Utah husband, father who died in snowmachine accident in Island Park lived a life dedicated to helping others - East Idaho News

Utah husband, father who died in snowmachine accident in Island Park lived a life dedicated to helping others

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ISLAND PARK — A husband and father who lived a life full of service is also being remembered for the love he showed others.

Mark Ewell died April 2, 2024, after sacrificing his life to save his son in a snowmachine accident in Island Park. His wife, Wendy, told EastIdahoNews.com, they were on vacation at her parent’s cabin when Mark and their 11-year-old son decided to go snowmobiling. The trail they were on had a sharp turn their son wasn’t prepared to make and the snowmachine started to tip.

“At the last second, Mark grabbed ahold of our son, who weighs about 110 pounds, and threw him off the snowmobile where he landed safely to the side,” Wendy said. “Mark then didn’t have time to jump and flipped with the snowmobile as it rolled.”

Their son ran over to his dad and immediately knew he needed to get help. He took off running down the trail but it took over two hours before some passing by snowmobilers miraculously crossed paths with him and gave him a ride to where Wendy was waiting. Wendy said Mark suffered a broken neck and punctured lung and died within 20 minutes of the accident.

“We don’t even know how to function without him,” Wendy said.

Mark, who grew up in a small town in Utah called Genola, leaves behind his wife and four children, including two stepsons. Wendy said she didn’t meet Mark until he was almost 35 and she was 30. She was a divorced, single-mother with two young sons. From the first phone call, she tried “to scare him off.”

“I didn’t believe there was a good man left on the earth, at least not one that could love me and love my sons like his own, but Mark set out with the goal to prove me wrong,” she explained. “Mark’s love language was acts of service and he served me and my sons everyday.”

Ewell family
Mark with his family. | Courtesy Sydni Brown

She remembers how supportive Mark was when she went back to school last year to get her masters degree. He’d help take care of the kids by waking them up, making a hot breakfast, getting them ready and off to school so Wendy could sleep in. He’d make dinner after he got off work and he’d clean the home so Wendy had more time to study.

Oftentimes, he’d even surprise her by cleaning her car and filling it full of gas and hiding her favorite treats inside when she wasn’t looking.

“Always thinking of others, it’s just the way he was,” Wendy said.

She added, “Mark knew how to love unconditionally, without judgment and without guile. I don’t believe he had one enemy on this earth.”

Wendy said Mark loved little children and was the “very best, most patient man on the earth.”

“His kids adored him and knew they were well-loved. He didn’t get mad, ever. He had a calm and patient presence in their ever-changing lives,” she explained. “I always knew he was the favorite parent, and the kids would go to dad for anything.”

Wendy also praised Mark’s work ethic and said he “knew how to work.” His first job was working at a dairy milking cows when he was about 13 years old. He also had a farm with his father that he was responsible for taking care of.

He worked for the United States Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service as a Rangeland Management Specialist in the Roosevelt, Utah Field Office, according to a statement from his employer. He served the farmers and ranchers through financial and technical conservation assistance.

“Mark’s loss will leave a forever void in what he was able to accomplish as a conservation planner for the farmers and ranchers in the Uintah Basin of Northeastern Utah,” the statement from his employer reads. “His NRCS family and friends sought guidance, leadership and experience from Mark, which will not be replaced. Mark loved the land, loved the ranchers and farmers and loved his family above all things, including his self-desires and interests.”

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family with the unexpected costs associated with Mark’s passing. To donate, click here.

Wendy and Mark Ewell
Mark and Wendy Ewell. | Courtesy Brooke Hadlock
Mark Ewell and son
Mark and his son, Warner.| Courtesy Katie Warner

Our attorneys tell us we need to put this disclaimer in stories involving fundraisers: EastIdahoNews.com does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries.