Tribute: Long Live Mark

Feature Photo By: Mark Galvan – Mark poses for a selfie. (This photo was provided by http://www.romerofuneralhome.com/obituaries/Mark-Galvan/#!/TributeWall) 

By: Vanessa Guereca, Review Staff 

Two weeks ago when students were first informed about the Color Dance being canceled, many students were confused as to why. Then, the news was spread rather fast among students that peer Mark Anthony Galvan, a fifth-year senior, had been shot and killed the previous afternoon, just blocks from Rangeview and during school hours.

Students around the school used their phones to investigate Mark’s death; they soon found vague articles about a shooting in Aurora and a man who died. But even today, more than three weeks to the day Mark was shot and killed and weeks after his funeral services, Mark’s death has never been formally announced by anyone to the Rangeview community. 

According the article by 9news, there was a shooting near East Louisiana Ave. and South Yampa Court on Thursday, August 17th, the day before the color dance. The shooting occurred at around 3:15 p.m. At the time, the authorities did not release any addition information of the person who was deceased, but word was spread fast in the RHS student community that it was Mark. 

Mrs. Budny, stated that when she had found out, she sought help from the APS crisis team who offered support to RHS student and staff the day after the shooting.

“… I went down there, and you know, I sat with some of my students and then I talked to the crisis team.”

The Aurora Police Department is still investigating the crime as it is “an active investigation,” according to an APD blog report and an APD spokesperson; in the meantime, Mark’s friends and family continue to mourn.

Although school and district leaders had not personally addressed the incident to students, staff or parents, those who were close to Mark held a balloon release in his honor on August 25th. The event was spread through social media and students with the hashtag #LLM (Long Live Mark). There is also a memorial set up in his honor on the street where the incident happened.

Close friends and family gather around Mark’s casket during the ceremony. The burial took place at Saint Simeon Catholic Cemetery. (Sara Eloaudi)

Mark was described to be humble, passionate, funny, and enthusiastic by his friends and teachers.

Below are a few things that his friends and teachers have said about Mark:

Senior Israel Trejo:

He was always a laughing guy with a smile on his face. There was never a time in my life where I saw him upset or down about anything… My best memory of me and Mark was when I was walking to my grandmother’s. With Mark and I being a religious person, I remember talking to him about God and he was confused on other people saying, ‘Oh you should believe in Buddhism, Hinduism and all multiple other religions’ and I remember talking to him and trying to show him the right religion in my beliefs.

I just remember connecting with him very well through that conversation and I just remember praying I hope that you [find] the right path and if you can’t believe in God right now, I just hope that you believe in the good path that you should go down. During the convo, a lady had walked by with her dog and she couldn’t help the fact that I was talking to him about God and she was like ‘I wish I had the confidence and courage about talking to God with my friends.’

I remember her, me, and Mark came together and we started praying and it was just a good time for me and Mark. It was like the highlight [of our] bond  and of our relationship.

After that me and him were just closer together and he always made me laugh and had fun. He actually started beating me in foosball and I would get mad and he was just a good friend, and Shelisa just made him happier. There was nothing bad that I can remember about Mark. Mark was the dude, he was everyone’s friend. I don’t think there was one person he didn’t know wherever he went.

He’s in a better place now and I pray for his soul.”

Mrs. Budny, Galvan’s Geography and English 10 teacher:

“His strength was that once you built a relationship with him, he was always accepting of your help… He just had this personality that would just shine through. He was a fun student to work with… As a teacher, you love all your students, you just wanna see them as adults. And sophomore year, I was struggling with some stuff and we were talking about yoga together and sp he was always like, ‘Did you your yoga? Are you relaxed?’

[He] cared about me the way we cared about kids… He just had an old soul, like a sweet soul… He was a fun loving guy, like as an adult you wanted to see him after high school, succeed and see him Aurora, in the community.

I wanted it to be wrong; I didn’t want it to be him… He was an amazing soul, he was a good person. Thank you for always making me smile. He brought a lot of laughter and fun, in the classroom and in the hallways.”

Senior Nathalie Xoy:

I had known Mark for four years, I met him my freshman year in Design class.

I found out during school, my friend said that there was all this talk on Facebook about him being deceased and I couldn’t believe it at first but then I went to his candle lighting with an open casket on Tuesday August 22nd and I saw him there…

He was a great person, he was humble and very passionate. He was always excited to see all his friends and people he knew. He would give everyone hugs and smile, crack jokes here and there and he would never leave you without making you smile or laugh… If there was one last thing I could tell him was that I love him so so much and to be safe and live life.”

Senior Kyree Milton:

“Mark was basically my brother, not my blood, but almost like my blood. I [saw] him every single day after school either at work or McDonald’s or sometimes just anywhere he [would] pop up. He [was] always plugging with the dollars and the food but yeah that was my brother… Mark all I gotta say is LLM [long live Mark]. I’m gonna miss you but I’ll be with you soon bro.”

The incident is still under investigation by the Aurora Police Department and Galvan’s name has not been released by neither authorities nor school administration, but those close to Mark have acknowledged his death and continue to walk the halls that are a little quieter and less humorous thinking #“Long Live Mark.”

Make sure to check out our editorial on the lack of news on Galvan’s death.

A Life Tributes page was set up in memory of Galvan. To donate, leave a message, or comment memories, click here.

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