No words here — none —can account for the love that family and friends feel today for Mark (Dana) Timmons, of Torrington, Conn., who died of natural causes July 28 and far too soon. Mark was 60 years old.
No words can fully account for the love that Mark — in his quiet, unassuming but deliberate way — extended to his mother, his brothers, his cousins, his church community, and strangers who crossed his path.
No words can account for the peace and relief we, his family, know now because of Mark’s faith in Jesus Christ.
And most importantly, no words can account for the depth of love he had for his daughter, and she for him.
Mark was born on March 7, 1962, in New Haven, Conn., beginning a story anchored in New England, but one that included years in Rhinelander, in the Northwoods of Wisconsin as a young man.
He eventually returned to Connecticut and, on May 5, 1990, married Beth Cleaveland.
Despite many years of living with mental health and physical ailments, Mark persevered. Arguably one of his favorite jobs in his adult life was as janitor at Thomaston’s Opera House, which also serves as the town hall. There he immediately endeared himself to Thomaston staff with his quiet humor, kindness and humility.
The items that Mark loved are top of mind today.
He loved and owned animals, from dogs to ferrets. His family fondly recalls his Dalmation, Abbey, who he fawned over and coveted. If there was an animal T-shirt in circulation, Mark probably wore it at some point.
Mark loved sports, especially professional sports, always a conversation starter. If Mark was wearing red, it probably owed to his allegiance to the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The New York Rangers, win or lose, also had his heart. He also was known to turn up in the stands at a Torrington prep basketball game.
Mark’s love of God and people and music intersected at Joseph’s House in Torrington, Conn., where he regularly found refuge through the years and was active until his passing. Mark was a regular worshiper, sang at open mic nights, and even was known to dance in the loving community there.
No one knew Mark’s love more than his daughter, Christina — proudly raised with his former wife, Beth, in Torrington. Mark and Christina’s weekly visits to talk or play video games or to find lunch or look for hidden gems at Goodwill were the stuff of everyday life but the essence of a shared love they had for one another. And he shared a legacy of the love of animals – his daughter making it a vocation at a local pet store.
Mark is preceded in death by his father, Richard, and an aunt and uncle, Audrey Bielefield and David Timmons, whom he adored. He is survived by his beautiful mother, Susan, of Woodbury, Minn.; brothers Ben (Colchester), Andy (Ellington) and Bob (White Bear Lake, Minn.); his daughter, Christina (Torrington); and cousins, nieces and nephews.
We’ll all celebrate and honor Mark from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 12 at Joseph’s House, 116 Water St., and will continue to lift his name in prayer forever, knowing Mark is healthy again and in peace with our loving Lord, Jesus Christ.
(Donations on Mark’s behalf can be made online at GoFundMe.com.)