College Policy Debate Forums

DISCUSSION => Open Topic -- Any issue => Topic started by: SherryHall on July 26, 2010, 09:21:27 PM

Title: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 26, 2010, 09:21:27 PM
I received the following email forwarded to me from Brian Lain.  At this point we do not have any details as to what happened, but apparently Mark DeLoach former Director of Debate at the University of North Texas and graduate assistant coach at the University of Southern California and the University of North Texas, passed away this past weekend.  There are no confirmed details on the cause of death or word of services at this time.  Mark leaves behind a ten-year-old daughter, and many friends at UNT, USC, and throughout the debate community.

From: Steve Hampton <shamp78@sbcglobal.net>
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 2010 17:13:37 -0500
To: Brian Lain <blain@unt.edu>
Subject: Dr. Mark Deloach  FYI

Dr. Mark DeLoach former UNT Professor passed away this past Friday at his home just outside of Seattle, WA. Mark had not been sick so, at this time, the cause is not known. He was just 46. Those of you that know Mark will remember that his wife passed away from a long battle with cancer a little less than 5 years ago. He leaves behind a daughter, Annabella, who is 10. Fortunately, in many ways, she was not home at the time as she was spending a few weeks with her Grandparents in Albuquerque. She will, most likely, end up there now on a permanent basis.
 
 


 
 Sincerely,
Steve Hampton



 
But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
ISAIAH 40:31
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 26, 2010, 09:22:13 PM
 I am wondering how many friends I can lose in such a short time. Can't believe that we've lost Mark DeLoach. Too stunned to really know what to say, except rest in peace my friend.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 26, 2010, 09:22:48 PM
Joe Bellon :

Damn. The hits just keep on coming, don't they?
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 26, 2010, 09:23:32 PM
Shawn Whalen:

  I understand that he was found in his apartment Sunday (Bella was visiting grandparents). No evidence of foul play or anything self inflicted - there will be an autopsy tomorrow.

No news on services yet.

So, so sad.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 26, 2010, 09:24:23 PM
Jan Hovden :

RIP Mark. You will be missed greatly.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 26, 2010, 09:24:53 PM
Jane Boyd:

 RIP Mark DeLoach - you were a good friend and will be missed by all that knew you.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 26, 2010, 09:25:28 PM
Darren Elliott  :

RIP Mark Deloach. When you left Debate it left a hole in the community and the UNT program. I simply loved talking to you at tournaments and in the years since you have left. Another sad loss for all of us and our friends at UNT.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 26, 2010, 09:25:57 PM
Scott Elliott:
  My condolences. Thinking positive thoughts for his daughter.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: hansonjb on July 26, 2010, 09:26:28 PM
tragic. i am so sad about this. mark was wonderful person--so engaging, funny, really friendly. terrible loss.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 26, 2010, 09:26:50 PM
Stephen Stetson:
 is super bummed about the run of tragic deaths befalling the debate community. What a cosmic run of depressing events.

Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 26, 2010, 09:27:38 PM
John Hines :

Not a good year for the UNT debate family. Another sad day.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 26, 2010, 09:28:42 PM
Alysia Cockrell Davis :

Rest in peace, Mark DeLoach. You were always so welcoming to me. My condolences to all the people you loved and who still love you.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 26, 2010, 09:29:29 PM
Tara Tate :

My favorite UNT memories have always been those of Gossett and DeLoach egging each other on in the battle of sarcasm in the hallways of Terrill Hall. I could not have asked for two more supportive, energetic mentors and the world is a lonelier place without their wit, care, and infectious laughter. I can't believe the UNT family is facing such another tragic loss so soon. Love to my Mean Green family.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 26, 2010, 09:36:37 PM
Darren Elliott :

"I was in grad school at Wichita State and we had a team in a classic D3 runoff rd late in the night of the D3 tournament. Vs the Fort and Bill's team no less. Tournament at UNT. DeLoach drags me to the bar during the rd because I was so nervous. I laughed for an hour and a half as we talked and he told debate stories. Classic DeLoach. Only thing that helped me keep my sanity during that debate. So crazy that he's gone. "
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 26, 2010, 09:37:28 PM
Michael Davis :

remembers Mark Deloach as one of the the first NDT coaches that welcomed this CEDA person into the coaching fraternity.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: stables on July 26, 2010, 09:42:26 PM
Mark was one of the nicest, friendliest people I have ever met. As a debate coach he was a role model in the true sense of the term, a fantastic person who was always giving to those around him. He hasn't been a debate coach for several years, but his influence continues in so many he met.  Thank you Mark. You will certainly be missed. My condolences to his family and friends.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 26, 2010, 09:51:15 PM
Danny Fitzgerald  :

I wholeheartedly agree. He will be missed. This is truly sad. I echo your condolences.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 26, 2010, 09:51:44 PM
Michele Phelps Ramsey :

It's a loss beyond words for me right now, but you said it all very well, Gordon. Thanks.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 26, 2010, 09:52:14 PM
Matt Gerber :

RIP Mark DeLoach...another loss for the debate community, and the second major loss for the North Texas family in a very short timeframe. The thoughts and prayers of the Baylor debate team are with Bella and Mark's many family members and friends.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 26, 2010, 09:59:28 PM
 Dan Bockus  :

RIP, you were always a good friend thorugh the years...you will be greatly missed
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 27, 2010, 03:06:17 AM
Dan Shalmon :

hurts for Prof. Mark DeLoach's grieving friends and family.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: tneal on July 27, 2010, 05:56:02 AM
I didn't grow up with a father and Gossett and Mark were the first positive male figures in my life.  There's not a day that goes by that I don't do or say something directly learned from my days at UNT. 

