Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Upcoming Opportunities to Celebrate Mark's Life

We're excited to share the details of two upcoming opportunities to celebrate Dad's life with his blog readers.

Coming up in May, another memorial will be held in Lompoc, California-- Dad's hometown.

We invite you to join family and friends
in a Celebration of the Life of 
Mark James Chambers

Memorial services will be held on

Friday, May 27, 2011

1:00 p.m.

Lompoc Evergreen Cemetery 

600 South C Street

Lompoc, California

Following the service
We would be honored to have you join us
for a buffet, drinks, memories
and conversation with friends and relatives
3011 Chandler Drive
Lompoc, California

All are welcome, so please consider
sharing this invitation with friends and colleagues.

If you will be unable to join us or would like to send a message
please contact us at

We look forward to seeing you in Lompoc! 

Don & Carol Ann Chambers

Carrie, Dana and Craig
Nate, Liz and Victoria

And following that, a memorial golf tournament and fundraiser will be held in Mark's honor in July.


Saturday, July 30, 2011
1:30 PM

Stone Creek Golf Club
Oregon City, Oregon

4 Person Best Ball Scramble
$95 per golfer
Includes: 18 holes of golf, cart, range balls, dinner, great prizes
and a nice donation to Get Your Rear in Gear on Mark’s behalf!

For more information or to register (by June 30th) contact:
Andrew Stein at

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Celebration of the Life of Mark Chambers

On Saturday, March 19, our family hosted Dad's memorial celebration at Lewis and Clark College.  We are thankful that so many people came to pay their respects to Dad, and we hope that those who attended enjoyed the event.  We certainly did.  We thought the blog would be the perfect place to share the video from the event with those who were unable to attend and those who wanted to reflect again on what was said.

We think it makes sense to begin this post with Dad's farewell message, which is how we brought the memorial service to a close.

Below are each of the memorial messages given at the service, which appear in the order they were given.

Liz DePriest:

Vickie Chambers:

Steve Glover:

Shaye Shira:

Betty Savage:

Nate Chambers:

And finally, we wanted to close this post with the memorial message that our Aunt Carrie wrote for the service but felt she would be unable to read at the time.  She wanted to share her thoughts, though, so we are pleased to be able to share them with Dad's friends here.

Carrie Guerra:

I am not sure as to why I wasn’t able to speak directly at the Oregon memorial service. I had planned for a long while that I wanted to and I was honored that the kids asked me to, but when the day came it was way more emotional than I had anticipated. My “directional gyro” as I referred to Mark during the weekend, was a bit off.  We all found ourselves having to make decisions that had for so many years been handled by Mark as we travelled to the Northwest for visits, this seemed to throw me off in a big way. It is a message that I was very sure about giving and I would like to share it now.

On behalf of Marks extended California family, my parents, brother and sister and our families I wanted to extend our gratitude for sharing in the day of Marks celebration. I will not lie to you, this has been a rough time and I am sure it isn’t over, but I am also sure that we will all come out as better people having known the love and affections of such a great son, brother, father, lover and friend. It has been as if we have continued Marks journey learning more every day about Mark, about life and death – and about ourselves.

As I tried to decide what it was I wanted to say today, I have had a difficult time, some things that I would have liked to share are honestly still a bit to personal, some may have been a bit off color, and I decided that many of you here today may have way better stories than I might have shared, so – I went where I have gone all my life to find answers – I went to my big brother. What would Mark want me to say today? Mark had never led me astray before, (well, there was a few times having to do with tequila, but we shouldn’t talk about THAT today), but in the end I knew he would not let me down now.

It wasn’t long after I begged the question of myself that it came to me, Mark would have looked at me with his arms crossed over his chest, more than likely wearing shorts and his ever so noticeable vests or golf shirt and with that impish grin he wore so often, said something like “It’s just not a team without the outfield” or “No person is greater than the sum of all his parts” – and in that visual and realistic conversation I had with him it dawned on me – Mark wouldn’t want me to talk about himself at all – I believe he would want me to talk about all of you.

Every person that my brother ever met has been an intregal part of his life, and I think he would want you all to remember that. He would have been so tickled to have you all in the same room, enjoying one another’s company today. Each and every person in this room made up Marks unique, fun loving, love filled life, each and every minute of it. It is my belief that he would want to thank you for his amazing life.

