Dr. Mark Bing loved his faith and family. He adored Katy ISD athletics, most of all Katy High School.
Dr. Mark Bing loved his faith and family. He had a passion for trains, biking and Diet Coke. He adored Katy ISD athletics, most of all Katy High School.
But above all, he lived to help.
“He was all in about serving people,” said Charlie Stevens, formerly the Katy ISD assistant athletic director over sports medicine who is now a consultant with the district. “He was a go-to. He was always doing whatever, whenever, to serve the community of Katy.”
“Selfless” is the first word people use when describing Dr. Bing, who died Jan. 9 from the effects of Fragile X Tremor and Ataxia Syndrome (FXTAS). Dr. Bing (1951-2021) was most notably the Katy High football team physician, taking over the role from his father, Dr. Lyndon Bing, in the early 1980s. He is in the Texas High School Football Hall of Fame and the Katy ISD Hall of Honor.
The stories of Dr. Bing’s unselfishness and passion for his community and Katy ISD are tales of legend.
When he found out high school wrestling student-athletes and coaches were using home remedies to treat skin infections to avoid high medical costs, Dr. Bing offered to treat them for free. Every Wednesday at 5 p.m., he showed up at Taylor High and treated any kid from any school in the district that had a skin issue.
If a student-athlete didn’t have enough money to buy gloves or shoes, Dr. Bing purchased the necessary equipment and donated it to the football program on behalf of that kid.
Dr. Bing offered physicals for student-athletes at discounted rates. He sponsored state championship rings, received decades later, for Katy High’s 1959 football team. He served the district’s wrestling program as a physician and official. His support in the Greater Houston Cycling foundation aided the Alkek Velodrome’s youth cycling program for decades.
“He was a great friend,” Katy High head football coach/athletic coordinator Gary Joseph said. “The biggest thing we miss about him is his presence every day. Anybody that’s that unselfish … He would do anything for anybody. We knew we could call Dr. Bing.”
Justin Landers, formerly the longtime Katy High athletic trainer and now Katy ISD’s assistant athletic director over sports medicine following Stevens’ retirement last summer, is an alumnus of the Katy High Class of 1995. He was a student trainer under Dr. Bing in the early 1990s.
“Even as a student, as I worked through the program, he was there to teach me,” Landers said. “He allowed me to stand side by side and cut stitches with him. He told me stories about the history of Katy High School. All of that stuck with me. His fondness and excitement for Katy football and the city of Katy was just so abundant.
“The guy gave me advice on how to become a better person to how to deal with medical situations to how to help coaches. ‘Justin, you always do the right thing and you treat the person how you would treat your kids and you would want to be treated. Coaches can be frustrated about the situation, but in the end, you’ve won the heart of that kid and you did what was right.’ It’s something I still use today.”
Landers’ favorite memory of Dr. Bing comes from the 1992 season, when the Tigers played Jersey Village for the city football title. Landers and Dr. Bing talked excitedly the whole game, discussing plays and which way runs were going and who would make the big defensive play.
Landers took pride in being Dr. Bing’s “eyes and ears” at practices during the week so he could relay to him the game-plan.
After the 10-9 win over Jersey Village, the two embraced.
“We were like little kids, jumping up and down, hugging each other,” Landers said. “It was pretty emotional, something I remember fondly. Even as an adult, in 2012 winning the state title, I can remember doing the same thing, jumping up and down with him, hugging him. Pretty special.”
Stevens recalled working a junior varsity wrestling tournament at Katy High on a Saturday about six years ago. Skin checks were a requirement for ringworm, et cetera, and one of the officials wanted to flag an athlete. Landers, then the Katy High athletic trainer, phoned Dr. Bing to intercede.
After each expressed concern about what was taking Dr. Bing so long to arrive—he lived just two miles from the school—Stevens and Landers learned Dr. Bing, who once flew home from a family vacation to attend to a playoff game in 2001, had been downtown at church when he received their call, left hurriedly, and even received a speeding ticket along the way.
“I learned that sometimes when you were going to ask him for a favor, you asked what he was doing before asking,” Stevens said. “He would drop everything he was doing to come help you.”
Dr. Bing cared so deeply about Katy ISD athletics that anyone who wanted to be a partner in his practice had to agree to cover high school athletic events, unpaid and on their own personal time. Dr. William DeSimone, Dr. Rick Adams, Dr. Andy Shen, and Dr. Paul Bing, Mark’s brother, have carried on the accessible and giving culture established by Dr. Bing with the district in light of his passing.
Dr. Bing, who helped the development of the Katy Medical Complex into what is now Memorial Hermann Katy Rehabilitation Hospital, played an important role in Katy ISD expanding its sports medicine initiatives. Now the hospital is able to get referrals on behalf of Katy ISD for surgeries and other needs for student-athletes, and the district is able to utilize the hospital’s resources and personnel expertise.
When a doctor was needed as oversight for an AED (Automated External Defibrillators) program for the school district, Dr. Bing volunteered. When a doctor was needed to sign off on an EMT program the district was doing, he volunteered for that as well.
Not long before he got sick, Dr. Bing’s desire was to work for the Katy ISD athletic department, cover athletic events and be the Katy High team doctor without having a practice. That’s what he wanted. He had gotten it set up to where he was going to just cover nursing homes for his practice, but that’s when his health started to turn.
“It was like, ‘Shoot,’” Stevens said. “It was but for a fleeting moment that he’d gotten to where he wanted.”
Dr. Bing married his loving wife, Kelly Beck Bing, in 1987. He is survived by her and his five children: Elizabeth Cools and husband Joshua Cools, Ethan Bing and wife Claudia Wei, Natalie Morgan and husband Cody Morgan, Mariel Godeaux and husband John Godeaux, and Elliot Bing; along with five grandchildren and two more grandbabies on the way.
Dr. Bing was the eldest son of Dr. Lyndon Bing and Dorothy Bing and brother of Sarah Turner, Rebecca Quantz, Martha Culbreth, and Dr. Paul Bing.
It is Lyndon and Dorothy whom Landers credits for Dr. Bing’s affinity for serving others.
“His dad had a life-of-service attitude. His mom took care of the family and had a life of service to the church,” Landers said. “I think that’s why he ended up serving people, because he didn’t know anything else.”