A life well lived

Early this morning,  my father went to be with the Lord.  After many hours of prayer, singing and scripture reading,  he took a last breath and made the final step into heaven.  We stand here in awe of the legacy this man has left.  Today we mourn the passing of a great man, but we celebrate the life of of a man that has reached all over the world.  Wherever you are today be it Boston, McKinney, Kentucky, Latvia, Ireland, or the far ends of the earth take a moment to share with someone the good news of His life.  Well done good and faithful servant, you have lived a life well lived.  


We are all very thankful for the outpouring of support.  Please continue to pray for our entire family, as we move into the unknown.  We appreciate all of your thoughts and have shared them with hundreds here in the hospital and around the world.  Together we are doing what my father would want, telling stories that will inspire us to walk closer with God each day.  We will keep you informed of the steps we will take from here, but for now let us join across the world in a round of applause for one the greatest men I have ever known.  He was a poet, a teacher, an inspiration, and the best dad a child could want. I can only hope to be the giant he was and is.  I am honored to be a son of Whale…

81 responses to A life well lived

  1. Bert Greene

    My deepest condolences to you, Whitney, and your entire family, Mark. A life well lived, indeed.

  2. Denton Wood Sr

    I was able to take one final bicycle ride with Dr. Mark at the cape this year. He led me in a different direction this time, which resulted in a shorter ride than normal but we ended up on a secluded new shortcut which I intend to share with the boys some day. Thank you Dr. Mark for teaching Denton Jr. the states and capitals, for playing catch with Zachary, for spoiling the twins and especially for raising KariAnne and instilling in her your integrity, wisdom and zest for life, as well as teaching us to “always take the high road”. Love, Denny

  3. KJ

    I just wrote this on Kari & Kijsa’s blog:

    Kari & Kijsa:

    I am finally catching up on my blog reading and came to read your last post. My heart was heavy hearing about your dad’s situation. I then went over to your brother’s blog and read aloud to my husband about your daddy’s journey home. We know that he has received the ultimate healing and that his legacy lives large in the hearts of those he touched. How glorious to be known as a man of God!

    We will continue to pray for this season. May God wrap his arms of comfort and love around each one of you.
    My husband and I are deeply moved by what you wrote about your father. My husband and I were both swimmers so we can appreciate the name of “Whale.” Again, we will be praying for you.


  4. Vicki Woolverton

    Mark, along with all the others I have been praying for you, your dad, and whole family all week. I am saddened that his life ended so early but celebrate with you all the great things about your dad. What a legacy he has left in all of his children and grandchildren. My deepest condolences to your family as you now walk down a different path. I am praying for God to give each of you strength and peace during this time.


  5. Janice and Lynn Foster

    Sadly, we have been following the progress of your father through my brother Lloyd. We met Mark on a few occasions and realized immediately what a remarkable individual he was. It is with a heavy heart that I read your entry this morning. Yet amidst what must be overwhelming sadness, your realizing that he is now with our Heavenly Father has to bring its own joy and peace.
    We extend to the whole family our deepest sympathy. Tell Kijsa and Brad we are holding the whole family up to be comforted by the greatest of all Comforters. We love you all and you are in our hearts and prayers as you read this.
    Uncle Lynn and Aunt Janice

  6. Ami Stovall

    Presley Family,

    I am truly sorry to hear this latest news. Please know that Dr. Presley was a remarkable man and he definitely touched each and every life (for whatever the reason) he came into contact with at Eastfield College and the DCCCD, including mine. I too am sad that his life ended far too soon. I will never forget Dr. Presley and the things he did for me as his employee for three years, and I will continue to carry on the things he instilled in me while we were together at work.

    Dr. Presley was so proud of each and every one of you in his family and he shared many personal stories with me on each of you through the years I worked for (with) him. He even expressed to me last year before I moved on from Eastfield College that he was extremely proud of his wife, Anne for the outstanding teaching award that she received. He even read the local paper to me (and I’m sure many many others at work) that included an article and her picture in it of that achievement! His face was red with round rosy cheeks, and a huge smile, when he shared the family stories with me.

    Dr. Presley is unforgettable, and he will remain in my heart and mind for many years to come. Please know that you, Anne, and the rest of the entire Presley family will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time. May God bless you and keep you close at this time. God be with you all!