It was a random call from Mark that got me to debate at UNT and it was Mark who encouraged me to return to the activity after the disastrous hiatus between debating and graduate school.  I've missed him terribly these past few years and yet I feel like he's always with me. I cannot say enough nice things about him.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: Hester on July 27, 2010, 08:01:32 AM
Mark Deloach was one of the best parts of my earliest memories of college debate. i attended ADI the summer before i started at West Georgia. lucky enough to be in Vince Meldrum's lab. other than Omar Guevara, i didn't really know anyone there. my introduction to college debate was largely informed by observing the relationships of the staff at ADI. and it was Deloach's easy-going attitude, his love for debate, but more obviously, his love for his friends and colleagues and students and life itself, that stuck out to me. the feeling of immediately belonging, of being treated like one of the gang - that's how being around Deloach made me feel. in many ways , i was a punk kid who thought he knew all he needed to know about debate, and folks like Vince and Mark could have easily have put me in my place. instead, they made a place for me. i spent the first five summers of my college debate life (4 as a student, and 1 as a faculty) at ADI and i will always cherish those memories. Just seeing how that group of faculty got along made it clear to me this was a community i wanted to be a part of.

Mark Deloach was always approachable, always laughing (that dang mustache!), always friendly.

to everyone currently at ADI - if you are enjoying the person teaching you or teaching with you: hug them right now and tell them how much you appreciate them.

i'm really missing ADI right now...

     
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 27, 2010, 09:30:44 AM
David Kingston :

 RIP Mark Deloach. I don't know what to say.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 27, 2010, 09:34:56 AM
Jason Sykes

:again, the mean green mourn. we'll miss you deloach. if there's a heaven, i hope you and gossett are enjoying the sushi.

 thanks for the stories, mark. you are missed, and we're all feeling a bit more vulnerable now. we lost you too soon, my friend.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 27, 2010, 09:36:10 AM
Joshua Zive:

Mark was an important part of my growing up in D3. My heart goes out to the entire UNT (and Lobo) family.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 27, 2010, 09:37:14 AM
David Rhaesa :

Another friend from the debate world passed away. Rest in peace DeLoach
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 27, 2010, 09:46:09 AM
Tom Hollihan :

Absolutely devastating news. I do not know if I ever met a more gentle spirit. I am crushed.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 27, 2010, 10:12:30 AM
Hajir Ardebili :

 Just read the news about Mark Deloach and am totally stunned. He was a big part of my growth as as debater in D3, especially in my freshman and sophomore years. My condolences to the entire UNT family and all of the rest of the community who knew and cherished Mark's kindness. Can't believe it...

"I remember his laughter.  You could be in a classroom and hear him talking and laughing among a group of friends down the hall.  You knew it was Mark, and you couldn't help but smile.  "
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 27, 2010, 10:24:09 AM
Scott Herndon :

 Feels for friends and colleagues from UNT.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 27, 2010, 10:41:25 AM
 Michelle Matlock Nikisch :

 Mark, Your wit and wisdom will be missed forever. Thank you for all that you did for us fledgling debaters.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 27, 2010, 10:41:50 AM
 Geoff Smith  :

Farewell Mark. So many stories that will stay with me...thank you for all of them.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 27, 2010, 12:04:07 PM
David Breshears :

 Just found out about the passing of my boss, mentor and friend, Mark DeLoach. You will be missed, brother. My heart goes out to Bella.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 27, 2010, 12:05:05 PM
Ede Warner:

RIP to one of the most kind, most thoughtful, and most compassionate folks I've ever met.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 27, 2010, 12:06:09 PM
Adrienne Brovero :

 My heart goes out to the UNT debate family and our community. Mark will be missed.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 27, 2010, 12:08:02 PM
Matt Gerber:

Mark: you judged me many, many times, and you shaped and influenced me deeply as a debater. Some of my favorite memories of debate are coming down to UNT for practice rounds against Julie and Jeff, with you, Garrett, and Jim Gaynor watching! You always emphasized the importance of having a good story to go along with the cards. You were an awesome coach and great person, and you will be missed.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 27, 2010, 12:32:44 PM
Kelly Dunbar:

Rest in peace, Mark.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 27, 2010, 12:34:33 PM
 Ben Voth :

 Father God. Thank you for the great life of this good man. He was a great coach, teacher, mentor to so many. Console us in our great loss. We miss him.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 27, 2010, 12:35:20 PM
 Jason Cannon  :

Mark DeLoach was a great friend, mentor, and confidant. I learned a lot from Mark both in the classroom and out of it. My heart is saddened by this loss. But my sadness pales in comparison to the loss by Bella of her father. I love you Mark and only wish I had told you of the profound impact you made on my life while y...ou were with us. I will mourn today, but i will celebrate you forever.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 27, 2010, 01:11:18 PM
Christopher Burk:

"Shocking. Very sad. My thoughts are with his family"
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 27, 2010, 01:31:45 PM
Rodger Biles :

 Joihn and Mark together were quite the team. I only have a Masters Degree because they willed it. I think they wanted me to achieve more than I did. That was so typical of both.

Adios Mark. I know you'll keep the path cleared for the rest of us, for when its our turn. You meant so much to so many. Thanks for being you.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 27, 2010, 01:32:15 PM
Sara Brennan  :

Thanks Tara, you said it better then I ever can. I have no memories of UNT or what it could possibly be like without Gossett and DeLoach roaming around Terrill.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 27, 2010, 01:32:47 PM
Sarah Glaser  :

My heart goes out to everyone in the UNT debate community.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 27, 2010, 01:37:06 PM
William Mark Montgomery :

Nicest guy I ever debated against.I had a fundraiser last November for a friend that needed a liver transplant and he was the first one to contact me to help.He did this though we were many miles apart and we had not been in touch for many years.This world lost a wonderful,caring individual.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: gbsdebate on July 27, 2010, 01:37:29 PM
DeLoach and Gossett was UNT for me.   DeLoach was the reason that I went to grad school at UNT.  I can still remember him buying numerous rounds of drinks my senior year at the Baylor tournament to guide our discussion about my possible attendance there for my Masters' program.  I remember how easy-going he was in the ever-present drama of the UNT squad room.  I remember the very long van drives, often along the I-35 corridor, with his constant joking and sarcasm.  I remember him calling on me to discuss readings in class...especially when he knew that I was not as prepared as I should have been.  I remember DeLoach then letting me off the hook after I sweated for a while in those moments preparation on my part was clearly lacking.  I remember the weekly gathering at the Tavern on the Green after grad class was over.    I remember baby-sitting Bella right after she was born to give Mark and Dana some time away.

