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A salute to a terrific guy

Even journalists that still do a fair amount of writing can struggle finding the right words sometimes and never was this truer than when I opened my email this morning.

I got a message from Missy Mulcahy, whose daughter Shannon was a stand-out swimmer at the York YMCA and represented her school, York Country Day, at the District 3 and PIAA championship meets. It seems that somehow I missed that her husband, Mark, died in early December at the tender age of 54 (not far from my own age).

Stunned .... shocked ... disbelief .... saddened ...

One of things that makes covering sports in a town such as York for as many years as I have so enjoyable is the terrific people I have met along the way and Mark was one of those. He was one of the parents that I really got to know while chatting as he waited in the long lines prior to the district and state swim meets - with many other passionate parents. I even wrote about such dedication.

And it wasn't just about high school swimming Mark would send me periodic emails about all sports, from high school to college and the pros. Mark loved ribbing me about my Michigan upbringing and love for Detroit sports. He also loved telling me when he enjoyed something I wrote. Even though he dealt with his own health issue at the same time, he constantly kept in touch during my battle with cancer.

Missy and Shannon are planning a 5k charity run in Mark's honor, hopefully in June, to raise money for the American Heart Association.

He was simply a terrific guy. My heart goes out to Missy, older daughter Amanda, and Shannon. To my friend Mark, Salute.