    Ami Stovall, former Eastfield College employee

  7. Allatia Dickerson

    My heart is heavy. My prayers are with the Presley family. Mark beamed when he spoke of you, and he took such joy at visiting his children in their homes and in being with family. I checked the blog this morning in hopes of a positive report. We have lost a great friend, teacher, and a fine human being. You all, of course, have experienced a loss much deeper.

    I am so proud to have known and worked with your dad, your grandad, your husband, Anne. I enjoyed his passion for science, his pride in watching new faculty develop, at Eastfield and at other colleges in the district. He loved to be in the field with colleagues and students, and he was so creative in developing those courses. he was an advocate for his physical education faculty, probably much more than even they know.

    My name at work is Allatia Harris, but my married name and the one I use in my personal life is Dickerson. I sign this message Allatia Harris Dickerson because I have lost a colleague and a friend.

    Allatia Harris Dickerson, former Eastfield and DCCCD colleague

  8. Duncan Family

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you right now. I do not know your family or father, but from what I’ve read he seemed like a truly wonderful man in all ways. May God comfort your family and bring you peace.

  9. Don Hellstern

    Presley Family,

    My deepest sympathy is with you on the loss of a truly great man. Mark was everything good a man could be. I shall miss him terribly. Always an open door to me and ready to visit, I will continue to speak with him in prayer. It was an honor to know him.

    God bless you all,

    Don Hellstern

  10. Lane & Debbie

    Presley family,

    Thank you for sharing your journey this week with us. As you probably realize, many have been journeying daily with you in prayer, hope, love, joy, and sorrow.

    We love you and will continue to lift you up as you walk through this next step.

    As for Dr. Mark – we all know he is great now. He finally got to hear those words personally from our Savior…Well done…Good and faithful servant…come into your rest. What a great day for him…and only the first of forever!

    Lane & Debbie

  11. Lindle Grigsby

    I hesitated this morning to open the blog because I did not want to read what I just read.

    Because of Mark’s strong faith and commitment to God I know you as his faimily will be able to face all of the tomorrows and know this was a victory for Mark. It will not be easy, but as you have been assured, God will provide, because you have that same faith in Jesus Christ and commitment to God.

    Mark did his job well as a husband and father, and as a witness for everyone who knew him. What a legacy and example for all of us to follow.

  12. Brent and Susan Armstrong

    Mark and family,

    Brent and I have been keeping up with everything while on vacation in Florida. We’ve had many opportunities to walk by the ocean praying for your dad and your whole family.

    Like many others, I write this with tears in my eyes.

    We will never forget your wonderful dad as our Sunday school teacher for the past 3 years. He was always wise, funny, inspiring, and clearly a giant of a man. Our class will never be the same.

    We will continue to pray for your family as you move into the most difficult part of this ordeal – moving on without him.

    Thank you so much for sharing your heart this week – you have glorified God through your pain.

    “Blessed be the Lord, when the road’s marked with suffering, when there’s pain in the offering, blessed be His name!”

    With much love,

    Susan and Brent Armstrong

  13. Spencer Curtis

    Upon reading this entry in the solitude of my quiet time, I began to applaud. Realizing that wasn’t sufficient, I arose and gave a long standing ovation…first to the Lord for His marvelous work in and through Mark’s life, and for Mark himself, who now resides in heaven receiving his full reward.

    Well done, indeed.

    I will continue to be in prayer for Anne, for the family, and the rest of us that we could live with the grace that Mark demonstrated.

    We love you.

  14. Clay Rawlins

    I am truly saddened by the news of Mark’s passing, but I am delighted he is now with Christ. As Lindle Grigsby, I too was hesitant to open the blog for fear of the news I might find. Although I have been praying for his recovery along with all others, alas, it was God’s will that Mark come to be with him in heaven.

    God has a plan for everyone’s life and as mortals we don’t understand things that happen in our lives, but I, as you, are strengthened by my faith in Christ and God’s perfect will. Your blog has been an inspiration and I thank God I had to opportunity to know Mark Presley for the few years he spent here at Eastfield College. As a colleague we participated in several activities together and I never knew Mark to be less than a gentleman and a faithful witness for Christ. I will miss his smile and company as I return back to classes this Fall semester, but I hope to see him again someday. May God comfort you in your time of loss.
    In Christ,
    Clay Rawlins

  15. Jay Justice

    Presley Family
    Today I share your deep sorrow and send my prayers for your comfort. I want to share with you a vision I hold in my mind’s eye and heart. I see Mark and Christ in a great bear hug and I hear them saying together “I love you man”. I heard those very words often from your father and now he is hearing them from our Father. If Mark is true to form when we would meet in the halls of Eastfield the next thing he will say to the Savior is “belly bump” and they will playfully bump bellies together like old friends. I will miss our belly bumps old friend so save some for me.
    Jay Justice

  16. Cathy Kelley

    Dear Presley family,
    I am mourning your loss as you are. Mark was such and inspiration, mentor and friend to all he came in contact with. I know he is now in a place where he can watch us all. My prayers still go up for you all in the hopes that God will give you comfort and strength for the next step of this journey. God be with you always.