I remember making a huge error my first semester at UNT that almost cost me my career and DeLoach and Gossett offering the 1-2 punch with the UNT administration that saved my ass.

I remember thinking at Gossett's funeral how much Gossett and DeLoach meant to me and how I needed to make sure Mark knew how much I treasured his mentorship and current friendship.  Unfortunately, I now realize I did not follow through on that.  I grieve for his loss and for those of us that are hurting right now.  I can't even process the pain that Bella is feeling.

If I have done half the job mentoring my students that Mark did, I have succeeded in my small corner of this world.

Heartbroken, Tara Tate - UNT MA Class of 2002



Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 27, 2010, 01:49:40 PM
Gregg Hartney:

"I used to judge Mark when he debated for Arlington HS; in fact to this day I do not put added salt on my food because of Mark's Aff case on the consumer product safety topic. Mark didn't have a "real" debate coach in HS so he was always asking for more extensive critique after the rounds and he was one of the most apt and receptive students I ever "taught." As his academic career progressed we stayed in touch, and one year he honored me with the Outstanding Coach Award at the UNT tournament for high schools...his presentation speech codified the reasons why I still do this activity. He was an intelligent, caring individual and all of the worlds in which he lived will miss him greatly."
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 27, 2010, 01:51:04 PM
 Jeff Nicodemus :

 He was a great role model, a wonderful coach and teacher, and a good friend. He will be missed.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 27, 2010, 05:36:06 PM
 Natalie Nichols :

 Mark was my debate partner senior year at UTA. Smart, funny and kind.


"Mark just told me last week he was headed to Russia for work.  We hadn't talked in the longest and then reconnected on FB.  I am heartbroken for his little daughter."
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 27, 2010, 05:36:57 PM
 Yuri Kostun  :

What an example of how to be a fine human being. Will miss you buddy.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 27, 2010, 05:37:49 PM
 Chris David :

 Thanks for everything Mark. You were a fantastic coach, an incredible teacher and a great friend to all. I will never forget the time we all spent in the van on the way to tournaments. Farewell my friend.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 27, 2010, 05:42:16 PM
Jerry Fazio :

Very Sad at the news of the death of my college debate partner and friend Dr. Mark DeLoach. RIP buddy. We had some great times.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 27, 2010, 05:42:54 PM
Kris Seago :

Such a nice fellow. He will be sorely missed.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 27, 2010, 08:13:05 PM
David Coale:


"Good judge, good coach, good guy.  A real shame. "
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 27, 2010, 08:48:38 PM
Matthew Caligur:

Eternal rest, grant unto him, O Lord,and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace! Amen. Goodbye, Mark. I hope St. Peter met you at the Pearly Gates with a laurel and hardy handshake.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 27, 2010, 08:50:24 PM
 Joanna Stewart  :

One of my favorite DeLoach moments: (Upon hearing of a young man's purchase of cheap condoms). "That's NOT where you wanna economize, man!!"
He was soooo funny (as was Gossett)!! The world will certainly have fewer laughs.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 27, 2010, 08:50:59 PM
 James Medford  :

I first met Mark when we competed against each other in an oratorical contest in Arlington in 6th grade. We lost touch after high school, to my regret. RIP.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 28, 2010, 04:13:32 AM
Terry Garrett  :

Thoughts go out today to Mark's family and friends and all the UNT debate crew...I have to think Mark and Coach are laying out the next NDT golf course and finding all the best places for malt 30.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 28, 2010, 04:19:45 AM
Amy Starr :

Took a field trip to the Riverwalk tonight. We're eating at a restaurant when a mariachi band comes up and asks if they can play us a song. The 8-year old, that would be Spencer Zuzolo Starr, shouts out "yes". I ask them if they know "One Ton Tomato" and they laughed and said they did. I felt Gossett would approve, so would Mark. And I thought of all my UNT friends, so far away but close in my heart tonight.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 28, 2010, 06:04:49 AM
Joel Rollins:

 RIP Mark Deloach. My thoughts are with Bella--to lose both parents by 10.

Peace be with you my friend.

I miss you...
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 28, 2010, 08:22:00 AM
 Anne Morris Huckabee :

 Always one of the nicest guys. So poilite, sweet and kind to all. I am privileged to have called you friend.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 28, 2010, 09:40:42 AM
Will Helixon:

Hope you are partying with the G-Man! Farewell until we meet again.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 28, 2010, 10:00:44 AM
Lauren Lynn Oznick:

"I thought it bad to lose both of my parents by the time I was 40, can't comprehend losing both at such a young age.  Prayers to his little girl and the entire debate community who's lives he touched."
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 28, 2010, 01:24:56 PM
 Thomas E. Jewell:

 Mark was without guile, among very few I have had the pleasure to know, particularly considering his passion for life.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 28, 2010, 04:03:34 PM
Kirk Crutcher :

 Mark was a class act and all-around good guy. He will be missed.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: lacyjp on July 28, 2010, 06:43:11 PM
My thoughts go out to the North Texas family.

Mark was one of the people who helped make debate a welcoming place, especially for a shy, insecure, scared kid from Virginia like myself.

I'll miss his smiling face.

-- JP Lacy

Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 29, 2010, 08:15:26 AM
Eli Brennan:


My first memory of Mark was when he flew into Tulsa, taking my Mom and I to the nicest dinner we could remember. We still share a smile about it. It was not as if I needed recruiting, but he staged a scene I will always treasure- watching my Mom beam at the idea that I was actually desired by a college. He casually raised us up, just by being there doing his thing.

