Mark Moynihan: A Brother in Beer Passes Away

Written by THOMAS ‘Tom’ CIZAUSKAS

Mark Moynihan

(Note: normally the Prof. would just provide a link, but to honor Mark he felt the full story should be published here as well.)

There are heroes in our brewing world, many of whom many of us will never know. But, behind the scenes, these unheralded folk do great work creating and bringing us our beers.

And sometimes they do more —much more— than that.

Around 10:00am on Friday, April 10 2009, Mark D. Moynihan was preparing to do a welding job inside a brewery vat at Calhoun’s in Knoxville. While inside the vat he told others he was having a hard time breathing in the confined space. Someone opened a valve to pump oxygen into the cooler for him, and when Mark sparked the torch, it immediately exploded. Mark was able to climb out of the 18 inch opening where others extinguished the flames.

Mark was transported to UT Medical Center in Knoxville, where he was initially assessed and the determination was made to transport him immediately to the burn unit at Vanderbilt Medical Center. Due to severe weather, the medical helicopters were grounded and he had to be transported via ambulance. During transit, there were severe thunderstorms and 6 tornadoes touched down in the path from Knoxville to Nashville. He arrived at Vanderbilt around 2:30pm CST, with family members arriving from various directions shortly after.

Dr Guy assessed Mark upon arrival and began him on hydrotherapy preparing him for surgery. He met with us at that time and gave us the report none of us were prepared to hear. Mark has third degree burns on 98% of his body.

After fighting what must have been an excruciatingly painful battle, Mark Moynihan —homebrewer and good beer partisan— passed away yesterday, 23 June 2009.

I never knew Mark personally, but I came to know him through the wonderful, loving blog his brother-in-law wrote. My condolences to Mark’s family, and to all who knew this courageous man. All of us have a lost a brother-in-beer.

Read more at Mark’s Marathon.

This can be a cautionary tale. Governmental safety watchdogs and their regulations —as officious and burdensome as they may occasionally be— exist to forestall tragedy.

The following is from Knoxnews.com…

Mark D. Moynihan

MOYNIHAN, MARK D. – 39, a resident of Knoxville and formerly of Cleveland, passed away Tuesday, June 23, 2009 at Vanderbilt Medical Center’s Burn Unit in Nashville. Mark fought a long and very courageous battle after suffering third degree burns over most of his body in a welding accident on April 10, 2009. Mark was an avid Tennessee Vols fan and dearly loved the football season. He was a man of many and varied talents. Whether he was landscaping his lawn, making home repairs and improvements, or volunteering his services to assist the elderly, he was always happy and active. You would seldom see him without that wonderful smile on his face. He was very devoted to his family and could frequently be found in Cleveland working on some project for a family member or just hanging out, making everyone laugh with that great sense of humor he displayed. Mark was an animal activist and worked tirelessly to raise awareness for the prevention of cruelty to animals. Mark grew up in Cleveland and attended Black Fox Elementary and Bradley Central High School. His successful career as a well respected welder led to frequent traveling for many years. He recently earned his degree in mechanical engineering. He was a member of North Cleveland Church of God. He was preceded in death by his step father, James E. Andies; a nephew, James Price; his grandparents, Beulah Bennett, Robert Edwards, Blanche Maynihan and James Moynihan. He is survived by his wife, Kim Moynihan of Knoxville; mother, Joy Andies; father, John Moynihan and his wife, Ann; brother, James “Peewee” Andies and his wife, Sandy all of Cleveland; brother, Stewart Moynihan and his wife, Katherine of Georgetown, TN; sisters, Darlene Corneilson and her husband, John of Vine Grove, KY, Janet Flint and her husband, Bill of Leesburg, FL, Shannon Caplinger and her husband, John of Atlantic Beach, FL, Amy Andies of Cleveland; a special aunt, Pat Wells of Cleveland. Mark leaves behind a very large, loving family including several aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. A Celebration of Life memorial service will be held on Saturday, June 27, 2009 at 2 p.m. at North Cleveland Church of God with Reverend Mitch Maloney, Reverend Jack Smith and Reverend Gary Higgins officiating. The family will receive friends at the church one hour prior to the service. Jim Rush Funeral Homes, North Ocoee Chapel is in charge of arrangements.