  17. Tara Taylor Simpson

    I am so sad to read your message this morning Mark, but I am happy to know that you all were able to be with your dad. He was there when each of you came into this world, and I’m sure that he could not have asked for better companionship during his last days. I will truly miss your father. tara

  18. My sympathy goes to each of you. What a great thing though, to be able to title this post – “A life well lived”. It is what any of us would wish for. And, to know that he is healthy again and with his Lord is indeed a blessing. You all will be in my prayers.

  19. John and Deb Bruin, Linwood NJ

    Anne and family,
    There was tremendous sadness in my heart when I listened to your message last night. John and Mark’s relationship was simply “understood” and he was not only a friend but a big brother to John.
    we are saying our prayers and sending our love.

    May God comfort you and give you peace.
    John and Deb Bruin

  20. Danita Bradshaw-Ward and Family

    My heart is aching as I read the last entry. Losing someone is always hard to face. However, there is always a sense of peace when you know that he is sitting with Jesus. What a wonderful celebration of life. Dr. Presley, was a great Man of God and was continually seeking His face. He transmitted His light in his every action.
    As a Woman of God, it has been such a blessing to work in an environment where my immediate supervisor shares the Christian faith with me. What a blessing! Dr. Presley was always accomodating and showed sincere compassion for his staff. I could list pages and pages of stories where Dr. Presley has inspired me on difficult days or gave me a good laugh.
    Dr. Presley’s love for his family was incredible. I always stopped by the office to see the latest update and if any new grandchildren had been added. His love for others and life was remarkable. At our last Chirstmas party, which is always filled with Dr. Presley singing and corky games, my daughter took to Dr. Presley like he was her own grandfater. I think she made him sing Jingle Bells three times while she sang along with him. She even requested a hug from him when we left.
    I loved the way he treated me as family with my family being so far away. When I told him we were expecting our second baby in August, he jumped up from behind his desk and gave me the biggest hug. He was so excited.
    Dr. Presley will be deeply missed in the Science/PE department at Eastfield. There is no way to replace such a great man. He was a man after God’s own heart. We praised God before this tragedy, during and now after Dr. Presley is gone. I pray for the entire Presley family that our God will embrace you, comfort you, and bring understanding and acceptance to your troubled heart.

    God blessings,
    Danita Bradshaw-Ward and Family

  21. Jennifer Fernandes and Abe Miller

    Dear Presley Family,
    My heart cries with you for the loss of such a great man of GOD. All I can do is remember all the long talks we had about our personal lives and work. He was so proud of each and every one of his children and grandchildren and I was in awe at the amount of love he had for Anne. Please know that we are praying for you during this time. May the Holy Spirit comfort you and may you lean on our Lord for strength. All I can do is think about Dr. Presley being with Jesus. What a wonderful sight!! Even with his passing, he continues to challenge us and spread his love.
    We love you Dr. Presley and will truly miss you! Well done good and faithful servant!
    Jennifer and Abraham
    John 14:27

  22. Thoughts of your family passed through my mind this morning while drinking my coffee on the shaded patio listening to the songbirds. I could feel the tears springing up into my eyes, your words about your father have really moved me. I came inside to pop in for a visit and read the news. I’m so sorry for your loss, I know he was an incredible man, husband, father, friend…so much testimony here reflects that. Holding your family in my prayers today…

  23. David

    Mark was a great man. An inspirtion in the teachings of christ my heart is heavy. Thy will be done . I pray for all of Marks family. Mr. Presley you will be missed by many.You were always so kind to me .Thank you with all my heart in Jesus name Amen.