Over 5 long years of drama, and despite my best efforts, Mark and the G-Man made me the first college graduate in my family. Without him I would be in a very very bad place (Tulsa), racing for the Bottom.

More than anything I will remember the long, patient, utterly safe conversations we had. He held me together when there didn't seem to be enough pieces.

I and my family owe him more than i can possibly say.

We lost a very fine man. The rest of us are going to have to raise our game.

[I say all of this DESPITE the life-threatening odors he sadistically forced on us in the van.]

peace.
eli
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 29, 2010, 08:16:17 AM
Michael Hall :

"Just heard the terrible news.  Mark was my first lab leader at ADI.  He was a great teacher and and even better person.  My heart breaks for his daughter.  Prayers for all who are mourning his loss."
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 29, 2010, 12:23:34 PM
 Michele Phelps Ramsey  :

Memorial service information for Mark DeLoach in Vashon, WA: There is a memorial at the Presbyterian Church on Vashon Island at 10 AM this Saturday to honor Mark. His Dad will likely be organizing another event in TX soon, as will his in-laws in NM. But anyone in the Northwest region is welcome to go on Saturday in Vashon. You can contact Jim Gaynor (jim.gaynor@lri.com) or Valerie Manusov (manusovv@gmail.com) with any questions. Also, Jim will be setting up two places where people can contribute financial donations in Mark's name.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 29, 2010, 06:06:51 PM
 Matt J Stannard   :

So sad to hear of the passing of Mark DeLoach, who was so supportive of me early in my career, who always showed me a good time in Denton, and who went out of his way to keep in touch with me when he retired from coaching.

Goodbye, old friend, and thank you for all the support you gave me early in my career; thank you for always showing me a good time in Denton; thanks for staying in touch with me after you left debate. I was so lucky to know you.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: eli brennan on July 29, 2010, 07:20:06 PM
I should also leave a mark of thanks for Mark's (knowing) encouragement for my first-night-in-denton (unknowing) hookup with a transvestite {shout out: Hey Phoenix- miss ya!}
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 29, 2010, 08:22:01 PM
 Kathleen Edelmayer :

 WOW! Words cannot even express how tragic this is! :( God be with his daughter! What a wonderful guy Mark was!
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: tneal on July 29, 2010, 08:40:27 PM
From Josh:


About my friend Mark,

I have known Mark Deloach since 1985.  Mark was my coach, a competitor-coach, my boss and coaching partner for many years, and my close friend of over 20 years.  Mark was one of the most genuinely nice and caring people I have had the honor to call a friend.  Over the last month I have talked to Mark many times, and the last time I talked to him was last week.   He was taken much too soon and I will miss him terribly.  I would like to share some stories about my friend Mark.

When I first moved to Denton to be Mark’s assistant director at UNT I was a frequent visitor to Mark and Dana’s house.  Mark was there for me in ways it is hard to explain.  I didn’t have a bed when I first moved there so Mark gave me one.  I didn’t have a car when I first moved there so Mark drove me around whenever I needed a lift.  I didn’t have a phone for the first year I lived there and Mark not only put up with it he acted as if it was normal.  When I had problems or complaints Mark (and Dana who was also a friend of mine) listened and helped.  I cannot remember one time when Mark was not there when I needed him or think of one way he didn’t support me or one time he didn’t help me develop as a teacher and coach.  Mark welcomed me in with open arms and always gave me input on every decision.  Mark called me or came to my office every day to invite me to a bar, or dinner with him and Dana, or to go do something fun.  We had great times at tournaments and at home. 

Many of you know I am one of the most rabid Texas Rangers fans in the world.  What most people do not know is that I grew up a Mets fan and became a part-time Rangers fan when I moved to Oklahoma as a young guy (late elementary school).  Incredibly few people know that I became a rabid Rangers fan because of Mark.  Mark and I purchased partial season ticket packages to the Rangers every spring and attended all of the games together.   Mark introduced me to the Ballpark at Arlington, to our traditions (like a game called “mound ball”), and we attended the last Texas Rangers playoff game sitting next to each other (1999).  Most of my love of the Rangers is intertwined with my hundreds of memories of the fun we had at the Ballpark.  I have never watched a game since then without at least remembering our great times at the ballpark.  One of my last discussions with Mark was when he called me to break the Cliff Lee trade news to me a few weeks ago (he wanted to know if I thought we gave up too much to get him – I said no).  For the rest of my life, I will always think of Mark whenever I watch a game.  Like in every other area of our interactions, he went out of his way to make my baseball experiences amazing.  He would almost always drive and never complained.  He was always fun and full of life at games.   

Many of you also know of my recent problems.  Mark was one of the first people to contact me.  Mark made it clear he wanted to come and testify as a character witness for me or at the very least come keep me company during this difficult time.  Mark sent a character letter for me as soon as he was asked.  Mark was a fierce and loyal friend to me in every sense of the word.  No matter what was going on he was always there for his friends.  I remember one of the happiest parts of all of us UNT folks getting together for John’s funeral was seeing Mark.  He looked as healthy and tanned and happy as I had ever seen him. 

Most important, I want to send every bit of my love and compassion to Bella and to Mark’s larger family.  I know nothing can make this better, but I do know Mark was at a very happy place in his life and that he was incredibly proud of Bella and that she and his family were the most important thing to him in the world.  I know you all know what a great and unique person Mark was and I hope that can stay in the forefront while you all work your way through all of this.  I cannot imagine what you are going through after losing Dana and Mark, but I do know they were two of the best people I have ever known.  If there is ever anything I can do please let me know.  Thank you for sharing Mark with us for all these years. 

