. In 1976, it sold its first UVa T-shirt: orange with “1976 ACC Champs” printed on the front to commemorate the men’s basketball team’s win in the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship. It was such a success, Mincer’s shifted to selling sportswear.
When he wasn’t running the store, Mark Mincer was busy coaching the Monticello High School girls’ lacrosse team, even after his three daughters graduated from the school.
“He was the main parent that would bring the coolers and the drinks and do the planning,” his son said. “Whatever we were involved in, he was involved in.”
UVa sports fans took to Twitter to express their sadness at Mark Mincer’s passing, many calling it a “huge loss” for customers, the Corner and the Charlottesville community.
“The Corner isn’t the Corner without Mark and his family,” the Barstool UVa account tweeted.
Cal Mincer expressed his gratitude for the messages on Sunday.
“It means a lot that he’s considered such a large part of Virginia athletics, when it’s just what we do to make a living,” he said.
Mincer’s was closed Sunday. It will reopen Monday for business but close again Friday for a memorial.