It doesn’t matter if you have known him for 2, 10 or 30 years – or for all of his life, Mark held fast to his beliefs, his love of his family and friends, his three amazing children, his sense of humor and love of sports, education and the wonders of the world and life itself, the giggles and laughter of kids of all ages, the Mark I knew and loved from the age of 3 is the same Mark that you have all come to know all these years.

Many of you have shared in his life through friendships, his children, church, wine clubs, dance teams, athletic teams, his community and volunteer services. You have played more golf with him than most people play in an entire life time, although we all know that Mark would say that one could never play enough golf. You have served on boards; been to round table luncheons, participated in charity events, golf tournaments, school functions and educational experiences. You may be neighbors or work colleagues, you may have coached him or been coached by him – whatever your association, you have all been active participants in his journey.

To those of you that helped during the end of this journey with medical visits, Dr. Office consultations, helping to drive to and from, or time spent with him in the “infusion den” I am especially thankful. If you held his hand; or his heart, lent a listening ear, or debated current events with him, if you were the twinkle in his eye, or the apples of it – you have all been the focus of his life and he became the person he was because all of you allowed him to share a special and unique bond.

Mark enjoyed his life and all of you in it. He spoke of you often and laughed loud and long about all the stores and adventures that you shared together. For all of this and so much more I will always personally appreciate the fact that you took the time to enjoy, embrace and love my brother.

I would like to ask that you all continue to share in the fun stories, great traditions, good times and laughter that you have shared with Mark, and that you take the time to continue to tell stories to his children and his family whenever you remember out of the clear blue something that is “SO Mark”!

In my eyes my brother has always been a gift, and I’d like nothing more than to keep the memories alive so that he can continue to be the gift that keeps on giving.

I think he would like that.

To reiterate Aunt Carrie's message, we are so grateful to all of you who, as Dad wrote, made his life "a song that very few could ever hope to sing."  Thank you for making his memorial celebration an event that our family will cherish forever.  Dad asked us to host a party that he would wish he had been able to attend, and you all made that wish possible.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Dad's Memorial

You are cordially invited to join our family for
A Celebration of the Life of Mark Chambers

To be held
Saturday, March 19, 2011 
Lewis and Clark College
Portland, Oregon

Following the memorial service, guests are encouraged to stay for
drinks, hors d'oeuvres, and conversation with friends both new and old.

The event will be held in Stamm Hall, which is located inside the Templeton Campus Center.
A campus map is available here.  Parking is free on March 19,
and the campus should be fairly quiet because students will be on Spring Break.

All are welcome, so please consider sharing this invitation with friends and colleagues.
If you will be able to join us, please email the names of the attendees to 
by Wednesday, March 9, 2011.  This will allow us to ensure that we can accommodate all guests.

We hope to see you then!
Nate, Liz, and Vickie
on behalf of Mark's extended family

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Dad's Obituary and Shaye's Letter

Hello all,

First, I wanted to share the obituary that ran for Dad today in the Oregonian, West Linn Tidings, and Lompoc Record.  If you don't receive those publications and/or want to sign the online guest book, please view the online obituary here.

Secondly, before Dad passed away, he asked me to share the letter Shaye wrote to him with his blog readers.  If you haven't yet had the chance to meet Shaye, you'll remember that she is Judy's daughter and Connor and Caleb's mom.  I appreciate that Shaye took the time to describe how she sees Dad's legacy, and I know he was so proud to have occupied the various roles she describes in her letter.  So I'll leave it to her to share the impact Dad made on her life and those of her family members...


Dear Mark,
I have thought about this moment from the first time I learned your health was in jeopardy and knew that I would someday, if necessary, want to sit down and write you a letter to express to you my deepest feelings.  This is something that would be far better done in person, but for me would just be too difficult and knowing my forgetful brain would be absent of all the things I want to tell you.   

First and foremost I want to tell you….”Wow, what a fight you have fought!”  If there is ever a definition of a fighter…you have exceeded that and then some.  You have given this nasty disease, we know as cancer, a fight for its life and I still think you will be fighting until the end.  I can honestly say that I think this disease did not beat you and you did not ever let that creep into your mind but that your body is tired and that is just o.k.  There comes a time when we are all just tired.  We don’t give up, we just rest and this is just your time to rest.  It is time to put your mind at ease and rest.  Time to lay back; close your eyes, and just rest.  And while you rest, think about the legacy you have built. 