  24. My deepest sympathy is yours along with the celebration of your father’s life and journey to now be with the Lord. This little verse makes me think of your description of your dad as well as my sweet wise dad that is with the Lord:

    I never came to you and went away
    without some new enrichment of the heart;
    more faith and less of doubt.
    by Grace Noll Crowell

    May the Lord give you peace and the ability to rejoice through your tears. Sherry

  25. Deb Lyons

    Merle and I send our prayers. It has been a privilege to get to know your father through this blog.
    Thinking of you all, Deb

  26. Brian Hurd and Family


    We have been praying for you and your entire family each day as we visited your blog during this week. I did not know your dad real well, but I do know you, the uniqueness God has given you, Steven and other members of your family. Your dad is a blessed man, he has left a solid foundation and legacy in each of you, I celebrate his life with you. May the Lord provide peace and joy during these next many days as you mourn the loss of your dad.

    The Hurd Family

  27. Becki Williams

    Mark and I worked on the DCCCD Core 2009 Curriculum Committee this year. I count all of the hard work as a blessing because it gave me the opportunity to know Mark as a friend. His wisdom, patience and commitment knew no bounds. Mark beamed as he talked about his summer plans … collecting the grandkids on the road trip and teaching them the songs and car games. I will dearly miss his presence as we continue the work this fall. I will continue to share the good news of Mark’s life with my colleagues, friends and loved ones. Grace and peace to all who knew Mark and today celebrate his life as a gift of love from God.

  28. Ellen

    Praying right now for God’s comfort and peace to wrap around your hearts. May you feel his love surround you and your family. I’m here from K & K’s blog and the Pink Saturday bunch…

  29. To All the Presley Family,

    I was introduced to your family through Kari & Kijsa’s blog, and have followed the story of your father here. I hadn’t commented yet, couldn’t find the words. I traveled down the same road not long ago with my own father, followed shortly by my mother. Like you, I am blessed with loving siblings, other family and wonderful friends with whom I could celebrate the lives of my wonderful parents.

    Praise & thank the Lord for the years you were given with your father, cling to one another during the tearful moments, smile & laugh together as you remember his life. You will miss him every day, but you have the blessed assurance that you will be together again.

    Mark, I have so enjoyed learning about your father through this blog! I would have been an honor to have known him in person. What a beautiful tribute!

    My prayers for all of you continue.


  30. Jen E.

    Dear Presley Family,

    I am so saddened by the news of Dr. Mark. As the week went on, I checked this blog several times a day, found myself prompted to wake up and pray for him in the middle of the night, felt a sadness as I’ve gone about my days this week and even shared with my Mom about this situation.

    The amazing thing is that I never even knew your Dad.

    You can’t be a member of FBC without knowing of the Presley family, yet I feel such a loss for having never been taught by your Dad. I know I would’ve been challenged and would’ve learned a lot as a result. As I learned from this blog about his character, his humor, his love for his family, his devotion to the Lord, his desire to bring others to the Lord, I cannot help but feel sadness. He’s exactly the kind of man we need in our world and I am in awe of the man he was. He obviously had a large reach and left a giant footprint on the world.

    I wish I had better words to share with you this morning. I hope it offers you great comfort to know this Whale of a man moved even those who never had a chance to shake his hand. Your Dad was incredible and I look forward to getting to know him in heaven.

  31. Bruce and Lynn Quernemoen

    Mark and Family,

    We Pray for all of you at this time of having to say good bye and let go and yet we rejoice with you also at the same time as “Whale” is now spending time with the Savior and God he so faithfully served and loved.
    He has left you a great Legacy and has shown you the path. He lived out Psalms 145:4 well. I did not know your Dad but as I have read your blog I have had a glimpse of the man that walked so faithfully and loved so well his God and family and anybody God brought into his path.
    May you be comforted by our Heavenly Father and may your memories bring joy and encouragement as you review them and share them with the generations to come.
    We Love you and are praying for you and your whole family!
    Bruce and Lynn Quernemoen

  32. Roland Tay

    Dear Presley family,

    I am deeply saddened by your loss. I cry out for losing this special friend, this special person, and this special servant of God. We will miss him tremendously.

    Mark has left a long trail of legacy behind him. It has positively influenced and changed many lives. It was a blessing to be a part of his team. He was a great and sensitive leader and mentor. His legacy will be cherished and honored.

    May Mark be with the Lord. May the Holy Spirit comfort all of you throughout this painful period of mourning. May you lean on the power of Lord for strength and support to honor Mark and to carry on his legacy.

    Mark’s care and love will continue living in my heart. You are a very special friend. I will deeply miss you.

    My thoughts and prayers stay with all of you. God bless the Presley family.



