Thursday, April 18, 2024

Mark Francis Conlon, Sr. of Newport News

Mark Francis Conlon, Sr. (Weymouth Funeral Home & Crematory)

Mark Francis Conlon, Sr., affectionately dubbed “Bull” for his spirited nature, was a force to be reckoned with.

He was born to parents, Bartholemew and Ruth Alice Conlon in Charlottesville, VA. He spent his early years in Waynesboro, VA, surrounded by five rowdy brothers. Mark’s childhood was a whirlwind of Catholic schooling at St. John’s Catholic Church, where he wrangled with the nuns and served as an altar boy, interspersed with summers spent bailing hay and mucking out barns.

When 7th grade rolled around, Mark and his pal, Mike McGuire, found themselves navigating the unfamiliar waters of public school. Mark quickly adapted to the diverse environment after forming lifelong friendships with Kenny Eye and Alan Rexrode. Mark dove headfirst into his love for sports, excelling in baseball, basketball, track, and football. His high school days at Wilson Memorial High School culminated in a crowning achievement: clinching the state championship with his baseball team during his senior year, which is a testament to his unwavering dedication and talent.

After a brief stint at Virginia Tech, Mark embarked on his next adventure, joining the Newport News Shipbuilding Apprentice School in July 1979, carrying on the family tradition. Even while honing his craft and wreaking havoc with his best friend, Fred Pittman, in the pattern shop, Mark made waves on the sports field, setting records for interceptions on the football field under Coach Norm Snead.

In 1983, Mark married the love of his life, Teri Tait, and together, they embarked on the rollercoaster ride of family life. Throughout every twist and turn in Mark’s life journey, his most enormous pride and joy were his four children. Mark’s love for his kids knew no bounds, and he was always eager to get outside for a quick play or practice session, promising “just 5 minutes” that often turned into much longer.

Throughout his forty-year career at Newport News Shipbuilding, Mark rose from patternmaker to design engineering and nuclear test engineering, driven by his relentless work ethic and unbridled ambition. But amidst the hustle, Mark always found time for his true passion: strumming his guitar to the tunes of Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and the legendary John Prine.

Mark was more than just a hard worker; he was a beacon of strength and kindness. His words of wisdom and caring demeanor made him a trusted confidant for friends and family alike. Whether gathered around a crackling campfire or sharing a laugh over a cold one, Mark cherished every moment spent with his loved ones.

Even in the face of adversity, Mark’s spirit remained unyielding. His courageous battle against Glioblastoma brain cancer showcased his resilience, inspiring all who knew him.

Though Mark may have bid farewell to this world, his legacy lives on in the hearts of those he touched. His unwavering love, infectious laughter, and zest for life will forever be cherished by all who had the privilege of knowing him.

Mark is preceded in death by his mother, Ruth Alice Conlon; father, Bartholomew Frederick Conlon, Jr. and his youngest brother, Charles Michael Conlon. Mark leaves behind a loving family, including his partner, Teri Conlon; children, Mark Jr. (wife, Casie), Katie (husband, Shane), Jon (wife, Ariana), and Grace; brothers, Phil, Dave, Bart, and Patrick; six cherished grandchildren, Carter, Aubrey, Landon, Trevor, Bear, and Rex along with numerous nieces and nephews, who will always carry his spirit with them.

A Memorial Service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 6, 2024 at Weymouth Funeral Home with Fred Pittman officiating. The family will receive friends following the service at County Grill & Smokehouse, 1215 George Washington Memorial Hwy A, Yorktown, VA 23693.

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