Customized Training director leaves powerful legacy
Mark LaMere believed in the concept of teamwork. From February 1999 until this past January, Mark served as an integral member of our Customized Training team at DCTC. A gifted truck driver with an impeccable safety record and a skill range that earned him first place in the Team Trophy Competition at the 1989 Minnesota State Truck Driving Championships, he brought a tremendous talent for leadership, motivation and inventiveness to his position as director of public safety and transportation.
“Every aspect of Mark LaMere’s work indicated how much he loved his job at DCTC,” said Vice President Sharon LaComb. “He treated his customers like family and they responded the same way. Mark displayed professionalism, caring and hard work every day he was employed at our college.”
Gary Hebert, dean of customized training and technology, knew Mark from the beginning of his time at DCTC. “Mark was one of the most dedicated and hard-working directors who has ever worked for our Customized Training division,” Hebert said. “His positive outlook, expertise and customer service will be greatly missed.”
Gretchen Strehle, a CT administrative assistant, worked as Mark’s support person for nearly five years. She related a quote from Steve Bauman, a client of the college’s Decision Driving Track, who said, “I would especially like to thank Mark LaMere for going above and beyond my expectations. He would thanklessly get up extremely early, even on Saturdays, and personally sweep off the course before we got there, making sure that it was safe for us. Now that’s a transportation director who goes above and beyond the call of duty.”
“That was Mark,” Strehle added. “He took care of his clients and was here just about every day of the week. If his clients were having problems, they would call and he would be there. Mark had the good ol’ boy demeanor that I really believe his clients enjoyed.”
Honorably discharged from the U.S. Army in 1972, having served as a paratrooper and air delivery specialist, Mark went on to a 20-year career as a professional truck driver, his exceptional competence as an operator leading him to become a renowned expert in defensive driving instruction.
“Mark LaMere was the type of person who couldn’t tell the difference between work and play,” said Bill Roberts, CT director of transportation and Mark’s friend and peer for nearly a decade. “He totally enjoyed his job at DCTC and was known to show up at any and all times of the day or night to help out. He was totally dedicated to his work, but somehow even more dedicated to his family. Mark was simply the go-to guy if you needed to hear a good, comical story. And he wasn’t afraid to tell them-one after another after another.”
Mark passed away Jan. 27, 2010, at the age of 62. He leaves behind Carol, his beloved wife and soul mate, and their four children, Erich, Kara, Katie, and Kristin, and one granddaughter, Emelia, who deeply mourn his loss and honor his legacy. Everyone at DCTC who knew Mark misses him greatly. His shoes will be impossible to fill.