  33. Rex Womack

    Mark and family,
    May the peace of God comfort and keep you today and in the days to come. I am so sorry for your loss. Oh what a great respect I had for your father. He was an inspiration to all who knew him. Donde and I will keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

  34. Elizabeth Byrd

    Dear Presley Family,

    I only know you all through Whitney and the AD Players, however, I wanted you to know that I am so sorry for your loss and am praying for God’s comfort and peace in a time of grief and doubt. I rejoice with you in the life of your father and in the “greatness” of the man!

    God’s Peace,
    Elizabeth “byrdie” Byrd

  35. Dear Kari, Kijsa & the Presley Family,

    My prayers and love go out to your family. I am certain your father has an honored spot in heaven, as he sounds like a remarkable person. The love you have for your dear father, and the love he has for you, is infinite and transcends any human obstacle. The Lord loves and guides each of us, both here on earth and in heaven. You have my deepest sympathy and much love.

    Beachy on Cape Cod (Louise)

  36. Richard and Debbie Hayes

    Dearest Presley family,
    We join the universe in the standing ovation for a life well lived. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with you.

    O the deep, deep love of Jesus
    Vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
    Rolling as a mightly ocean in its fullness over me!
    Underneath me, all around me,
    Is the current of Thy love
    Leading onward, leading homeward
    To thy glorious rest above!
    (From Oh the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus – words by Samuel Francis and music by Thomas Williams)

    Richard and Debbie Hayes

  37. Anita & Mike Bruck

    To the Presley family,
    Please accept our deepest condolences at the loss of your husband/father and our great joy that he is now with our Father in Heaven. We are praying for you all during this difficult time. May God’s ever present love and peace envelop you.
    With Much Love,
    Anita & Mike Bruck

  38. Sherri Pinckley

    Dear Presley Family,

    There is not much I can add to everything that has been so eloquently said here, yet there is much more that could be said in tribute to such a fine gentleman of God.

    Dr. Mark lives! He has only moved on to a far better place. In each of our daily lives we will continue to see him through the evidence of all his endeavors and accomplishments while he was here with us.

    He will be the soft breeze on our faces, the morning sun shining on the the dew, the sound of a gentle rain, and the rolling thunder.

    Today all heaven is rejoicing, angels are singing a little louder, and because of Christ, we will see him again!

    Seek your comfort in the goodness, mercy and love of our heavenly Father!

    ~ Psalms 23:1-6 ~

    The LORD is my Shepherd, I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

    Sherri Pinckley
    Eastfield College

    Mark, Jr,

    Your blog and all the comments is a testimony to all of God’s mighty presence and wonderful love. What a great tool for continuing your dad’s work for and commitment to our Lord!

  39. Bryan & Teri Moore

    Dear Presley family:
    Praise God for you and your family. We pray for you for strength. We continue in faith, although we cannot see, we rejoice with Dr.P as he now walks with the Lord, and we lift your family up to the Holy Spirit for the peace that passes all understanding.

    Bryan, Teri, Christopher, Micah, Megan, and Bekah Moore.

  40. Carol

    I am so sorry to read of your loss! I wish I could have known your father…. I don’t even know your family. I’m here from K&K’s blog. My life has been touched this week through following your journey. Please know that I hold you in my prayers and rejoice knowing that your father is with Our Father. Soemtimes it’s just plain hard to realize that the whole goal of life is to go be with Jesus. There is no doubt in my mind that Whale is celebrating today with his bigger than life personna. When my mother died, a friend came through the “line” and said she was sorry for my loss. I remember telling her I didn’t lose my mother, I know exactly where she is. I hope you will feel the loving arms and prayers of all you have touched this week through sharing this very personal journey. Your father left a big impact even on people he had never met. On the Potter’s wheel, carol

  41. Lori Paschal

    As I sit here with tears streaming down my face, I celebrate a great life with you and rejoice that Mark is now with our Savior! I take comfort knowing that life is temporary, and your Dad lived it to the fullest honoring God and following His will. He has left a great legacy, and I know you will live up to his expectations as you each take the path God has for you. I wish I could be there with you to celebrate and mourn and comfort.

    Thank you for sharing this journey with all of us. I know God is going to continue to honor that and reach many people. My prayer now is that many would come to Christ through this. Please know that you are each in my prayers and that I love you all very much!

    I am happy to do anything at all to help, so don’t hesitate to let me know if there is anything I can do.

