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Mark R. Stair

Death 22 Nov 2006 (aged 44)
Oak Ridge, Anderson County, Tennessee, USA
Burial Cremated, Other
Memorial ID 176332606 · View Source
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Oak Ridger, The (TN) - Monday, November 20, 2006

Mark Stair, age 44, of Harriman and Clinton, went home to be with the Lord Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2006, at Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge after a courageous battle with stomach cancer.

He was a member of Black Oak Baptist Church and East Fork Masonic Lodge No. 460 in the Dyllis community. Throughout his life he enjoyed hunting, fishing, woodworking and was a Harley Davidson enthusiast. He worked at Y-12, Martin Marietta, as a machinist for 25 years, winning awards in 2005 and 2006.

He was preceded in death by his father, Gilbert "Foozie" Stair.

He is survived by fianc e, Carol Ann Galloway of Harriman and her parents, John and Carol Tedder of Austell, Ga.; mother, Sally Stair of Clinton; daughter, Stefanie Stair of Knoxville; grandmother, Lois Greene of Clinton; uncles, Brooks and Ervin Stair; mother of Stefanie Stair, Carla and husband, Jeff Goins, of Knoxville; many aunts in the Clinton area; several cousins and numerous friends.

The family received friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 26, 2006, at Holley-Gamble Funeral Home, with memorial services following the visitation with the Rev. Kenny Byrd officiating. Mark's request was for casual wear for the visitation and memorial service.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorials be made to Cumberland Oncology and Hematology, 102 Vermont Ave., Oak Ridge, TN 37830.

Holley Gamble Funeral Home in Clinton is in charge of all arrangements. When he went into the hospital the day after bagging a 7-point buck in Meigs County he never came home.

Mark Stair: Social Security Death Index (SSDI) Death Record

Name: Mark Stair
State of Issue: Tennessee
Date of Birth: Sunday December 03, 1961
Date of Death: Wednesday November 22, 2006
Est. Age at Death: 44 years, 11 months, 19 days
Confirmation: Proven

" Mark Stair: Social Security Death Index (SSDI) Death Record

When Mark Stair was diagnosed with cancer he broke the news to his family and some friends. Then he told a joke.

When Stair was battling through the treatments doctors were using to try and beat the cancer he went hunting. Or he rode his Harley-Davidson.

When he went into the hospital the day after bagging a 7-point buck in Meigs County he never came home.

Mark Stair died Nov. 22; just four days after his hunting trip and two months and a day after he found out he had esophageal and stomach cancer.

His isn't a story about a great hunter, a miracle shot or the trophy of a lifetime, but about a master machinist at Y-12 who loved the outdoors and had such an impact on the people around him that instead of mourning his death through the Christmas holiday, Stair's family and friends will be celebrating his life.

"That's the way he would want it to be," said Sally Stair, Mark's mother. "He wanted to stay active and that's the reason he was still hunting. He loved the outdoors. Every bit of it."

A nurse, Sally Stair knew her son's prognosis wasn't good. When the cancer was found, it had metastasized into his spine and neck and arm, making it more difficult to fight.

At that point, two days before deer season opened Sept. 23, the vast majority of outdoorsmen would be thinking about anything but hunting.

But Stair was an outdoorsman before he could even spell the word.

It was Christmas 39 years ago when Stair decided he was ready to be a hunter - and to be a hunter he needed a shotgun. His parents thought a shotgun and a 6-year-old might not be the best mix, but they gave in.

Well, they sort of gave in.

"His dad bought him and old shotgun and rigged it to where it couldn't shoot," Sally Stair said. "Mark loved it."

And with that, Stair was on his way to becoming the kind of outdoorsman who would prefer being in the woods rather than sit around and bemoan bad luck.

Growing up in Anderson County between Clinton and Lake City, and not far from the Clinch River, rabbits and squirrels were usually plentiful. And it was nothing for Stair to haul in a snapping turtle or a sack of crawdads and ask his mother to make a meal of them.

"We would cook anything," she said.

As Stair got bigger, so did the game. When he was 12 he killed his first deer and, along with his dad, Gilbert "Foozie" Stair, he would become a regular at Catoosa and Chuck Swan. When he wasn't hunting deer or dove or turkeys he would fish. In later years, when he wasn't hunting deer or dove or turkeys or fishing, he would ride his Harley.

"He was going to fight it," Sally Stair said. "He had taken several rounds of chemo and was able to eat again and had gained 11 pounds. He didn't need as much pain medication and seemed to be doing much better."

For a second, Sally Stair paused.

"He was a good person," she said. "He loved people and he loved to talk to people."

It's not uncommon for mothers to vouch for their son's better qualities, but it's the rare man who gets the same kind of endorsement from his ex-wife's husband.

During an age when split families are the norm and relationships inside those families often bitter, count Jeff Goins and his wife Karla among the list of friends missing Mark Stair.

"He was the kind of guy you could not help but like," Goins said. "Mark was sitting in our backyard when he got the call from the doctor telling him he had cancer. He said, 'Well, the Doc tells me I got cancer,' then the next thing out of his mouth is a joke.

"Any other time the joke would have been funny. Mark carried the moment."

Stair was at the Goins' house to visit his daughter Stefanie. The 20-year-old was fresh from having wrecked her car, and her dad was being his usual upbeat self before and after getting the call from his doctor.

"He outlook on life was almost hard to put into words," she said. ""He lived life to the fullest.

"I had the wreck and he came over to see me on his motorcycle. I guess it was coincidental that he was here when they called."

Stefanie Stair hunted a few times with her dad and her granddad, mostly for doves and mostly "playing the part of the golden retriever."

"I just sat there and watched, but he always took me along," she said.

There's precedent in the Stair family for getting bad news and not slowing down. When Foozie Stair died in 2005 of lung cancer at the age of 72 it was just a few days after doing yard work most 72-year-olds in good health would have hired out.

"He climbed a tree on Thursday to cut a limb and he died that Sunday" Sally Stair said of her husband.

The deer Stair bagged in Meigs County will be mounted and stand as a memorial to his last hunt. But for a real memorial, Goins said nothing could top what happened at Stair's funeral.

Eulogies are usually pretty glum and solemn, delivered in low tones to a background of stifled sniffles and crying. This one was more in tune with a man who loved his friends and family, and loved to hunt and ride Harleys.

"At the end the preacher, who said he had never done this before, asked everybody to stand on their feet and give a long round of applause for a life well led," Goins said. "After that, the funeral director in all those years he had never heard clapping in his funeral home.

Name: Mark Stair
State of Issue: Tennessee
Date of Birth: Sunday December 03, 1961
Date of Death: Wednesday November 22, 2006
Est. Age at Death: 44 years, 11 months, 19 days
Confirmation: Proven


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  • Created by: Jane Lane
  • Added: 14 Feb 2017
  • Find A Grave Memorial 176332606
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Mark R. Stair (3 Dec 1961–22 Nov 2006), Find A Grave Memorial no. 176332606, ; Maintained by Jane Lane (contributor 46908160) Cremated, Other.