Tuesday, March 18, 2008

I will never forget my friend Mark Nemerovsky

(The following is Mark's eulogy as it was read at the funeral service)
It didn’t take me long to realize that the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write was Nemo’s eulogy. I struggled for quite sometime with it trying to find the right words to illustrate my friend. I then realized that the problem wasn’t with my ability, but the fact that there aren’t enough words that could possibly do justice to describing the man we all loved and will truly miss.

It is said that a person’s success is measured not by money, not by the amount of material possessions or fame that they attained in life. Success is measured by the number of people who we let surround us and can be called true friends. As we look around us here today, it is easy to see that Mark Nemerovsky was a very successful man.

Those who knew Nemo the Ambulance Chief and public safety specialist know that he was not only a professional but also a perfectionist. When it came to getting something done, there was only one way and that was Nemo’s way. Most of the times I can remember, Nemo’s way was the right way.

Those of us who were lucky enough to truly know Nemo the person, know that he was a good talker and a good listener. I recently spoke to a former Duquesne police officer who told me that while trying to decide on a major job change, one of the people whose opinion he trusted and valued most was Marks.

If there was a serious issue, Mark took a side. He was well known for his passion as he would vigorously defend his stance. One of the words that would best describe Mark was “involved.”
He was the City of Duquesne’s Emergency Management Coordinator, he served on the Civil Service Commission, he was the Emergency Services Director for the city, member of the school board, a former volunteer firefighter, a brother Free Mason, a member here at Christ the Light of the World Church and the Director of the Duquesne EMS.

Yesterday’s Tribune-Review’s obituary article accurately headlined “Paramedic Fought for Duquesne Residents.” Mark loved Duquesne and he truly cared about those who live here.

As a police officer in Duquesne, I have faced countless perils and dangers but nothing could have prepared me for what I was in for as a school board member, a position only Mark could have persuaded me into taking. His example, leadership and dedication was clearly evident as he worked tirelessly to better the quality of education for the city’s children.

He worked hard to try to better our community. That work included, some years ago, making a bid for mayor of Duquesne. A few of us supported Mark amidst accusations by some who have no concept of honor or integrity that we support Mark because we were promised positions if he won the election. The fact was, and still is, I supported Mark because he was my friend.

Mark was an honorable man who never compromised his principals. Refusing to stoop to dirty politics, he lost that bid for mayor but not without bringing something new to the table: He brought integrity – a concept mostly foreign to politics, especially in that election.

It could be said that Mark had a way with people and some ways were more interesting than others. Back in the 90’s, some of you may remember, the Duquesne EMS hosted a fair up at Polish Hill. We dealt with carnival workers who have a reputation of being, shall we say, less than trustworthy. There was some sort of an arrangement with a percentage split that depended on the day’s receipts. I remember Nemo in one of the office trailers counting money one evening when the carney manager tried to change the counts and thus cheating Nemo and the Duquesne EMS out of quite a bit of money. Mark, being meticulous and exacting, always had the right counts. The next night, the carney Manager walked into the money trailer again only now on the table with the money was Mark’s .45 cal. pistol. The counts were never questioned again.

If you knew mark, you occasionally became the victim of his many antics. I remember once having had to train a brand new impressionable young police officer. We had an accident call on 837 (where else) and saw the ambulance driving to the scene with a black Navigator flying low close behind. I knew this was my chance for a little payback. We took care of business at the scene and just before we cleared, I told the rookie officer “Go tell that ambulance jockey in that black SUV over there that if he don’t slow it down, you’re gonna jam him up.” He walked up to Nemo and after a few seconds I saw Mark’s face get beet red. The officer looked back and pointed to me then Nemo looked at me and yelled something about paybacks. For sometime after that, I seemed to be the one to get the call for the heavy lift assists.

Now, it’s hard to think that he’s gone. Although his passing is proof that bad things do happen to good people, it’s time to remember that he is now with God who loves everyone here. After all, if God didn’t love us, he wouldn’t have given us Nemo.

We will keep going and we will move on with our lives but not without taking the memory of Mark with us. I know that I will forever carry the memory of his smile, his sense of humor and his kind heart. I will miss my friend.

There’s so much more I can say about my brother but for now, that’ll do it. So Mark if you’re listening (and I’m sure you are), watch your finger there buddy, I’m going to hang up now.

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