  42. Rynda Pyle

    Dear Mark & Melissa & the whole Presley Family,
    Mark…I have loved reading of the impact that your dad had on so many people & the stories that you have shared through this blog. I never met your father, but from what I’ve read…he was & always will be an incredible inspiration to many. I can only hope to live a life as he lived his. Please know that you & your entire family are in my thoughts and prayers. I pray for God’s comfort to wrap around each & every one of you.

    In Him,

  43. Patty Ann Gammel

    Dear Family, All I can say is BRAVO to a man named Whale. I’m just one of the thousands that have followed you journey this week and you and your entire family have touched my heart. Being a long time reader of Kari & Kijsa’s blog, I now know, in part, what made them the two special ladies they are today. Deep roots run through the core of this family and it started all with your Dad. Glory gained a giant today, a man I never knew, but he will live on through his family. You remain in my prayers.

  44. Johnnie Bellamy

    Absent in body but never in spirit. May the hands of God hold you up, may the arms of God surround you with comfort and love, and may the grace of God comfort and bless you now and always.

  45. Dearest Presley Family, I know your hearts are oh so heavy. But, I know you are also comforted by knowing your father has received the greatest of life’s miracles – going to live by God’s side.

  46. My heart goes out to you. Mark was a wonderful and remarkable man, and he will truly be missed at Eastfield. I feel privileged to have known him. My prayers are with your entire family. May God be with you and hold you and Mark in His loving arms.

  47. Curtis and Tracy Rath

    My devotional this morning… What Size Is God? In reminding the reader of the power of God these examples are used regarding the nature He created… Is an eagle disturbed by traffic? No, he rises above it. Is the whale perturbed by a hurricane? Of course not, he plunges beneath it. Is the lion flustered by the mouse standing directly in his way? No, he steps over it. How much more is God able to soar above, plunge beneath, and step over the troubles of the earth? Praise God for the whale of a life lived by Dr. Mark Presley.

  48. Scott Sunderman

    Dr Mark was such a blessing to Sharon and me. When we moved to McKinney and visited FBC, Dr. Mark’s class was the first one we tried. That’s all it took. I had never met a man who read poetry, let alone wrote poetry! And he was not some nerdy, wimpy guy – he was a man’s man! Yet there he was reading these poems. I grew to appreciate poetry because of Dr Mark. I got to the point where I looked forward to what poem he would select and I especially looked forward to hearing him recite it. I was amazed at how he could make the words come to life with his inflection, pauses, and pace. When I would read it, it wouldn’t make sense – when he read it, it was a thing of beauty. My favorites were by Yelserp Kram.

    I can only imagine how wonderful it was for his kids and grandkids to have him read stories to them. I am sure those will be precious memories that will be treasured for a lifetime.

    I think what attracted people to Dr Mark was his total transparency. There were no facades with Dr Mark. WYSIWYG. He shared his personal struggles with our class and showed us all how to keep the faith. He wasn’t perfect. He didn’t have all the answers. But he got back up when he was down, dusted himself off, and kept on walking. It was his faith through the imperfections of life that impacted me the most I think. He showed me that you have to just keep praying, just keep focused on God, just keep walking in faith. He had a little expression he used to say: “I could’ve had God!” (Like the V8 commercial.) He used it to illustrate how we sometimes go our own way and realize after a while that we have left God out of the picture – and how we need to wake up and get our focus back on God.

    How many bible studies do you go to where the teacher reads a German translation of the scripture passage, breaks out in an impromptu song, or calls everyone a “bible nerd” while wearing a big grin? He was truly, truly an amazing man. He will be among the first I seek out when it is my turn to go home.

  49. I am so sorry for your loss. Losing some one before thier time is a very hard thing. He sounds like such a wonderful man who loved his family dearly and was incredibly loved back.What a wonderful legacy. May God hold you and your family in his arms at this difficult time. Jen R

  50. Steve & Beverly Garms

    “Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee…”

    There are times in our motal lives when grief weighs heavy on our souls. During those times, when our voices fail, and our emotions tumble end over end, I am confident that God hears and understand the voices of our soul; the Holy Spirit interceeds on our behalf and prays for us…such are these times.

    “How Great Thou Art….”

    Steve & Bev

  51. I wanted to go ahead and offer your family my deepest condolences in this troubled times. I will be praying for you! And always remember that God has a true plan for your life, and that he will not put you through anything you can not handle.

