• Eric Fejeran

Letter of Support - Chelley Hogge

I lave had the pleasure of knowing John-Mark Mahnkey for over 35 years, we are both 1987 graduates of Pullman High School. As happens to us all, I lost touch with Mark (as I knew him in high school), for a while. Thanks to Facebook we have both been able to reconnect with friends we graduated with. And gratefully so. I always remembered John-Mark to be amiable, personable and thoughtful, but was absolutely blessed to experience it first hand several years ago. In 2013, my brother was involved in an assault on campus at WSU and incurred a traumatic brain injury, John-Mark didn't merely post condolences and concerns on Facebook, he intentionally reached out to see what he could do for my family. And not just once. He was conscientious and checked with me regularly to determine how David was doing and progress he was making, always offering his assistance where my family needed it, and checking on me personally to know how I was coping with the tragedy. It was a difficult time for my family, not knowing if David would live through the brain injury, then the long (and still continuing) road to recovery, all the while I lived 600 miles away and was unable to be present for my family. I was grateful for the many who, like John-Mark, took care of my family during that time. Again in 2018, following a 35 year battle with diabetes and a kidney/pancreas transplant, my sister contracted ovarian cancer. When it became clear that this was a disease she would not overcome, John-Mark was again there for me and my family.

Six months following her passing, my then 18 year-old daughter, decided she wanted to fly to Pullman to surprise her grandparents in an attempt to help their melancholy and alleviate grief they were experiencing in the wake of Lisa's death. Knowing I could depend on him, I reached out and asked John-Mark if he would be able to meet her at the airport and take her to my parent's home. True to character, he said he'd be happy to. Over the course of the day, it became clear that the weather was going to make travel difficult. She arrived in Seattle without incident, but the weather was causing delays in getting to Pullman. I was contacting John every few hours with an update on her arrival. Each time, he would assure me that he was still more than happy to be of service and accommodate her flight time. Her flight didn't finally land until 1 in the morning, twelve hours after he had originally planned to pick her up, and after two trips to the airport. I had been an anxious mom over the course of her trip, due to the unpredictable conditions, but the one thing I never had cause to be concerned about was that once she finally landed in Pullman she would be in good hands.

John-Mark is an exceptional individual. He is innately conscientious of the needs of those around him and committed to the welfare of those within his sphere of influence. What an asset he would be to Whitman County. The county would be benefactors of his example and leadership. My only disappointment is that being a Utah resident, I'm not eligible to vote him into office.

-Chelley Warner Hogge

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