I will miss my friend, but I will keep him alive in my memories every day, I hope he knows/knew how much we loved him,

Joshua Blake Hoe
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 29, 2010, 09:03:09 PM
Paul Gaske:

July 29, 2010

To our Friends, Colleagues, and Clients:

As many of you know, our friend and colleague Mark DeLoach died suddenly at his home on Vachon Island, WA over the weekend. He was 47. A small local and family service will be held this Saturday, July 31, at the Presbyterian Church on Vachon at 10:00 AM.

A memorial service honoring Mark will be held in Albuquerque, NM toward the end of August, and a memorial service is also planned in Texas. Details of these services will be forwarded as soon as they are available.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts are being established at Vachon Family Services, the University of North Texas, and the DeLoach family church in Texas. Specific details regarding how to contribute will also be forthcoming.

We recognize that many important details are not included in this announcement, but we have received so many requests for information and next steps that we wanted to inform you directionally of plans and next steps now, and then supply the needed detail when it becomes available.

Thank you all for your prayers and expressions of concern.

Sincerely,
Paul Gaske
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 30, 2010, 06:03:58 AM

Darren Elliott:

Until we meet again. You were a great man, father, coach, and friend. One of the first "NDT" people I had the pleasure of getting to know when the merger happened. You immediately knocked down all the walls that had been built and were very welcoming. For that and all of your hospitality in Denton I will always be thankful. Rest peacefully.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 30, 2010, 08:49:44 AM
 Peter Silvester  :

You're in my thoughts. A terrible loss.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on July 30, 2010, 10:25:37 AM
Rebecca Bjork:

I can't believe this terrible news.  Mark was an absolutely delightful person in every way and my heart is broken.  I used to tease him that he was following me around:  after I moved to Denton to go to grad school and coach at UNT, he did the same.  After that, when I was at USC, he followed me there, too!  (Heck, we even had to share a desk in our graduate teaching assistant office -- not only share an OFFICE, but a DESK -- imagine that.)  Then, when I made the switch to District 9, taking a job at the U of Utah, lo and behold, he showed up in District 9 also, at NAU.  It was during those days that he met Dana, and the two of them were so close and so fun to be around.
 
Seriously, I don't know what I would have done without Mark during those years.  He would always return, year after year, for the punishing work of running the tab room at the hugely painful GSL tournament.  He did so with a smile, full of jokes (and often a huge cup of coffee in his hand).  We traveled to conferences together, commented on each others' academic papers, had way too much fun at the Amsterdam argumentation conferences, and I felt like he was my very own brother.
 
When I lost a niece in a tragic car accident, I will never forget how Mark was there for me.  He would just sit quietly next to me with his arm around me as I cried, gently patting me on the shoulder.  He knew he didn't have to say a word, just be my friend.
 
To Mark's family:  You brought a truly wonderful man to the world and those of us in the debate community are grateful that we got to share part of his life.  I am so very sorry that you lost him way before his time. 
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: emueller on August 02, 2010, 12:55:20 PM
I just want to say that the world has lost a great person in Mark Deloach. Mark helped me at a time when my life was really in bad place. He and Gossett offered me a coaching position that allowed me not only to begin my career coaching but also to finish my undergraduate and then graduate degrees at UNT. He truly helped me to become a successful person and to move forward with my life. I can't begin to express the gratitude I feel toward Mark. He was a great mentor and friend.

My strongest concern is for Annabella who has lost a father and mother in the last five years. I am so sorry for the family and especially for this wonderful little girl. If there is anything I or anyone can do to help her, we should do it. Right now, we try to celebrate his memory because that is all we know to do.

What I remember most about Mark was his sense of humor. I felt like he always kept it light and helped everyone put things in perpsective. I had so much fun on those long van trips Eli referred to "noxious odors" and all. And just to let you know, he would lock the windows first. But in the end, the jokes were never too pointed. Mark had a kind heart and tried tomake peoplee feel more comfortable, not less. With, of course, the above explicit exception.

I also remember Mark as the master of the "war story." Whatever the occasion, he seemed to have zinger ready to go about Gossett or Woods or Caligur or USC or something. I remember the first 45 minutes of many evenings in the hotel bar talking shop and howling at the moon. Three or four frozen margaritas later, however, things become blurry.

I also felt like Mark was always helping from the "quality of argument" perspective. If his work stood for anything, it stood for a celebration of real political discourse not the trash we are exposed to these days. You could always get Mark's ballot if you had good evidence that you could explain better than the other team. I think we could all take a lesson from that. He had formed a political consulting firm to try to change the world the way he tried to convince us to get back to our roots.

Finally, I remember Mark as a teacher. I took two undergraduate and one graduate course from Mark. A lot of people don't know, but he was a great teacher. He was always prepared. He always made us think which I have learned can be quite difficult in an undergraduate course. He was a very animated instructor and was well liked by students.

I miss my friend. My heart is heavy.
Eric Mueller

Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on August 04, 2010, 06:44:43 AM
Obituary for Mark DeLoach:

Mark Benson DeLoach was born on August 16, 1963, in Lake Charles, Louisiana and died three weeks ago on Vashon Island, where he had lived for the past three years. He leaves behind his daughter, Annabella Stout DeLoach, his father, Thomas DeLoach and his wife, stepmother Syble Baguer DeLoach, his brothe...r David DeLoach, his parents-in-law Dan and Gayle Bator, and myriad friends across the country. He was predeceased by his wife Dana Stout DeLoach and his mother Margie Plunkett DeLoach. We are all sadder than we say about the unexpected loss of our dear Mark. A memorial service was held Saturday, July 31, at the Presbyterian Church on Vashon.


Mark lived a passionate life. He was particularly devoted to Bella and to the rest of his extended family, including the wonderful family into which he married. He was in love with his USC Trojans (where he earned his PhD) and Dallas Cowboys (Mark spent much of his growing up years and early professional life in the Dallas area). He described himself as a fairly good debater while a student at UT-Arlington, but everyone else described him as an amazing debate coach and mentor at USC, Northern Arizona University, and the University of North Texas, where he was a tenured professor and an advocate for his students and for debate. He left UNT to become a principal with Leadership Research Institute, first working from Connecticut and then from Washington State, and he was among the most valued and respected in his firm.

