Author Topic: Mark Deloach  (Read 43513 times)

SherryHall

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Re: Mark Deloach
« Reply #75 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. 

emueller

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Re: Mark Deloach
« Reply #76 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


SherryHall

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Re: Mark Deloach
« Reply #77 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.


SherryHall

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Re: Mark Deloach
« Reply #78 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.

SherryHall

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Re: Mark Deloach
« Reply #79 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

SherryHall

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Re: Mark Deloach
« Reply #80 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

SherryHall

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Re: Mark Deloach
« Reply #81 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.

SherryHall

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Re: Mark Deloach
« Reply #82 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.

SherryHall

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Re: Mark Deloach
« Reply #83 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.

SherryHall

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Re: Mark Deloach
« Reply #84 on: August 15, 2010, 02:49:07 PM »
Lisa Richardson Gates :

 Remembering you Mark--you will be deeply missed.

SherryHall

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Re: Mark Deloach
« Reply #85 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!

SherryHall

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Re: Mark Deloach
« Reply #86 on: August 16, 2010, 11:09:50 AM »
Jerry Fazio :

Remembering you on your Birthday. You left us way to early Godspeed my friend.

SherryHall

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Re: Mark Deloach
« Reply #87 on: August 16, 2010, 11:11:08 AM »
Anne Morris Huckabee :

 Remembering you on your birthday with loving thoughts for your family.

SherryHall

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Re: Mark Deloach
« Reply #88 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!

SherryHall

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Re: Mark Deloach
« Reply #89 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.