Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Mr. T - You Will Be Missed.....

South Bend suffered a huge loss yesterday with the death of Mark Tulchinsky.

Mr. T suffered a heart attack while serving as principal at Tarkington School. He was 60 years old. He was a loving husband to Nan, the father of three and grandfather of four.

Mr. T had taught for nearly 40 years in the South Bend School Corporation - many years as a principal at Jefferson, Monroe and Tarkington schools. He was Carrie's "boss" in her early days of teaching at Monroe and she looked at him as a "second dad". It was Mr. T who encouraged her to send her resume to the new LaSalle Academy - even though she didn't think she stood a chance. With Mr. T's backing, she was hired at the Academy as a 5th grade teacher. The rest of our family came to know Mr. T through his wife Nan, who was the Athletic Director at LaSalle High School and then eventually the Corporation's Athletic Director.

One of Carrie's favorite stories was when she returned to school just a couple of weeks after Nolan was born - stopping by to have her photo taken with her class. Mr. T told Carrie that he would watch the baby. Twenty minutes later, Carrie came back - no Mr. T and no Nolan. Carrie looked in his office and there he sat with a 2-week old baby on his lap, sitting behind his big desk, feeding little pieces of donut to Nolan and telling Carrie, "but he was hungry".

Today, I stood in line for an hour to pay my respects to Nan and their children. I told Nan that not only did he touch the lives of many children in South Bend, he also touched the lives of the teachers he worked with - at which point she hugged me and told me, "he sure loved your daughter". The line will continue to grow throughout the day, especially as teachers and students arrive at the end of the school day. I know that Carrie will be there to say her final goodbye to a man she admired - a man who helped mold her into the teacher she is today.

No comments: