In Memory Of
Mark Lawrence Tobin
United States of America / Seat 32G
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Mark Lawrence Tobin
April 04, 1967 - December 21, 1988 (Age: 21)

Since his freshman year at Chaminade High School on Long Island, New York, Mark Lawrence Tobin had wanted to be a television sports announcer. To achieve this goal he worked on Fordham University's radio station and had spent the semester in London, England, with the Syracuse University communications program. He was returning to spend Christmas with his family in Hempstead, New York. Mark was the sixth of the Tobins' seven children.

Both a spectator and participant, Mark loved sports. From his early teens he loved golf, swimming, and tennis. In his college years he added ice hockey, surfing, and skiing. In a four-day trip to visit a sister in Chicago, Mark managed to see a football, a hockey, and a basketball game.

His parents commented that Mark was "eternally optimistic about the successful outcome of all his undertakings. He was valued as best friend by more people than we ever knew about." They recalled that Mark played the clown-juggler in a high school production of Barnum. "In retrospect, this seems an appropriate role. He never needed center stage; he could make the best of an opportunity. He had an offbeat sense of humor that kept us all on our toes. He had the knack of keeping many balls in the air, of doing many jobs well, but especially of enjoying life and giving joy."

His parents knew he liked to travel, but they didn't know quite how much. Relatives and friends have turned up with post cards sent by Mark from places his parents never knew he visited. His mother said, "He just couldn't stop seeing new things and new places."

The poem, "High Flight," found by Brian and Peg Tobin, was composed by Flight-Lieutenant John Gillespie Magee, Jr. while flying over England. Shortly afterwards, at age 19, Magee was killed serving with the R.C.A.F.

John Gillespie Magee, Jr. (1922-1941)
Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of—
wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,
Where never lark, or even eagle, flew;
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

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