Mark C. Savarese

Mark C. Savarese

Mark is the epitome of the maximum effort placed in all accomplished goals. Always striving with a smile, he possessed one serious handicap, there were only 24 hours in a day.

Be Thou at peace, Mark Christopher Savarese

Mark and I were roommates for four (4) details, third detail plebe year and all of yearling year.  We lived in room 4652, on the fifth floor of the 46th Division.  Company G-4.  He was the kind of roommate everyone wants to have, considerate, helpful, kind; a gentler soul one cannot find.  He was funny, earnest, generous and incredibly naïve.  He’d grown up in a staunch Italian Catholic family and had taught Sunday School to youngsters while he was in high school, a practice he continued at the academy.

Mark was one of the very few cadets I ever knew that used an electric razor.  Apparently, he’d had a very bad experience with a safety razor in his high school years and decided at that point to always use an electric razor.  His father went out and bought him an electric razor made, no joke, by Black & Decker®.  When he fired that thing up in the morning before formation, I was gonna be awake, no matter how much I wanted to sleep; it sounded like a chainsaw.  Yearling year, the first morning after we’d moved back into the room, he went to shave, and I prepared myself for the racket, doing everything I could think of to save inserting earplugs.  The sound was barely audible; over the summer, he’d bought a Norelco®, which by comparison, was almost silent.

During the great G-4 food-poisoning plebe year, we had the two-mile run test.  I actually ran a pretty good time (14:57), considering that I was one of the afflicted.  We came back to the room, and, even though I was feeling bad, went to the voluntary meal (it was Ring Weekend for ’76).  I got the best steak I’d ever had but couldn’t even look at it.  I gave it to Mark and returned to the room and went to bed.  I got sick in the trashcan and had not stood up when the CQ came into the room and told me to report immediately to the hospital.  The CQ stood there impatiently, while I noted that I needed to clean the trash can; he informed me that I was to go right then; he had others to inform.  He yelled at me while I left Mark a note, apologizing for the trash can, and I walked over the hospital (the CQ hadn’t informed me that there was a bus behind the barracks to take us over to the hospital).  When I got back, Mark had cleaned up the trash can.  While we got PMI because I was sick, I’m confident that neither the steak nor the PMI was adequate recompense for that dirty job that he did without comment.

Mark had many relatives living in the NY city area, and they would visit almost every Saturday.  They’d bring big [BIG] Italian dinners, on large industrial kitchen-sized trays, find a place to have a picnic (that was during the nice weather; I never knew where they ate during the bad weather), and visit.  The first time I was invited to join them, the food was angel hair spaghetti with meat sauce and meatballs (it was really good!).  I started cutting my spaghetti, and immediately became aware of everyone gathered looking at me strangely.  When I asked what was wrong, one of his aunts informed me that Italians don’t cut spaghetti.  When I reminded everyone that I wasn’t Italian, she rapidly said she’d teach me the proper way to eat spaghetti, a skill I’ve retained, however marginally, to this day.

Mark was a person of significant integrity and strong conviction.  Once, during yearling year, he was going to the PX and he asked me if there was anything he could pick up for me.  I asked him to buy me the most recent copy of “Playboy®” magazine.  He refused, noting that he just wasn’t going to do that.  I couldn’t help, in spite of my annoyance at his refusal, be impressed by his convictions

Unfortunately, as a result of the shuffle, and later the departure from the academy, Mark and I didn’t keep in touch as much as I would have liked.  Much later, when we were both civilians, I was thinking about going to work for Honeywell, Inc., and went to Phoenix for the interview.  While I was there, I looked Mark up.  Naturally, we were both considerably more worn, and older, but the spark I’d known when we were roommates was still there.  He hugged me, and, characteristically, kissed me on the cheek.  That was the last time I saw him.

We’ve lost a truly valuable brother.  The world is bereft for his loss.

Be Thou at peace, Mark Christopher Savarese.

Grant Short

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