If you look up gentleman in the dictionary there should be a picture of Mark. He was a poet, a philosopher, a rancher and a farmer and he was my friend. Mark never asked for help, if he could do it himself and that was his burden. He didn't mind talking stupid to animals and that made him heroic. Talking to animals is important. He told me once that he still teared up when the new calves started to hit the ground. He was well versed in the science and art of cowology.
Mark always talked about how the adventure Gods shined on me when I would visit him. They were always, more likely than not, misadventures but Mark was to kind to point that out. He said that I made him smile. If I did, what I received was ten fold. I will miss his stoic wisdom, withheld until it was important. I will miss his slight Roy Rogers smile.
Lavonne and kids, Thank you for sharing your father with me and please know that he will be missed. There will always be a smile and a warm place etched indelibly in my heart by the presence of your sweet, loving father, while he walked the earth. After all, He was my friend. I am a fortunate man.