  52. I am sorry for your loss. Your father sounds like he was a great man to many and a wonderful father to his children. I pray that you and your family are filled with the peace of God during this difficult time. It is so sad to let go of a loved one, yet it is the final celebration for the one leaving us. Your dad walked with the Lord while he was on earth, and now he is dancing with him in heaven. Blessings, Karen

  53. Garry & Nikki Gorman

    I sit here with a heavy heart as I read your words this morning. I have kept up with your blog all week, praying for that “miracle”. It was hard to share my story with your sister on the phone the other day, I only hope that it helped. During this time, I’m reminded of a verse in Luke 18:7, “God will always give what is right to his people who cry to him night and day, and he will not be slow to answer them.”….and then some words by Max Lucado, “Why does he wait until the sickness has lingered? Why does he chooseto wait until the other side of the grave to answer the prayers for healing? I don’t know. I only know his timing is always right. I can only say he will do what is best…Though you hear nothing, his is speaking. Though you see nothing, he is acting. With God there are no accidents. Every incident is intended to bring us closer to him.”

    May these words comfort you and remind you that God’s timing is perfect. We are praying for you and your entire family. Thank you for sharing with us this week and keeping us informed. We are so sorry for your loss, but Heaven has gained so much today!

    We love you,
    Garry, Nikki, Kaleb, and Karsyn

  54. brian phillips

    Words for wisdom, words for life …

    My heart goes out to you guys today … You’ve been in my thoughts all week.

  55. Aletha Walls

    Anne, today I pray our Heavenly Father wrap his loving arms around you and give you a peace that only He can provide. We have been absent from your lives for years, but as I sit here today I can see the faces of each family member in my minds eye. I can remember moments and each time there is the distinct smile and personality of each of you individually. Please know you are lifted up in prayer this day and in the days to come. God Bless you, Aletha and Thermon Walls

  56. Connie & Mike Abernathy

    Our hearts are heavy this morning as we read the news of Mark’s passing, and yet, we also know he is rejoicing to be at home with the Lord. What a legacy he leaves as a man of God, a faithful husband, and a loving father and grandfather. What a blessing and a treasure to have so many memories to reflect on in the days and years to come. Our prayer is that these beautiful memories will bring comfort and a smile to each of you. One scripture that I always turn to in difficult times is Psalms 91. I like to picture Mark, your husband, father and grandfather, “dwelling in the shelter of the Most High and resting in His Shadow”.

  57. Bob and Sonja Taylor

    Thank you, Mark, for sharing through your blog. Your writing has been a blessing to many as we’ve shared in your pain and grief this week.

    Much has been written about the wonderful husband, father, grandfather, teacher, mentor and friend that Dr. Mark was to so many. However, when I think of him as a son. I remember his patient loving, care, and concern for his mother, especially during her last years. He was always so gentle and patient with her. That image will remain with me.

    Please know that your FBC McKinney family awaits all of your return. The whole community is anxious to give each of you a hug. You are loved by many as we share your grief from afar. God’s blessings and peace on all of you.

  58. Mark – we’ve been reading your blog daily since your father had been hospitalized (directed here from your sister’s blog).
    Know that we are praying for you & your family -along with praising God for the wonderful testimony you have given your readers over the past few days.
    God Bless you all!
    Karla & Karrie

  59. I’m so sorry for the loss of your father, grandfather, husband and friend. He sounds like a wonderful man who was loved by many. You will all be in my prayers as you continue on through these difficult days ahead.

    (I read Kari and Kijsa’s blog)

  60. George Fisher & Family

    Anne and family,

    Many years ago, Mother comforted me during the passing of her mother, the “original” Nana of the Dana-Fisher-Presley family.

    Her words resonate with me more clearly today and may offer some comfort. In her wisdom, she said that my tears were not for Nana, for she was where eternal happiness and joy are reserved for those who earn this reward, but for my personal loss. She continued by advising that if I kept Nana in my heart and her memory alive within me and my family, there would be no loss and thus no reason for tears. And you know what, she was right. With the passing each family member and friend since, I have kept this wisdom close and it has provided me with great comfort (but has not prevented today’s tears). I hope it will for you as well.

    The next few days and weeks will be the most difficult, but it will get easier with time, faith and love – all of which you possess in abundance.

    As we all now transition into the next chapter of life, Mark will be by our side and in our hearts forever. I hope to earn a place next to God, Nana, Mother, Mark, and all others who have come before us who have also rightfully earned their spot in Heaven.

