Submitted by his mother
Mark Mansfield‚ 30 years old‚ was a full-time fire fighter/EMT for the City of Overland Park‚ Kansas for over 10 years and on his day off had another job as a Police officer for the City of Roeland Park‚ Kansas. He even designed the graphics for the patrol cars. He was respected and commended by his peers for his ability to remain calm in stressful situations while on duty‚ Mark died on April 6‚ 2002 at Station One in Overland Park. Mark was the picture of health‚ watched his diet‚ exercised regularly and had numerous physicals for both the fire and police departments. Mark did not respond to drive his truck for an overnight call and was found unresponsive in his bunk. The paramedics and emergency room staff were unable to resuscitate him. After an extensive autopsy and 2 months of testing on his heart it was determined that Mark suffered a fatal heart arrhythmia due to a mitral valve prolapse. Mark leaves behind his mother‚ 2 sisters‚ 1 brother and their families.
Mark’s dream since he was a toddler was to be a firelighter like his father Richard who was a volunteer firefighter for the City of Shawnee‚ Kansas for over 30 years. Richard was extremely proud of the fire and police careers Mark chose and the two of them were extremely close until Richard died in 2000.
Mark was an Eagle Scout‚ a first-chair trumpet player‚ and a member of the marching band including playing for President George Bush seniors’ inauguration. Few knew he had an excellent singing voice. He joined the Explorer post at the fire department as soon he was old enough and volunteered until he was hired. He also headed the explorer post for a time after he was hired. He enjoyed snow skiing‚ scuba diving‚ camping‚ playing games and cards‚ and traveling. He even traveled to NYC after 9-11 to pay his respects to die fallen firefighters and police officers. He dreamed of building his home on Ins 22 acres in rural Johnson County‚ Ks. Mark especially liked spending time with family and friends‚ including 4-wheeling with his buddies from the fire and police departments. He enjoyed collecting fire and police antiques He was energetic‚ extremely neat and organized‚ and researched everything he did to the extent of being teased by all who knew him. Everyone enjoyed Marks expressive and entertaining way of replaying events and storytelling‚ we still meet people who knew or came in contact with Mark. So many of them tell us he was always a gentleman. He was extremely kind and generous to family and friends.
Our faith is giving us strength to cope with the loss of Mark. Knowing Mark and his Dad are together gives us some comfort. A perpetual scholarship fund was established in Mark’s memory for the Explorer post of his fire department.