Mark Harms was born to Vern and Hilda Harms on January 5th, 1969, a New Years baby in the Burns Lake hospital. He must have been awfully eager to get home because rather than wait for the ferry, his mom and dad drove across the ice to get him home to Southbank. This was the beginning of a life-long love affair with home and family.
Growing up on the shores of Francois Lake, Mark soon discovered fishing, a serious pastime which he quickly mastered, or was just darn lucky at. As just a little tiker he was casting off the forestry dock in front of the house and managed to land a four pound rainbow. It wasn’t long before all of Southbank knew about his catch as he jumped on his bicycle and hauled that fish around for all to see.
At 16, Mark quit school and wet to work. It didn’t take long to figure out that school wasn’t so bad, the following year he returned to school in time to graduate with his friends.
Mark picked up another hobby in his teenage years, one he never quite outgrew. Doing smoke-shows! Anywhere. Anytime. twenty-two sets of back tires in two years. His brother Dwayne would often man the camera to record the event.
It was at a New Year’s party where Mark met Jenny Chretien, another New Year’s baby. He asked her out and on January 12th 1992, they went on their first date. Mark then proceeded to break the first rule of dating, he showed up an hour early. So Mark got a crash course on “meet the parents”. All went well after that and on July 20th 1996, Mark and Jen were married.
They bought a piece of property just outside of Burns Lake and set up house. After a few years, Mark found his true calling in life.. fatherhood. Chelsea Ann was born on Feb. 3rd, 2000. It must have been fun because two years later, Adam Bradley was born on Aug. 23rd, 2002.
Mark threw himself wholeheartedly into being a dad. His schedule at the mine allowed him to be involved in every aspect of the kids’ everyday lives. He relished this opportunity as it allowed him to knowing his kids completely. Mark never tired of spending time with his kids and he was very good about spending time with the kids doing kid stuff rather than the kids spending time with dad doing dad stuff.
Now just in case you think Mark was perfect, he wasn’t. Mother’s Day and Jen’s birthdays were not a strong point for Mark, but surprises for Jen were. Surprises that included: extra time off work, coming home early, and even an electric guitar were sprinkled throughout their marriage.
Mark will forever be remembered for his ability to brighten up a room, his genuine smile, his youthful enthusiasm, his positive outlook. Mark was a happy guy, and he didn’t mind spreading it around a little. Marlene and Melvin both say that it didn’t matter if they saw their brother for five minutes or five hours, most of the time was spent laughing.
Mark loved and was loved, and he will be sadly missed by so many. But he will live on in our memories, and in the eyes of his children.
So, Mark, we hope where you are, the hooks are always baited, the fish are always biting, and your lines are always tight. Keep your tip up, buddy.