The LEGACY you have built….. WOW, is all I can say.  First, three well-adjusted and successful kids who are going to be just fine in this world.  You have instilled in them the finest of values.  You have taught them most importantly what good work ethic means and how this will help them succeed.  While you may have been a strict father, you showed them what that equates to as a parent and that is love.  You educated them, talked to them, challenged them, and most importantly loved them.  You should be such a proud father.  I am proud of the job you have done and that is reflected in the children you raised.

I think there is another legacy you built that I need to tell you about.  That is the legacy of “grandfather”.  I have to tell you that you will always be and were a far better grandfather than my own father.  While it is not a slight on my own father, it is just the facts.  You have been around Connor from the time he was 7 months old and were there the day Caleb was born.  You have been in these two boy’s lives their entire existence.  You have helped Eric and I raise these boys and mold them into the young men they are becoming.  The countless baseball and basketball games you have attended, the times throwing the baseball in the side yard, the Home Depot building trips with Caleb, trips to the zoo, pancake breakfasts, Easter egg hunts, leaf raking, cookie making, sleepovers, Mother’s Day brunches, golfing trips, Christmas lights and Santa brunches, family baseball games, festivals, and so much more.  These are memories my boys will have for their entire lives.  These are the memories we remember when we are older and pass on to our own children.  One in particular is the day you bought Connor his first baseball mitt.  We still remember that like it is yesterday and so will he.  Your trips to Home Depot with Caleb are so special to him.  He hangs his apron in his room proudly along with his projects lined up on his window sill.  The two of you shared such a special bond that Caleb has expressed to me many times over.  “I love Mark so much.”  “Mark is such a special person.”  “Mark is my buddy.”  So, thank you for filling a gap in my boys’ lives.  They love you so much but also understand that the memories they have of you are priceless.  Caleb has not taken off his new soccer jersey since he has been home and even slept in it last night.  Thank you for your countless hours throwing baseballs with them, teaching them, coaching them, and just talking to them.  Thank you for being a grandfather.

Next and most importantly thank you for the love you have given to my mother.  I think that one of the reasons this is so hard for me is because of the void you have filled in my mother’s life.  She has been happier in the last ten years than I have seen her in my whole life.  She has had so much fun with you and you have provided her with so much joy and laughter.  You have taken the burden of worrying about her off me and have provided me with such peace.  I always knew that wherever you two were, you were having fun and laughing.  You have allowed her to travel to places she has never been, experience things she would not do on her own, taught her how to have a sense of adventure, and challenged her to new levels.  While we both know she can be difficult, you two provided each other with the perfect balance.  I think you are the match made in heaven.  While I know you worry about my mother being alone I can assure you she has a great support system.  While she will have a void in her heart she will have fond memories in her mind.

Another legacy you have built in our home is one of “father”.  Both Eric and I view you as a father.  Eric loved coaching with you, playing golf with you, sitting around and sharing a good glass of wine or a beer with you just shooting the shit.  He loved being asked to take you to chemo because I think it was his time to feel needed and a time where he could relate to what you were going through.  He cherishes those conversations and holds them close to his heart.  I also want to say thank you for your role in my life.  I still remember the cocky, sarcastic man who started at Camp Fire.  You always took care of me like a father and even though your sarcastic ways would drive me crazy at times, it was a feeling of being safe in your presence. 

It is not often in our life that people tell us how great we are but I do need to tell you how wonderful you are.  I don’t think I have met a more kind, caring, involved, compassionate, educated, smart, and determined individual.  Your drive inspires me and your kind heart warms me.

So as you worry about all of us as you embark on your next journey…don’t.  You are leaving behind a LEGACY.  Because of the person you are you have allowed all of us the strength to move forward but most importantly the memories to remember and share.  Those memories will be passed on to generations to come.  Your LEGACY is strong in our household, the homes of all of your families and friends, my mother’s and your children’s.
Now, my friend, it is your time to rest easy and assured that we will all be alright because of YOU!

I love you so much!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Info and Photos from Chile

Hello, all.

I hope that by now, those of you who have visited Dad here in the space have heard that he passed away earlier this week. Dad never lost his spirit and continued to "Just Keep Playing" right up until the end. As a family, we'd like to thank his friends for the outpouring of love and support he was shown during the four weeks during which his health rapidly declined. I feel confident that the cards, phone calls, and visits of friends and family sustained him during his most difficult days. They also brought great comfort to those of us in his family, and we will continue to find solace in the knowledge that he was so well loved.

