8/1/2012 We regret to announce the passing Mark Barill, Class of '78.
The following letter is from his sister, Sheryl Barill-Ancone '73
to read Marks final message.
Dear family and friends,
I want to thank you for your thoughts and prayers during my brother’s illness; and now, his passing. Mark was an amazing man with many gifts, but his greatest gift was his ability to show love; pure and simple.
When Mark was diagnosed with untreatable, terminal cancer, about seven months ago, he accepted the news with courage and deep faith. He never asked “Why me?” but counted his blessings and made it his mission to continue to create happy memories with his family, as well as make sure that his family would be taken care of after his passing. He looked at the time he had left as one of his many blessings. He felt that most people do not get a forewarning of their time’s end and this information gave him the opportunity to not only “take care of business” but he had the privilege of learning how much he meant to so many people. He was in awe of the outpouring of love he received from those whose lives he had touched. Mark was not a man who was afraid of showing heartfelt emotions, so he was truly grateful that he had some time to express his love to many individuals who had touched his life so deeply, as well.
Mark was my “little” brother, but I looked up to him. Not just because he was 6ft. 3in., but because of what he had done with his life. He worked hard to be the best at whatever he undertook. In his career with the federal government, he worked his way up from being a prison guard to a position just a step or two below the warden in the Federal Bureau of Prisons. He was so loved and respected in his career that his branch of the FOB closed down on the day of his funeral. Although having a large bank account was never one of Mark’s goals, it was important to him to earn enough to provide a comfortable life for his family, as well as permit the love of his life, Becky, to stay at home to raise their four beautiful daughters. He achieved this goal, very successfully, while simultaneously saving for their future and an early retirement, which he attained at the age of 50, almost exactly 2 years prior to his passing. Although Mark considered himself an introvert, he hid it well.
In his early years, this trait was evident. Being 5 years behind me in high school, he followed my advice by taking a speech class to meet his English requirements. I remember receiving a disapproving call from him exclaiming, “Why didn’t you tell me I was going to have to get up in front of the class and give speeches?” In his later years, he explained to me that throughout his adult life he recognized that the extroverts were the people who we having all the fun. Well, if you knew Mark, you know he loved to have fun, so he pushed himself outside of his comfort zone, consequently amassing scores of friends.
There are no words to express how much I will truly miss my brother, Mark. His loss is not yet real to me. I cannot wrap my mind around the reality that I may not see him, hug him or have a conversation with him again for, possibly, 30 years. He was my brother, friend and confidante. He was able to listen with compassion and love, give advice with honesty and wisdom, and share joys and sorrows with sincerity.
During his final days, he shared with me the two most painful truths about his premature passing. One was leaving his family. He was distressed by void they would feel, especially his wife, Becky. After
32 years, they were still passionately in love with each other. His
second sadness was that his grandchildren would not remember him or get a chance to know the man that he was. As a family, we are committed to keeping his memory alive, so that his grandchildren, born and unborn, will know the Mark that we loved. Mark’s family will be compiling a book of “Mark” stories. All stories; serious, funny, touching or even naughty, are welcome. If you have a story to share, please email Mark’s family at firstname.lastname@example.org
In closing, Mark wrote a final message that he asked a dear friendshare at his funeral. In it he talks of his many blessings and his belief in attaining Heaven by Grace from God, which is a Gift. I have attached a copy of his message to this email for those of you who care to read it and please share it with anyone who you think would be inspired by his words.
803-343-2915 ext. 3110 (Logan Elem.)