In Iraq, Mark Maida kept a rosary, a baptismal ring, a pendant of heaven, a St. Christopher’s medal _ more instruments of faith, a minister cracked, than Pope Benedict XVI. But Maida was no saint, his brother said. He recalled a childhood treehouse where his brother stashed cigarettes. “Mark liked to celebrate life,” Chris Maida said. Mark Maida, 22, of Madison, Wis., was killed May 27 from injuries sustained in an explosion in Diyarah. He was based at Fort Irwin. The 2001 high school graduate was partial to Lynyrd Skynyrd and loved the outdoors, including hunting, fishing and sky diving. He hoped to marry his girlfriend, Elizabeth “Betsy” Jacobs. He had been scheduled for discharge last October and had registered for classes at Madison Area Technical College _ but the military extended his service under its stop-loss policy. He deployed to Iraq in January and adopted a puppy there named Maxine. His brother, a former reservist, said he tried to talk his brother out of enlisting. “He just laughed. He loved life and he wasn’t afraid of anything,” Chris Maida said. He is survived by his parents, Ray and Diane.
Sgt. Mark A. Maida, 22, of Madison, Wisconsin. He was a 2001 graduate of Memorial High School. As a teenager he considered joining the military, following in the footsteps of his grandfathers, both were WWII veterans, and his father, a retired Madison detective, who served in Vietnam. His brother was serving in the Marine Corps and since Mark didn’t want to attend college just then, he enlisted in the Army shortly after the 9-11 terrorist attacks. He served three years at Fort Irwin, California, where he trained other soldiers in the desert in preparation for deployment to Iraq. His three-year military term was completed on October 31, 2004, and he was enrolled to begin classes at Madison Area Technical College. He also planned on getting married to his high school sweetheart. But the U.S. military Stop-Loss program ended those plans and banned him from leaving the Army, sending him to Iraq instead. On January 9, 2005, he left for Iraq assigned to the Army’s 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, based out of Fort Irwin. While there he kept a rosary, a baptismal ring, a pendant of heaven, and a St. Christopher’s medal. He also adopted a puppy he named Maxine. When his friends asked him why he didn’t fight harder to get out once his time had expired, Mark said he would have felt terrible if anything happened to the other guys and he wasn’t there to help. On May 26 he was extremely tired and on his way back to the base to get three hours of sleep, but instead he went to back up some guys who needed help. He was critically injured when an improvised explosive device detonated near his HMMWV in Diyarah, Iraq. He died the next day of those injuries in Baghdad. Mark liked to celebrate life, music, being outdoors, including hunting, fishing and sky diving. His motto was “Get busy living or get busy dying.” Mark is survived by his parents, Ray and Diane; a sister, Juliann (Ian) Mutch; two brothers, Aaron (Allison) Maida and Christopher Maida; a grandmother, Olga Herman; two nieces, Jasmine Maida and Abbey Mutch; two nephews, Isaac Maida and Owen Mutch; and girlfriend, Elizabeth Jacobs. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Daniel Maida and Jean Maida, and Hugh P. Herman (a survivor of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.)
MADISON – Mark Allen Maida, age 22, passed away on Thursday, May 26, 2005, while serving the U.S. Army in Diyarah, Iraq. Mark was born in Madison on Nov. 15, 1982, the son of Ray and Diane Maida. Mark was a 2001 graduate of Memorial High School and grew up in the Orchard Ridge neighborhood. He joined the U.S. Army shortly after Sept. 11, 2001. He began duty on Oct. 31, 2001, and was stationed in Fort Irwin, Calif., and was deployed to Iraq on Jan. 9, for a 12-14 month tour of duty. He was known for a great sense of humor and loved hunting, fishing and the outdoors; but most of all he loved his family and friends. Mark is survived by his parents, Ray and Diane; a sister, Juliann (Ian) Mutch; two brothers, Aaron (Allison) Maida and Christopher Maida; a grandmother, Olga Herman; two nieces, Jasmine Maida and Abbey Mutch; two nephews, Isaac Maida and Owen Mutch; and girlfriend, Elizabeth Jacobs. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Jean and Daniel Maida, and Hugh P. Herman. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 4, 2005, at ST. MARIA GORETTI, 5405 Flad Ave., Madison, with Monsignor Michael Burke officiating. Visitation will be held from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. on Friday, June 3, 2005, at CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 3610 Speedway Road, Madison, and also from 8:30 a.m. to the time of service at the church on Saturday. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the YMCA Camp Nawakwa, 13400 Camp Nawakwa Lane, Lac de Flambeau, WI 54538.
Mark’s Motto: “Get busy living or get busy dying.”
Cress Funeral & Cremation Service 3610 Speedway Road (608) 238-3434 www.cressfuneralservice.com