Dad left me with some specific directions about how to bring this blog to a close, but before I follow them, I'd like to share some information that I think will be useful to those among you who are sharing in the mourning of his death. Dad's wishes were to be cremated, so we have begun working on plans for a memorial service to be held in the next 6-8 weeks in the Portland area. As soon as those plans are finalized, we'll share the information with everyone here. In lieu of flowers, we've decided to ask that donations be made in Dad's honor to the following charities.

CCI Enterprises (now Excel Enterprises) "excels in providing vocational and personal development services for people with disabilities." You can read more about them at, make a donation online, and contact them at (877) 262-9382.

The mission of Incight is to "cause the success of education, employment, networking, and independence for people with disabilities." You can read more about them at, make a donation online, and contact them at (971) 244-0305.

I also wanted the next post on Dad's blog to carry through on the promise he made in the last one-- to include some of the amazing photographs he took on his recent trip to Chile with Nate and Judy. I wish everyone who knew him had been given the chance to hear his stories of this trip, but since that is no longer possible, I hope you are all able to sense from these photographs how gratifying he found his experience there.  If you'd like to see them in more detail or save them, feel free to click the photos to enlarge them.

Thanks for continuing to keep Dad in your thoughts, hearts, and memories.  : )


Monday, November 15, 2010


More detail to follow, for all those who endure travel shows on cable, and enjoy photographic attempts at mirroring what we've seen and done. Let's keep today short, however, as there are tons of things to do this first day back...

However, not as quite as short as one paragraph:

We saw my host brother and sisters on the trip, it was great to be able to catch up and see where their lives have taken them.
We ate more meals out in restaurants than I'd have predicted, but never had a bad one. Some were simply outstanding, and the prices were very reasonable. Just because we had too many desserts at lunch and ran up the bill isn't a Chilean fault.
It rained twice, quite a surprise to all Chileans. Rains usually cease in September. These storms were a gift, as the air in Santiago was cleansed, and new snow dropped on the mountains, just for us.

Anything more will have to wait for the camera to get hooked up and more pictures to dominate future posts. Hopefully I can get two or three of those done before the weekend....when Nate leaves for Colorado and we head south for sunshine. Oh...the weather aside from the rain in Chile was perfect. Generally 75-80 each day, a couple of 90-degree days to remind us that it is a dry climate and approaching summer.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Just a short one...

Buenas Dias....

Nate arrived shortly after I did, this past week, and we're having a great time. The little village that I called home, Los Andes, has turned into a big town...dirty, noisy, traffic and congestion. When I first went there, Lompoc and Los Andes were about the same size...20,000 people each. Now, there are 80,000 in Los Andes, and they've all bought a car or a taxi since I left. We even got in trouble for taking pictures at something that looked, smelled and felt a lot like a WalMart....most shopping happens in little tiny stores where people pick up specialty items. Meat in one place, bread another, fruit and veggies another. This one had lots of sale signs and far too many items in one place. The highlight of the visit was the little museum, where they had one of those mummified Inca's from long ago, that someone had found in the Andes nearby. I thought that was just for History Channel. oh, and we get that here, too, but it is all in Spanish.

The weather is wonderful. High seventies to eighty, gorgeous blue sky...aside from the smog in Santiago things would be perfect. We've figured out transportation, e.g. it is nearly $25 to ride a taxi into town, while we can ride a bus for less than $3. Combining a bus and a taxi, we get to our hotel by spending about $5. We've also arranged a week in an apart..hotel, basically a college dorm room, rather than a hotel room. But there is still maid service and computer access if we really want it. Even ESPN Deportes to watch Monday night Football. We think we may even get the world series, though it is on really late and we didn't come here to watch TV.

Trying to work out our wine tours, that's next. We've found the shopping areas that will excite Judy, arranged to meet with my host sisters this weekend, and will fly to Puerto Montt two weeks from today. We are definitely living the dream down here. I even have two Christmas presents already, that's great fun, too.

My Spanish is decent, though trying to flip back and forth from English with Nate to Spanish with everyone else...and yes, my hearing is not as good as it was in 1970...for those who love to tease me, not only do I need to ask people to slow down a bit, but I don't have my mind set for Spanish when I start listening. The next time you see a Hispanic kid taking orders at McDonald's and flipping between languages, please be impressed. That's a really tall order.

We're off to work on some transportation details and find a winery tour or three for the next few days. Even Nate experienced some jet lag when he arrived, so it isn't all about the pisco sours....but we have made friends with those guys, too. I expect Judy will need most of Thursday to catch up, leaving us with just four days to show off the capital. Action packed...!