His strong sense of care for others led more than one friend to describe Mark as “the best man they had ever known.” It also led him to volunteer work at Vashon Youth & Family Services, where he as an active board member. Contributions can be made in Mark’s name to VYFS (via their website: www.vyfs.org; or send a check to PO Box 237, Vashon, WA 98070).
Those of us who knew him were as passionate about him as he was about us. We valued that he was at once rough around the edges and also kind and sensitive. We loved his sense of travel and adventure coupled with his intense love of home and community. We respected his incredible generosity and his commitment to others. Mark had a way of getting into people’s hearts and staying there. We will miss our son, our father, our brother, our friend.

Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on August 08, 2010, 07:56:10 AM
 Liana Koeppel-Taylor :

 Mark, you were such a good friend to us and we will miss you terribly.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on August 08, 2010, 07:58:08 AM
 Juliana Emmett Morris  :

Mark, you will be missed. Mark was my coach at UNT and my 1st year was his 1st year as director. To say the least, I was a little sheltered. We traveled out of town for a tournament and had done better than expected. Mark wanted to celebrate by going to a nearby steakhouse....I was terrified, because I didn't know how to cut a steak. I told Mark, and he helped order my steak, cut it for me, and never let me live it down. I will never forget his compassion and generosity of spirit.

Love, Jules
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on August 08, 2010, 07:59:09 AM
 Jim Gaynor  :

Hello all friends of Mark. The family is still working on details and I shall post more when they are finalized, hopefully in a day or so. We will be setting up a way to make donations in Mark's name to the UNT debate squad as well, and I will finalize that process also. In the meantime please know that Mark's family has been very touched by the posts and reflections on this page. It let them know how much of an impact Mark had on so many lives, thus on behalf of the family I thank you.

Jim
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on August 13, 2010, 05:12:55 AM
August 13, 2010

Today would have been Mark DeLoach's 47th birthday.  He was 3 weeks older than me.  Perhaps that is one of the reasons that his passing has hit me so hard.  I knew Mark from speech and debate tournaments in high school -- geographic proximity as well as the closeness in our age, first brought our paths together.  It wasn't until college though, that we really became friends.  Mark debated at UT Arlington and Joel and I debated at North Texas.  Both squads were really small with limited coaching and other resources.  While we were fiercely and respectfully competitive against each other, and we did debate against each other a lot, we worked cooperatively against the rest of the debate world.  We practiced against each other and shared research assignments.  In that way, Joel, Laura and I considered Mark and the "Faz" to be a part of our team.

After graduating, Mark came to North Texas for graduate school and we began our coaching career together.  Other people have mentioned how funny Mark was, and it was really true.  As was said at Gossett's memorial service last summer, "We laughed a lot."  The combination of Gossett and Mark kept everyone entertained.  I sometimes wonder how we were ever able to get anything accomplished.

Our paths diverged a little as he pursued the more traditional speech comm/PhD route and I pursued a more unconventional route to coaching.  I was thrilled when he was named as the Director to replace Gossett when he retired.  Many of the debaters that he coached at North Texas have written about how much he impacted their lives.  He was a good, loyal friend.  He was definitely the kind of friend you were happy to have in your corner.

I had lost touch with him when he left the academic world and moved to Washington.  Though, I did catch up with him at Gossett's memorial last summer.  Many of my other friends that were there have since commented on how healthy and happy he looked.  I thought he looked great -- one of the few people that hadn't seemed to age at all in the 20 plus years that had passed since we were debaters.

I am running out of things to say about the losses this community in general, and the North Texas debate family in particular, have endured over the past 14 months.  While each of these losses have been personally painful for me, the loss of Mark seems most inexplicable and unfair.  I know that he adored his daughter Bella, and the thought that with his passing she has now lost both of her parents is incomprehensibly unfair to her.  All I can say to her is that her dad was a really great guy -- a caring and compassionate person who was always there for his friends; an intelligent person who knew just how much to push his students to facilitate and not undermine their own intellectual development; and a person who really enjoyed life and knew how to laugh and how to make those around him laugh.

Goodbye my friend, and may you rest in peace.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on August 13, 2010, 05:16:52 AM
Barbara L. Baker  :

I just returned from a long trip and saw the sad news. Mark, you were a friend and fellow Trojan who also taught at UNT. I can't believe you are gone, just when we had reconnected. May you rest in peace.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on August 13, 2010, 05:21:45 AM
http://www.pnwlocalnews.com/vashon/vib/lifestyle/100369764.html

Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber

Two deaths in July leave a hole in Vashon’s civic fabric

By NATALIE JOHNSON
Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber Reporter
Aug 11 2010, 9:28 AM

Late last month Vashon lost two of its most loving parents, generous friends and committed volunteers.

Patricia Birgen, 43, a beloved Islander and critical asset to many Vashon nonprofits, died in her sleep on Saturday, July 24, leaving behind twin 13-year-old sons.

The fiery redhead known simply as Trish to those closest to her was a sharp and compassionate businesswoman who brought her skills to Vashon in 2000, when she moved to the Island to be closer to nature.

Mark DeLoach, who would have been 48 this month, also passed away unexpectedly just days before Birgen, leaving behind a 10-year-old daughter.

Though an Islander of only three years, DeLoach, a principal at the Leadership Research Institute, was deeply involved on the Island and leaves holes in the hearts of many who grew to love him.

Valerie Manusov, a friend of DeLoach who encouraged him to move to the Island, said that although the former college professor tried to act tough, everyone knew of his warm and compassionate nature. “He was generous with his time, his belongings and his heart. … He looked after others more than he looked after himself sometimes,” she said.

