Mario was born in Los Angeles, California, in 1970. He attended the local public school and upon graduating enlisted in the Navy. Mario had an amazing love of serving his country and community. He proudly served his country during Desert Storm on the USS Forrestal.
On February 25, 1993, I was blessed to marry my best friend and love of my life. We spent the next 28 years raising three wonderful children. Mario loved his family with all his heart and would spend all his time off with us. He was extremely proud of his children, Mario J. Moya III (age 28), and his twins, Isabella and Roberto (age 17). We all loved spending time playing games, watching movies, and going to Disney World together. Mario loved building and flying drones.
Since Mario was a young child his dream job was becoming a fireman. In March 2004 his dreams came true, and he joined the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department. He was assigned to Station 42, in our community. Mario loved serving in the same community in which he lived.
Mario continued his education and was certified as a paramedic and earned his associate degree in fire science. Over the years, Mario rose through the ranks to become a lieutenant and eventually was assigned back to his rookie assignment, Station 42.
Mario spent his career serving others. He became a member of the JFRD’s Peer Support Team assisting fire department members and their families in their time of need. Mario enjoyed serving his community and neighborhood. He was an active member and volunteer of his church, St Joseph’s Catholic Church. Mario knew no strangers, and firefighters who worked alongside him remember him for his caring attitude and gregarious smile.
In addition to his fire department duties, Mario worked as a part of the Federal National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) on a Disaster Medical Assistance Team, DMAT FL-4. He worked several election cycles as a poll worker for the Duval County Supervisor of Elections. Mario also worked for the past ten years with the Chemical Dependency Counseling Center.
On August 17, 2021, Mario suffered a line-of-duty death from complications of COVID-19. My children and I are sad that Mario is no longer with us, and we miss him not being here with us daily. We know that Mario loved being a firefighter, and he understood the sacrifice that many firefighters make every day to serve their communities.
I read a poem once called ‘the Dash’ and in short it said that when one passes away on their headstone the date they were born and the date they died is put on there, but those dates are not what’s important. What’s most important is the ‘dash’ in between, for it represents all you did between those two dates and how you lived your life.– April Moya-Hubbard
Little brother, you lived an AMAZING dash! Every word spoken about you by all who knew and loved you exemplifies how you lived a life of servitude. To your family, your country, your community, your department and in countless other ways. You gave unselfishly all the way to the end. To say I am proud, is an understatement!
I think God creates siblings so that we can have ready-made friends, I have lost my very first best friend. Although so very broken, my heart swells with extreme pride. THAT’S my little brother and I will miss him forever. Rest easy little brother, until we meet again. #ourbomberrro #abrilymayo #mypartnerincrime #bestfriend #firehero #nffflightthenight