  61. Jodi Dowell

    I am moved by the way so many of us have felt connected to your family during the last few days. Mark, thank you for allowing us to go on this journey with you. I have been glued to this blog for the past week looking for the most recent update.

    Dr. Mark has impacted so many lives and because his legacy will live on, he will continue to do so. I am deeply sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you in these few hours as you celebrate his life.

  62. Alyssa Armentrout

    I’m so sorry.

    You guys have been in my thoughts all week. Our community will miss this great man. But take comfort in his legacy and celebrate his life. Mark Presley made an impact.

    Nothing will ever change that.

  63. Patty Clark

    May loving memories bring comfort in this time of sadness. May you feel the comfort of God’s arms around you and be strengthened by the love and prayers of family and friends.

    With Heartfelt Sympathy,
    Patty Clark
    Eastfield College

  64. Amber

    Heaven gained a mountain of a man this morning. I can only imagine how the angels celebrated…how Jesus greeted such a wonderful servant…how Dr. Mark felt no more pain and woke up to beauty beyond what any man could ever imagine.

    His presence will be greatly missed here. He has left an incredible legacy, which will live on through those who knew him. He lives on ever more through you, Mark, through your brother and sisters, and through your mom. I cannot imagine the tough road ahead for all of you, but please know that your family has so many friends that line the road to support each one of you along the way.

    Praying for you all and thanking God for such an incredible family. What an encouragement you have all been to ‘whale watchers’ during this time. You are so strong and courageous…admirably faithful.

    May the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, be yours in the coming days.

    Much love,

  65. Sherrilyn Price

    As I read your post of this morning and paused to again lift your family up in prayer, the words of a song by Nichole Nordeman kept coming to mind:
    “I want to leave a legacy
    How will they remember me?
    Did I choose to love? Did I point to You enough
    To make a mark on things?
    I want to leave an offering
    A child of mercy and grace who
    blessed your name unapologetically
    And leave that kind of legacy.”
    I’m sure our Lord is saying a resounding “Yes” to each of these questions today! My deepest condolences and heartfelt prayers go out to all of you during this difficult time. May you feel God’s presence deeply in the coming days. Philippians 4:13 – If God brought you to it, He will see you through it.

  66. Jose Flores

    I am saddened by the news of the passing of Dr. Presley. He was a person I learned to admire. He had a true love for the Eastfield community and his family, and he was a visionary man always open to new ideas. My condolences to his family. He will be missed.

  67. Coach and Linda Dyer

    Our thoughts and prayers have been with you every moment this week…such a very long week for your family and the rest of us who treasure your family. On Sunday at 7pm we will be on the South Texas beach lifting up your family in prayer as you celebrate his life on the East Coast. We will not be in town for the celebration of his life, but we will see you soon after we get home. Please know you are all in our prayers.
    Coach and Linda

  68. Grant and Marcy Bergman

    We are so sorry to hear of Dr. Mark’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you travel this unknown road. The angels in Heaven are singing…

  69. Dear Presley Family,

    Our family was saddened last night when we got the word of Dr. Mark’s passing. But we know God is the great comforter and healer, and Dr. Mark is healed now and is receiving so many rewards from his Heavenly Father. We love you all and continue to pray for God’s arms to be around you as you go through the coming days. We thank God for such a man who was such a great example to us all.

    Love and prayers for you,
    Keith, Cathy, Jennifer, Kyle and Lindsey Post

  70. JO

    My heart… my love…. my soul goes out to you and your family at this difficult time



  71. Dear Presley family,

    Our hearts go out to you all at this most saddest of times. We are praying for you. We are so sorry.

    Jenn and Jacqui

  72. Samantha Snavely

    Mark Presley was a truly spectacular human – always so full of life and spirit. I was truly blessed to know and work with him for too brief a time. Thank you for this beautiful blog in tribute to such a lovely soul. My thoughts are with you.

  73. Whitney Wall

    My brother sent me the link to this blog and I wanted to pass along condolences and deepest sympathy from the Wall Family. I know one way or another someone from the Presley Family has had an impact on someone from our family over the years. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Whitney Wall

  74. Susan White

    Dear Presley Family,

    I had the privilege of working with Mark several years ago at Eastfield. He delighted in his Lord, his family, his students, and his geology. I am blessed with many wonderful memories of adventures and field trips, of his advice and words of wisdom. My heart and prayers are with you as we celebrate the memory of his life.

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