Islander Heidi Skrzypek, who became fast friends with Patricia Birgen after discovering they were both single mothers, described Birgen as spirited, vivacious and infectiously energetic. “You wanted to be a part of whatever she was doing, you wanted to breathe her air because she was luminous,” Skrzypek said.

Indeed, Birgen seemed to breathe new life into the nonprofit organizations, both on and off the Island, that she advised in her role as nonprofit consultant, including the Vashon PTSA, Sustainable Tourism on Vashon, the Vashon Maury Community Food Bank and the Backbone Campaign.

Skrzypek recalled that if an organization could not afford Birgen’s services, she often donated her time to them. “She was a real champion for a lot of causes. … She left a great legacy,” she said.

Zoe Abigail Bermet, a friend and former roommate who met Birgen at a Gulf War protest in Seattle in the early 90s, said Birgen was driven by her compassion for others and a strong distaste for injustice of any kind.

“She was very passionate about justice, particularly issues of peace and nonviolence, and about the earth and animals,” Bermet said.

A graduate of University of California, Berkeley, Birgen spent time in Europe and the Middle East on peace missions for Amnesty International during her post-college years.

Back in the states she settled into a well-paying job in Seattle but soon became disenchanted with corporate work, fueling her desire to return to the non-profit sector.

Eva DeLoach (no relation to Mark DeLoach), owner of the Vashon Island Coffee Roasterie, sought Birgen’s help in establishing the nonprofit Traditions Foundation, which promotes the restoration of indigenous cultures. She echoed Bermet’s thoughts.

“She worked every day to make the world a better place. ... She inspired me to keep on my path,” she said.

Mark DeLoach, too, had the heart of a volunteer and a conviction to serve his new community.

DeLoach, whose unexpected death may have stemmed from a recent bout of seizures, served on the boards of both Vashon Youth & Family Services (VYFS) and the Vashon Island Golf and Country Club, where he enjoyed socializing as well. He also volunteered at Chautauqua Elementary, where his daughter Anabella attended school.

Deanna Gildea, president of the VYFS board, described DeLoach as fun, outgoing and always willing to step in where help was needed.

“We’re really going to miss him,” she said. “It was a big loss for VYFS.”

YYFS director Ken Maaz also appreciated the professional consulting DeLoach brought to the nonprofit and how invested he was in strengthening the organization.

“I know he felt very strongly about wanting to make sure the Island was as strong as it could be, families received the services they needed and children grew up with good opportunities.”

In addition, Maaz said he would simply miss how DeLoach always seemed to have a smile on his face. “He was an all-around good person,” he said.

Birgen’s and DeLoach’s unmistakeable care for others was matched perhaps only by their love for their children.

Stephen Bogan, a close friend of Birgen, described her as a caring and diligent mother who constantly advocated for her sons Quinn and Tristan Birgen. In addition, Birgen strived to instill in the twins the same love for nature she discovered when she was their age, consistently taking time out of her busy schedule to take them hiking and camping.

“She loved the water,” Bogan said. “She loved the beach and being able to take the dog for a walk and be out there in the salty air. She had a soft spot for Vashon”

Manusov said DeLoach was also a devoted father who provided a rock for his daughter Anabella, whose mother passed away when she was just 5 years old. She will be living with her maternal grandparents in Albuquerque, N.M.

“It’s sad that she has to start over yet again, but she’s at least with people she loves very much and who are close to her,” Manusov said.

Bogan remembers that Birgen had a tender heart but a commanding presence, even as symptoms of her multiple sclerosis worsened during the last few months of her life.

Witherspoon also recalls Birgen having a hard time slowing down when doctors advised her to take time off. “Someone said she was trying to rule the world from her couch for the last three months,” she said.

Birgen also remained active in Vashon’s multiple sclerosis support group until the end. Fellow member Kathy Keck said she used her business skills to benefit the group.

“She was the go-to girl. She was really energetic, and really instrumental in raising money for the MS Society,” Keck said. “She organized a group on the Island to walk in the this MS Walk to raise money for research and services.”

Keck said Birgen was and continues to be an inspiration to those in the group who shared her disease.

“She was so positive and she just rolled with punches. … We were all struck with how she could deal with it all,” Keck said. “She showed that she could tread through life with grace.”

As a testament to the support she provided the community, a network of Islanders volunteered to help care for Birgen when she was most ill, helping to ease her burden as she dealt with a myriad of health issues. “People really stepped up to the plate,” Bogan said.

Bogan is one person who continues to step up to the plate. The soft-spoken substance abuse counselor volunteered to care for one of Birgen’s sons should she pass away. Islander Richard Odell is caring for the other.

While the transition is challenging for both the twins and the two men, neither of whom have been fathers before, Bogan said they are moving forward with immeasurable support from those around them.

“(The twins) have a big Vashon family of people who love and care about them and will be there for them as they start high school this fall,” he said, adding that he often reminds himself that his troubles are nothing compared with what Birgen overcame during her life.

“That kind of spirit is what I’m keeping in my heart as a I take on this challenge.”

Bermet, her former roommate, believes that Birgen was beginning to compose her memoirs before her unexpected passing. “I think she was working on the first chapter,” she said.

Sadly, the stories of two well-loved Islanders ended too soon, leaving both heartache and inspiration in their passing.

Manusov, who was also acquainted with Birgen, said the untimely passing of both Birgen and DeLoach was a loss for both the entire Island and for those who were close to them.

“They are both unique people, there will never be another Trish and there will never be another Mark,” she said. “I think both of them touched a lot of people’s lives.”



In memory

A memorial to honor Patricia Birgen’s life will be held 3 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 15, at the Gold Beach Community Club. It will be followed by a potluck dinner. In lieu of flowers, friends ask that donations be made for the continued care of Tristan and Quinn Birgen, Patricia’s sons. Donations can be made at any U.S. Bank to the Estate of Patricia M. Birgen benevolence fund.

