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  #301  
Old 18.03.2008, 21:45
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Re: Mourning the loss of a friend, a leader, an innovator, a genuinely nice guy

Hi,
I am not good with words, but let me try....

I am one of those who never meet, talk, email or pm Mark.
But to learn that the founder of such a resourceful forum like this.....was enough to trigger all kind feelings that words could not describe.

Rest in peace.
  #302  
Old 18.03.2008, 22:20
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Re: Mourning the loss of a friend, a leader, an innovator, a genuinely nice guy

I just signed in to the EF for the first time in a couple of weeks to find information about drivers' licenses in Switzerland. I couldn't believe the posting about Mark's death at the top of the first page. Mark was the same age as I - it's so hard to comprehend the death of someone who was at the same stage of life (I just married last year - Lynn, I'm so, so sorry). Though I never met him, I remember reading Mark's postings throughout the forum and found them incredibly balanced, fair and well thought out. That, as well as the fact that he created this amazingly helpful resource, leave me at a loss for words, other than I so appreciate that he lived and wish he hadn't had to leave the world so young...
  #303  
Old 18.03.2008, 22:32
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Re: Mourning the loss of a friend, a leader, an innovator, a genuinely nice guy

Stephanwolf and I were on vacation in Belize and only heard of this tragic news from HeatherC by e-mail on Sunday, the last day of our trip (we just returned today). We would like to send our sincere condolences to Mark s close friends and family, this is something that touched us both very deeply.

On a more personal/ironic note and if I have counted the days back correctly, I was taking the first chapter of a dive course and doing my first ever dive on a barrier reef the day Mark passed away. I would like to dedicate this first dive to him since now I can only begin to understand the love, reverence and passion he must have had for diving in and exploring the sea.

I will most certaintly carry a part of him with me as I continue to observe the sea in it s true and at times harsh beauty.

Rest in Peace Mark
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  #304  
Old 18.03.2008, 23:38
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Re: Mourning the loss of a friend, a leader, an innovator, a genuinely nice guy

Greetings From Florida, USA.
Last evening our small group of cave divers paid respects to Mark's family at Ginnie Springs-the beautiful diving site where we lost Mark.
This is a magical place and as a setting to express our condolences to Lynn and the family, the spring looked magnificent.
We want all of Mark's friends in Switzerland to know what an amazing man he is and will forever be.
He was considered a peer among a very elite group of the world's extremely accomplished and capable technical divers. Mark contributed more to the cave diving community than can ever be measured. He was undertaking an extremely technical dive when we lost him-surveying and laying guide line in a side passage of Ginnie Springs' vast underground cave system.
Mark took his most advanced rebreather and technical diving certifications with us. He was an extremely talented diver. I have linked some photos of that training below. But Mark soon became much more than a dive student. He became our warm and generous friend. Mark shared many meals with us, as a guest in our home. And he was so anxious and proud to bring Lynn (and Lilly) to meet his new friends--here in High Springs, Florida. We hosted a "meet and greet" dinner for Lynn a few weeks ago.
There are many people who deserve our gratitude for all they have done since this tragic accident-from the physical recovery to the unselfish emotional support given to Lynn and Mark's family. Thank you all.
We in the diving world share your grief and a great sense of loss.
We send our love to all--
Jill Heinerth and Robert McClellan
www.RebreatherPro.com


Mark's Rebreather Training
Attached Images
 

Last edited by RebreatherPro; 18.03.2008 at 23:42. Reason: add picture
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  #305  
Old 19.03.2008, 01:11
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Re: Mourning the loss of a friend, a leader, an innovator, a genuinely nice guy

It is not often that I shed tears for someone I never knew or met, but it is true in this case. I always pictured Mark to be a a mature,well-balanced, older guy just like his avatar. It came as a shock to me to learn that he was as old as I am.

His posts and comments have always been balanced ,helpful, unbiased and comforting.They had a kind of elder brother feel in them.I will really miss his guidance and presence on this forum. May god rest his soul in peace and give strength to his family
  #306  
Old 19.03.2008, 01:39
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Re: Mourning the loss of a friend, a leader, an innovator, a genuinely nice guy

Thank you all for the kind words here and via private emails. By request--Here is a glimpse into the world Mark loved in the caves of north Florida.

Cave Diving Pictures
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  #307  
Old 19.03.2008, 01:46
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Re: Mourning the loss of a friend, a leader, an innovator, a genuinely nice guy

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Thank you all for the kind words here and via private emails. By request--Here is a glimpse into the world Mark loved in the caves of north Florida.

Cave Diving Pictures
Thanks for sharing with us. Those are beautiful pictures, I can see why Mark loved going down there.
  #308  
Old 19.03.2008, 11:19
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Re: Mourning the loss of a friend, a leader, an innovator, a genuinely nice guy

Thank you. I am pleased to know for Lynn's sake there are people over there who were able to give her solid friendship in this most difficult time. It must have been very difficult as a diving community - as we, an English speaking community, here in Switzerland - to have grappled with the reality of what happened. Also dealing with the recovery operation and the impact this would have on your circle.

Thank you from a stranger for looking out for our friends in Florida.

I particularly like this photo of Mark, I think it captures the rare occassions where he had that far-away look in his eyes.

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  #309  
Old 19.03.2008, 13:03
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Re: Mourning the loss of a friend, a leader, an innovator, a genuinely nice guy

We never met Mark but have been touched by his brilliance in setting up this forum for other like minded people. We have met, but a few of the people from the forum and for that i give my thanks to Mark (The Architect).

