JOHN MARK EBERHART
KANSAS CITY, MO
John Mark Eberhart, 52 years young, left this world on March 19, 2013, to be in a better place after a long battle with cancer. A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, March 26th at 2:00 pm at the Newcomer's Floral Hills Funeral Home. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Inurnment will be held at the Floral Hills Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Kansas City Hospice House or Wayside Waifs. He was born on November 28, 1960, in St. Joseph, Missouri, the first child of John W, and Arda E. Eberhart. From 1962 until 1970, John Mark was a resident of suburban St. Louis, where he spent most of his time listening to records, reading comic books, and watching episodes of Batman. He later attended Belinder Elementary in Prairie Village, Kansas, and Middle School and High School in Savannah, Mo. After moving back to the Kansas City Metro area in 1978, he graduated early, at the end of the fall semester from Hickman Mills Senior High as a member of the class of 1979. He began his formal post-secondary education at the Metropolitan Community Colleges of Kansas City at Longview Community College in Jackson County that fall, earning his Associate of Arts in 1981. In 1983, he graduated from the University of Missouri - Columbia with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Economics, with honors, and earning membership in Kappa Tau Alpha. He accepted a position on the newspaper staff of the State-Times in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was honored by various news reporting agencies within Louisiana for his work in environmental reporting. In January of 1987, he returned to Kansas City upon accepting a position on the staff of the Kansas City Star. During his 22 year tenure with the paper, he was, initially, a front page story writer, moving from the Independence Bureau, to the Northland Bureau, and eventually the Metro Bureau in downtown Kansas City. After spending time in the editorial department, he moved to the staff of the FYI section, then the Arts and Entertainment section, and eventually became the Books Editor in 2000. While Books Editor for the Kansas City Star, he set high standards for the literary community in Kansas City and the Mid-West region. His reviews were often picked up by wire services and appeared in newspapers throughout North America. He won more than a dozen regional and national journalism awards, including honors from: The American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors, United Press International, the Missouri Writer's Guild, the Louisiana Press Association, and the Society of Professional Journalists. Upon his departure from the Kansas City Star, he moved on to the Johnson County Public Library, working as the Reader's Advisory Coordinator beginning in 2010. He and his wife Michelle Harkness received tremendous support and compassion from the leadership and staff of the Johnson County Library during his illness for which the family is deeply grateful. An accomplished poet, with a devoted local following, he made connections nationally as well. His two volumes of original poetry, Night Watch and Broken Time were published by the Mid-America Press in Warrensburg, Missouri. His second volume was nominated for the Thorpe-Menn Award in 2009, receiving Honorable Mention. He was an accomplished man of arts and letters, appearing regularly on KCUR, and he was a frequent presenter of poetry readings, most notably for the Writer's Place in Kansas City, the Kansas City Public Library, and the Johnson County Public Library. His poetry selections appeared in New Millennium Writings , Coal City Review , Thorny Locust , The Mid-America Poetry Review , The Same , The I-70 Review , The Midwest Quarterly , New Letters , Pleiades , and Yellow Mustard . His poem "Just One Ghost", was included in Helicon Nine's Chance of a Ghost anthology, and also received Honorable Mention as one of the year's best poems in the Science Fiction Writer's of America Anthology, The Year's Best Science Fiction and Horror 2006. Having earned his Master's of English from UMKC in 1998, the University honored him with its Alumni Award for the Arts and Sciences division in 2007.