Mark DeLoach’s funeral service was held on Saturday, July 31, at Vashon Presbyterian Church. Contributions can be made in his name to Vashon Youth & Family Services or to the University of North Texas, where a debate scholarship is being set up in his memory.

Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber Reporter Natalie Johnson can be reached at njohnson@vashonbeachcomber.com or 206-463-9195.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on August 15, 2010, 02:49:07 PM
Lisa Richardson Gates :

 Remembering you Mark--you will be deeply missed.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on August 16, 2010, 11:09:20 AM
Matt J Stannard :

 I remember the Weber Round Robin when you had to step in to judge a round Josh had been judging when he got sick. I remember your cackling laugh. Thinking of you, your family, and all of your colleagues over the years. Happy birthday and thank you for everything. Miss you!
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on August 16, 2010, 11:09:50 AM
Jerry Fazio :

Remembering you on your Birthday. You left us way to early Godspeed my friend.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on August 16, 2010, 11:11:08 AM
Anne Morris Huckabee :

 Remembering you on your birthday with loving thoughts for your family.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on August 16, 2010, 11:11:52 AM
Rodger Biles  :

When I saw this reminder [birthday] it gave me a heavy heart. I was remembering several of your after class seminars held around pizza and beer at the Flying Tomato... we may have had more in depth discussions there then in class. Here's raising a glass to you!
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on August 16, 2010, 11:12:32 AM
Barbara L. Baker  :

I'm so sorry you weren't able to make it to your birthday, Mark; I'm thinking of you and your family today.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on August 16, 2010, 11:13:03 AM
Gina Rizzo:

  Happy Birthday Mark ...I`m missing you. Loving thoughts for your family especially Bella.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on August 16, 2010, 11:13:32 AM
Sabrina Neff :

 Holding thoughts of your family in my heart today.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on August 16, 2010, 11:14:37 AM
Kristen Gaske :

 Happy Birthday Mark! you were always more than a boss to me, you were family. Thank you for all of our long, non work related, talks. You were a great man and I am so blessed to have known you. I had the utmost respect for you not only because you introduced me as you colleague instead of your assistant, but because you always put me as family first, employee second. I love you so much Mark! See you on the 29th!
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on August 16, 2010, 03:21:33 PM
Joseph Zompetti :

Mark was a great guy. Remembering him on his birthday.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on August 16, 2010, 03:23:05 PM
Darryl Scott Albertson :

 I'm just now able to come to grips with this. Mark is one of the most friendly and loyal people I ever met. We were close with them (+ Dana) especially in Connecticut and we had a special bond given our wives' Albuquerque past (+ chile). Bella can certainly use all of our positve thoughts and assistance.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on August 16, 2010, 09:22:45 PM
Darren Elliott:

Your birthday gives us a chance to reflect and remember you. All that you did for all of us. Thanks for the memories and your legacy. Peace be with Bella today as well. ~chief
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on August 17, 2010, 04:18:50 AM
Kathleen Edelmayer  :

Words can't even express the sadness, Mark! But, thanks for all the wonderful memories! (You even taught this Motown girl how to "two-step" back in the day!) You're in my thoughts and prayers. . .peace and blessings to your family, especially to Bella! ". . . and let perpetual light shine upon him. . . ."
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on August 18, 2010, 02:01:15 PM
Glen Strickland:

I just heard about Mark and can't believe it. What a great loss this is. You will be missed my dear friend.
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on August 29, 2010, 08:46:34 AM
Will Helixon  :

enjoying time with my best friends -- in memory of of Mark Deloach.....we love you, and hope you are laughing your ass off with Dr. Gossett!!
Title: Re: Mark Deloach
Post by: SherryHall on August 31, 2010, 11:37:35 AM
From Jim Gaynor:

The memorial for Mark in New Mexico was very nice and well attended.  We are putting together a book of remembrance for Bella, thus the attached.  I would like you to please forward on the attached to all those you see fit and allow them the opportunity to contribute if they would like.  Thanks much,
 
Jim

Jim Gaynor
Leadership Research Institute
(818) 599-2313 cell
jim.gaynor@lri.com


Dear friends,
All of us have felt the loss of Mark and Dana. Many of us have longed to be able to do
something for Bella to let her know how much she has been and is loved.
We are writing to invite you to participate in a collaborative effort to help Bella to
know and remember her parents’ stories, and to feel the depth of our care for them
and for her. Specifically we want to….
1. Show Bella how much her parents loved her.
2. Give her as many reasons as we can to be proud by sharing our stories of her
parents’ accomplishments, impacts, talents, and gifts.
3. Tell Bella the stories that her parents told us about her so she knows they died
with strong, loving memories of her.
Whether you knew Mark and/or Dana very well, or if they have simply touched your
life in a smaller way, we are asking you to submit one electronic 8.5 x 11 page,
perhaps a letter, a story, a poem, a picture, a quote, a collage. We’re open to
anything. We only ask that you direct your thoughts to Bella and that you try to
speak to the three goals above. Crafting that page is not going to be easy; it will take
reflection, effort, and time. Our hope is that this could be one of the most important
gifts each of us has the chance to give—that, together, we can offer Bella something
meaningful that she can carry through her life.
We would like for this to be a quiet effort for Bella, to be shared with her later, after
things settle a bit. In the coming months, we will assemble what everyone submits,
publish it as a book, and offer that to Bella in the fall or early winter. We will also do
our best to make an electronic copy available to those who would like to see the
totality of submissions.
As a first step, please submit your intent to participate and your contact
information to Nicole.Dolat@LRI.com. Then, please share this invitation with others
who were close to Mark and/or Dana, as we would like to be as inclusive as we can of
people whom they touched. Note please: We would like to have a full list of
participants by September 30th. After that, you can think about what you’d like to
convey to Bella, and we will gather your pages in October.
Wishing you peace and hoping this offers you a positive way to grieve,
Cathy Flavin-McDonald
Nicole Dolat
Gayle Bator
Jim Gaynor
Steve Williams
Paul Gaske