In Memoriam: WREX pays tribute to the life of Mark Mayhew - – Rockford’s News Leader

In Memoriam: WREX pays tribute to the life of Mark Mayhew


Mark Mayhew was a born on January 17, 1956 in Romeoville.

Like boys his age, he picked up sports. Wrestling and football were his strengths. So was learning-not just from books, but the world.

He spent part of his 20s living in Europe, so by the time he moved to Rockford in the early '90s he was a wealth of knowledge.

"I think in many ways Mark was brilliant," Mark’s former radio co-host Ken DeCoster said.

Ken DeCoster worked with Mark for nearly 20 years at then-WNTA radio. Mark produced the news radio talk show with Ken.  

“Back in our radio days we used to joke about Mark being ‘Mr. Know it All,’” DeCoster said. That was not meant to be a negative comment. It was meant to praise his knowledge."

Mark loved music, television, trivia and cars.

“He had a number of antique cars over the years,” DeCoster said. “He would take long road trips."

Along the way, he picked up a lot of friends. He was a good listener. He was compassionate.  Someone who truly cared about other people.
“He would talk to myself or Division Chief Matt Knott or myself on a daily basis looking for stories to run or asking for interviews,” said Rockford Fire Chief Derek Bergsten. “And then he'd always check in and talk with us after some major incidents. Just a very caring individual that will be missed by the Rockford Fire Department."

He became WREX’s Mark four years ago. Mark took on producing news-a different way to transmit with a different set of co-workers.

“I knew that when our newsroom would get the adrenaline going that it does when there's a big story that he'd be a calming factor,” said 13 WREX General Manager John Chadwick. “Most of our young reporters, in my opinion, need someone to calm them down and center them, and I knew he'd be a great mentor. He turned out to be a great mentor.”

When Mark had heart surgery last spring, we did a story on his recovery, and of course, what he learned from it all.  

"I decided OK, let's do the heart surgery,” Mayhew said last September. “Well this has the best chance of the long term recovery."

Not long enough for us looking back, but in those 9 months since then, those who knew him best say there was something different about Mark-in a good way.

"I think in the last 9 months of his life is the happiest I've ever seen him,” DeCoster said.  He was more outgoing. He was more loving. So it's so sad that Mark passed away, but I think there was comfort in knowing he was happier.”

"I'm going to miss him. I know everyone in this building is,” Chadwick said. “We can fill lots of voids, but it's going to be tough filling the void he left."

When people think of Mark, many will think of that love he filled any room with. It's amazing how much love he had for others.  His capacity to make us feel it and the eternal nature of it.  Mark was an organ donor, so he will continually give of himself to others.

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