Rest in Peace and Thank you.
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Old 19.03.2008, 13:31
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Re: Mourning the loss of a friend, a leader, an innovator, a genuinely nice guy

Dear Mark,
I don't know you in person but have read many many of your posts. They all created a picture of a helpful & nice person. It's so sad for this forum to run without you, so awful just to imagine this. Rest well!
  #311  
Old 19.03.2008, 14:18
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Re: Mourning the loss of a friend, a leader, an innovator, a genuinely nice guy

there are no words to say to lessen this loss. condolences from my family to yours.

"May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rain fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again someday,
May the memories that we have shared
Linger on and on."

  #312  
Old 19.03.2008, 17:17
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Re: Mourning the loss of a friend, a leader, an innovator, a genuinely nice guy

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I particularly like this photo of Mark, I think it captures the rare occassions where he had that far-away look in his eyes.

This is actually the look of "Hey Robert where's that strong coffee you promised me on this chilly Florida morning?" Mark and I shared a fondness for freshly roasted, home ground, French pressed coffee.
This is a picture of Mark assembling his Megalodon Rebreather in our garage/dive workshop.
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  #313  
Old 19.03.2008, 17:35
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Re: Mourning the loss of a friend, a leader, an innovator, a genuinely nice guy

Just wanted to offer my heart felt condolonces to Mark´s family and fiancee. I am so sorry for their sudden and tragic loss. As others have already mentioned, this forum has also been so very central to my decision making process on moving to Switzerland, while still living outside Switzerland. He made the world a smaller and nicer place. So I have to say thank you Mark for providing such a useful and productive network, a reflection of the the life you have apparently lived in such a short time.

For his family and friends: I would just add that Mark will always be with you, in your hearts and souls forever. Just as you will never forget him, he will not soon be forgetting you. He has not died, he has entered eternal life.

I hope you can take peace and comfort in your love for Mark. God bless you and keep you during this time.
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  #314  
Old 19.03.2008, 20:19
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Re: Mourning the loss of a friend, a leader, an innovator, a genuinely nice guy

It is shocking and sad!
We never forget you!
Rest in peace!
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Old 19.03.2008, 22:12
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Re: Mourning the loss of a friend, a leader, an innovator, a genuinely nice guy

When I heard of this extremely sad news, I was greatly shocked. Since then I have been thinking about how Mark and his vision for the forum have impacted the lives of foreigners like me who, upon arrival, suddenly find themselves overwhelmed by the details of Swiss life. I signed up early in 2006, shortly before the forum seemingly exploded with new users, which must have been very gratifying to Mark and the mods after so much hard work. Suddenly, the forum appeared at the top in Google searches, and things just took off from then on.

I wanted to say as well that I am grateful for the fact we will have a remembrance event, because it represents a way for forum members to celebrate his life, and his achievement of bringing so many different people from all over the globe together, unselfishly and without fail.

I sincerely hope the 'forum family' will be able to keep the forum alive, supported by the always needed donations, as it is not only a way of keeping his legacy but in fact build on it. Like many have said before, perhaps the best way of honoring Mark is applying the principles that he cherished in our daily lives, and help others without expecting anything in return.

My sincerest condolences to Lynn, his family and friends. My salute to a man who inspired people to achieve their dreams.
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Old 20.03.2008, 09:30
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Re: Mourning the loss of a friend, a leader, an innovator, a genuinely nice guy

If the remembrance is on the 30th I cant come. I shall be clearing out my recently deceased mothers cupboards. Never mind, in my heart I have thanked Mark for what he has given me. In my heart I have thanked him for teaching me how to use a forum how to be less subjective in my communications, how to be on reflection, humble.

For all these things I don't need a public gathering but I will miss paying my respects with like-minded people. Although you don't know it, Mark you helped me so much.

With deep respect.
Lynn
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Last edited by Oldhand; 24.03.2008 at 15:35.
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  #317  
Old 20.03.2008, 12:08
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Re: Mourning the loss of a friend, a leader, an innovator, a genuinely nice guy

An absolute tragedy. My condolences to his partner and all his family and friends. He took the trouble to message me privately giving unfettered support for what I've been doing in CH against all the flack that was coming from elsewhere on the forum and if it hadn't been for one exchange in particular I wouldn't have brought-in the no-smoking policy so soon. It was his nudge that made me act. I only met him in person once and he struck me as intelligent, warm and sensitive: some of the best characteristics any person could have. I'm sorry not to have got to know him better. His support meant much to me at a time when I was giving-up hope............

Last edited by The Laundry Man; 20.03.2008 at 12:53.
  #318  
Old 20.03.2008, 12:23
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Re: Mourning the loss of a friend, a leader, an innovator, a genuinely nice guy

I rustled up a couple of pics from my second Talacker.



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  #319  
Old 20.03.2008, 12:54
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Re: Mourning the loss of a friend, a leader, an innovator, a genuinely nice guy

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I rustled up a couple of pics from my second Talacker.


This one is typical of that night in Talacker as I remember, Mark laughing his head off.

This was a great night, and a fantastic time. Very fond memories...
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Old 20.03.2008, 23:27
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Re: Mourning the loss of a friend, a leader, an innovator, a genuinely nice guy

I am new in this forum,my deepest condolonces to Mark's family.
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