He is survived by his wife, Michelle Hays Harkness, of the home, who cared for him with great devotion during his illness. He is also survived by his in-laws, LeeAnne Hays, and Mike Gillaspie of Leawood, Kansas, both of whom contributed uncounted hours of love and support for him during his times of need, and also by his sisters in-law Hannah Gillaspie and Amanda Harkness; his father, John W. Eberhart, and stepmother, Bonnie Eberhart, and brother Ken, all of St. Joseph, Missouri, and his beloved niece and nephew, Deanna Ray and Samuel Benjamin of Kansas City, Missouri; also by his extended Hays and Harkness family in Kansas, Elliott family in Northwest Missouri, and Eberhart family in California, as well as his close friends Kevin Bradley, Matt DeGalan, and John Johnson, all of whom supported his family during this difficult time. He was a devoted dog lover, and will be missed by his pets: Ricky, Penny, and most of all, Heath. He was preceded in death by his mother, Arda in 2004, and by his wife Sherri Drimmel Eberhart in 2008, both after their own painful battles with cancer. In his own words, his passing is best summed up by the following poetry selection from his own hand:
This is the time.
The wind in this wheat
will never be the wind again.
The scent of last night's shower
in the summer soil, the shadow
of a single thunderhead barreling
eastward over the high plains between
Limon and Goodland -- tomorrow's deluge
for Kansas City. But I am moving west along
this superhighway, not to return. I am following
my fathers. I am "rolling with it," as they say.
I have left nothing behind -- no people,
no possessions, no regrets. And now,
that evening sun sinks lower, as if
beckoning. In the old stories,
the souls of the dying, it
was thought, vanished
Would you like to send condolences to John's family? Click below to View the Service Information, Sign the Guestbook or share a special story about John Mark Eberhart.
Tuesday, March 26
1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
D.W. Newcomer's Floral Hills
7000 Blue Ridge Blvd.
Kansas City, MO 64133
Tuesday, March 26
D.W. Newcomer's Floral Hills
7000 Blue Ridge Blvd.
Kansas City, MO 64133
Would you like to send condolences to John's family? Click below to Sign the Guestbook or share a special story about John Mark Eberhart by clicking Share A Memory.
My thoughts and prayers go out to Michelle and to the Eberhart family. John and I met after Sherri's passing. We shared many tears together and a few laughs with friends. We were all happy to see John find happiness again, if only for a brief time, with Michelle. I will cherish his last poem "Arrow".
RIP my dear friend,
GoldilocksPosted by: Kathy Spoue - Olathe, KS - Fried Mar 29, 2013
My sincere condolences to the family and friends of John Mark. He deserves the highest honor one can bestow: He was a good guy.
And he will be missed.
Kirstin and family
Dear Mike, LeeAnne, Michelle and Hannah,
So sorry to hear about the passing of John. Prayers and hugs to all of you at this sad time.
Regards, David and LoriPosted by: David and Lori Gross - Bulimba, Australia - Friends of Hays/Gillaspie family Mar 26, 2013
Years ago John Mark introduced me, through the Books pages of the Arts & Entertainment section of The Kansas City Star, to the ancient poets of China. I was not initially a poetry fan of any sort, let alone Chinese poets, but through his enthusiasm for them and his recommendations, I bought one collection, then two, and on and on. I even took a tour through China. I sent John Mark an e-mail long ago to thank him for enriching
Years ago John Mark introduced me, through the Books pages of the Arts & Entertainment section of The Kansas City Star, to the ancient poets of China. I was not initially a poetry fan of any sort, let alone Chinese poets, but through his enthusiasm for them and his recommendations, I bought one collection, then two, and on and on. I even took a tour through China. I sent John Mark an e-mail long ago to thank him for enriching my life through poetry. He wrote about how pleased he was to know his writing made such a difference in my life. For the rest of my life, I will remember John Mark every time I pick up a poetry book; or work on my own poems.Posted by: Jennifer Randle - Overland Park, KS - a reader Mar 25, 2013
I send loving thoughts and comfort to John Mark's family. I only knew him from appearances on KCUR's "Book Doctors," but his comments always touched me and I faithfully followed ALL of his advice regarding books and poetry. He will be missed by all that knew him. He had such a gentleness and kindness in his voice and comments on the radio... I'm sure that was how he conducted his life.Posted by: Kathy Elbert - Oviedo, FL - Fan Mar 25, 2013
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