MARK A. EHLERS, LCDR, USN
Mark Ehlers '84
Date of birth: October 12, 1961
Date of death: February 4, 1997
From the 1984 Lucky Bag:
From UPI on February 6, 1997:
WASHINGTON -- A U.S. Navy team has called off the search for four crew members presumed dead after their aircraft crashed into the Mediterranean Sea. A Navy spokesman says search-and-rescue teams found no survivors.
They did spot debris that had the squadron markings that matched the submarine-hunting jet that crashed Tuesday. The search teams covered a 1,500-square-mile area before the operation was called off. The victims were flying in an S-3B Viking aircraft that was assigned to Cecil Field in northern Florida. They were identified as Lt. Cmdr. Mark Ehlers, 35, and Lt. Mark Eyre, 28, both of Jacksonville, Fla.; Lt. Mike Weems, 27, of Pensacola, Fla.; and Aviation Systems Warfare Operator 3rd Class Wendy Potter, 24, of Oakdale, Calif.
Mark was a member of Sea Control Squadron (VS) 22; the crash occurred on February 4, 1997. Three other crewmen were also lost.
From the April 1997 issue of Shipmate:
Lieutenant Commander Mark Alan Ehlers, USN was lost at sea on 4 February when his S3B Viking aircraft went down 80 miles off the coast of Israel while conducting operations from ROOSEVELT. A memorial service was held at the NAS Cecil Field Memorial Chapel on 11 February.
Mark was native of Yucaipa, CA and entered the Naval Academy on 8 July 1980 with the Class of 1984. While at the Naval Academy he starred on the nationally ranked rugby team and earned a degree in oceanography. Following graduation, Mark reported to NAS Pensacola where he achieved his Wings of Gold and was designated a Naval Flight Officer in May 1986. It was in Pensacola that Mark met and married his partner in life the former Susan Imhof. Mark was qualified as a Tactical Coordinator in the S-3 in VS-41 in San Diego in 1987 and reported to VS-28 in Jacksonville, FL. With the Gamblers of VS-28, "Eels" made two deployments onboard FORESTAL. He was then assigned to the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA where he earned an MS in operations analysis. Mark then reported back to Cecil Field where he made one deployment with VS-31 aboard GEORGE WASHINGTON and finally to VS-22 where he was serving as the squadron Administrative Officer.
Mark brought everything he did an energy and a love of life that was unsurpassed. There was nothing false or hidden about Mark Ehlers. It was these qualities that bonded him to everyone he came in contact with. Whenever Mark moved on, he left behind a cadre of best friends. By his example he has permanently changed the lives of those who knew him. His unquenchable desire to always do just a little more or a little better was contagious and will be his legacy. Many people talk of making a difference; Mark made a difference. He not only made this world a better place, but he provided promise for our future with the time, love and guidance he gave our children. Whether it was coaching softball, teaching his own kids or lovingly holding a friends child in his arms, Mark was an inspirational role model.
Mark is survived by his loving wife Sue; his three children: Katie, Ryan and Elizabeth; his parents: Mell and Sally Ehlers of Banning, CA; his brother and sister-in-law: Kurt and Helen Ehlers of Rio de Janeiro; and countless best friends.
A Memorial Fund has been established in Mark's name and donations can be made to Navy Federal Credit Union, Security Place, PO Box 3000 Merrifield VA 22119-3000.
Pete McCawley '84