Mark Lee Thurber, 59, of Urbana, IL (formerly of Sadorus), died early Monday morning at Carle hospital with his wife at his side.
Mark was born in Columbus OH, 11|1|1963 and was immediately adopted by Lee and Marilyn Thurber. His family move to Champaign, IL when he was about 10 years old, where he developed an enviably strong friendship with a group of boys and girls from his neighborhood.
Mark earned Eagle Scout status in 1981, graduated from Centennial High School in 1982, joined the National Guard as a Heavy Anti Armor Weapons Crewman from 1985-1990 and began a lifelong career at Herff Jones Cap & Gown in Champaign, retiring in August, 2021.
Mark married Lisa Allen in 1988, and they moved to Sadorus From 1990-2017.
Mark was a firefighter for the Sadorus Volunteer Fire Department and was passionate about his service, always continuing to learn and advanced to EMT-I status as well as being a firefighter.
Prior to having their first child in 1992, Mark and Lisa spent every available moment together having fun playing pinball at the Arcade, playing softball, camping and hiking at Turkey Run State Park, and going to concerts. After 2 children, they thought they were done, but life surprised them with an additional 6 children. When asked: “How can we possibly do this?” Mark’s answer was: “How can we not?”
His friends speak of his huge heart and fierce loyalty, always at the ready in case someone needed defending.
He liked to think he had a tough exterior, but had a heart of gold and would do anything for his children. He loved his wife more than anything, and she always knew it, even when he didn’t always show it.
He was preceded in death by his adoptive parents Lee and Marilyn (Lewis) Thurber, and grandson Mason. He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Lisa (Allen) Thurber, brother Kevin Thurber who resides in China, several family members from Caldwell, Ohio including his mother Sondra Clark, brothers Eric (Kelli) Clark, Scott (Lisa) Clark, and aunts and nieces and nephews. Sons Cory (McKayla Olson) Thurber, Clarence Wilson, and J. D. Wilson-Thurber. Daughters Shannon (Juli) Long, Elizabeth (Will) Summers, Gabrielle (John Martin) Wilson, Jasmine (Kishawn Joiner) Thurber, and Michelle Thurber. 13 grandchildren ages one to ten; Naomi, Annabelle, Beatrice, Christopher, Paige, Sebastian, Landen, Sophia, Wrenlee, Josie, Royce, Alex, and Lilly.
Please consider making a donation to one of the 2 things Mark was passionate about; The Sadorus Fire Department (PO BOX 195 Sadorus IL 61872), or support the Prairie Dragon Paddlers, a breast cancer survivor group promoting a healthy life after breast cancer diagnosis. (Prairiedragonpaddlers.org).
Visitation will be from 1-4 at Saturday, November 12, 2022 at Freese Funeral Home 407 N Bourne St. Tolono, IL
A firefighter tribute service is planned at 4:00 PM