Mark L Brozovich

Mark Lynn Brozovich, age 70, passed away after an accident on February 10, 2021, in Okinawa, Japan. He was born January 15, 1951, to Paul and Ruth Brozovich in Inglewood, CA, and grew up in Los Angeles, CA. He married Leslie Hagel in Cortez, CO, on July 30, 2010. She survives.

Also surviving is his sister, Paulette (Henry) Mariotti of CA; brother and sister-in-law, Blake and Joi DeArmond of Morton, IL; sister-in-law Nicole Hagel of Galva, IL; nieces, Jennifer (Johnny) Struiksma, Amanda DeArmond and Brittney Wright; nephews, Evan (Kelsey) Mariotti, Tommy Hagel and Jody Pickett; great nieces, Kate and Emma.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Ruth Brozovich, and his father-in-law, Roger Hagel.

Mark graduated from Westchester High School and went on to serve in the United States Air Force for four years before getting his degree at Western Washington University and becoming a National Park Service Ranger at the Grand Canyon and Petrified Forest. He went on to have various jobs that afforded him the opportunity to travel, finally retiring from Mountain Village, Telluride Ski Resort in Colorado.

Mark’s best friend, Doug, reflects, “I experienced great friendship and camaraderie with ‘Broz’ (Mark’s nickname). He took our relationship seriously and was ever faithful. He annoyed me sometimes with his persistent goodwill and advocating for the Christian faith. I have lost many friends and family over the years and this loss is particularly hard. 

We met in the early 70’s during our service in the US Air Force. We were assigned to the same organizational unit maintaining airplanes near Tacoma, Washington. I knew immediately that he was different from all the other GI’s. He introduced me to the outdoors and love of outdoor experiences: mountaineering, hiking, boating, wandering. He was like a compass and angel gently tugging and pointing me away from bad habits, malaise and discontent. 

A rock. I find it ironic that he was found among rocks after an apparent fall. He used to climb or hike everything including peaks, cliffs, mountains, water towers, beaches and trails - mostly solo and sometimes with others. Back then he was a sort of Hayduke, environmentally active. He liked big ideas, such as sailing around the world, climbing the highest peaks, floating the Mississippi from source to sea, and seeing the world. He was a soul filled with wanderlust.

He did many solo adventures and he sometimes got in trouble. Usually, he was able to fix the problem or surrender. He showed up at my house covered with scabs after getting in poison ivy on a solo Green River canoe trip in Utah. He lost his canoe and gear in a rapid in the Desolation-Grays Canyon area of the Green River, Utah, and was rescued by a group of rafters. He called and needed a place to shelter after an aborted solo canoe trip on the Missouri River in Montana after being injured when he hit a ledge and capsize. He thrived on experiences. He had health problems, but had changed his lifestyle to accommodate and continue his outdoor pursuits. He had just turned 70 years old. He stuck out in a crowd at about 6 ft. 5 inches and 250 lbs. His hands were huge; he was a giant to me. There is so much more to his life than I can describe. He was intellectual, thoughtful and kind.”

Mark’s sister-in-law, Joi DeArmond will always remember him as a “gentle giant” that always had a kind word for everyone, quick wit, a sense of adventure unmatched by anyone else, the greatest faith in God and Jesus, and the deepest love for his wife, Leslie. Mark never realized how many hearts he truly touched during his lifetime.

His biggest blessing came later in life when he met his future wife and soulmate, Leslie Hagel, at church in Cortez, CO. Together through opportunities available to them through Leslie’s career with the Department of Defense Education Activity, they were able to travel to Japan where Leslie currently works as the Assistant Principal at the elementary school on the Marine base in Okinawa, Japan. For the past eight years they have traveled throughout Japan and enjoyed trips to Australia, Israel, Thailand and many other countries in Asia.

While the tragic accident that took Mark from his family and friends has left them in deep sorrow, we must always remember that Mark “always chose joy” – he looked passed any hardships towards the joy of what was to come. He lived life to its fullest.

Just like in life, when Mark - camera in hand - was looking for that perfect sunrise and sunset…his friends and family can continue to gaze on those miraculous wonders and lovingly remember him.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 27, 2021 (JST). It will be livestreamed for friends and family in the US on Friday, February 26, 2021.

Memorials can be made in his name to Salem4 Youth, 15161 N 400 E Rd, Flanagan, IL 61740; or Bibles for China, https://biblesforchina.org/