Community supporter Mark Perron dies in Arizona

May 11, 2017

 Mark Perron, co-owner of Hungry Howie’s in Clare.

Mark Perron, co-owner of Hungry Howie’s in Clare.

By Pat Maurer

A Clare businessman, Mark Perron, known for his unswerving support of the community, died suddenly April 23, while on vacation with his wife Sue and friends in Mesa, Arizona. While there, they had planned to attend a concert by “Kansas,” a band they counted as close friends and family. “We were super-fans,” she said. “We went to almost all of their concerts.” Mark missed this last one. He died at a hotel in the early morning hours on the day of the concert.

Sue said she and a friend, using Mark’s ticket, attended the concert. “He would have wanted that,” she said. After the concert she was escorted backstage where the couple’s “band family” expressed their condolences. “They are still sending messages to comfort me,” she said.

Mark was the co-owner of the Hungry Howie’s franchise in Clare since 2009.

Sue said her goal is for the store to continue to operate as well as it did when Mark was there. She said his partner Pat, who owns a store in Ludington, has been helping out with the Clare store.

During the years he owned the business, he was known for his many donations to the community.

Hungry Howie’s Manager Sarah Sian said every month he donated pizzas to the Clare Public School Classes of the Month in all three schools, the high school, middle school and primary.

He participated in many Clare events and festivals including the Irish Festival, over the years, most recently sponsoring the pizza eating contest at Clare’s Spooktacular last fall.

He was always generous. “When the Fifth Street Auto burned,” Sarah said, “Mark called me and told us to send eight large pizzas to the firefighters.”

Every year he participated and donated pizza for the Mid Michigan Community College fundraiser Northern Traditions.

He donated gift certificates to help fill Easter Baskets as a member of Clare Rotary, made donations to Joshua’s House and participated in Toys for Tots each year. He even remembered the semi driver credited with saving many students’ lives in the recent Farwell bus crash, reserving a free dinner for the hero.

“These are just a few of the many, many times he quietly donated to special events and people around the community,” Sarah said. She added, “I’m going to continue his tradition. He was always very proud to be a part of this community. He displayed every thank you he ever got here at Hungry Howie’s.”

Mark and his wife Sue made their home nearby just north of Coleman. He was 59, Sue said, and they would have been married 38 years later this year.
The couple have two grown daughters, Kim (and boyfriend Anthony) of New York and Elizabeth (Beth) Burks and her husband Jeff  who live in Texas; and two grandsons, Lukas, age three and Logan, who is one. “I’m so glad he got to meet his youngest grandson,” Sue said.

A Luncheon and Celebration of Mark’s Life has been scheduled for August 6th at 11 a.m. at the Doherty Hotel. After the event Mark’s family will travel to their cabin in Northern Michigan, Mark’s favorite place, where they will spread his ashes.

Donations in his name will help the family with those expenses and any excess will be donated to the Clare County Animal Shelter, where the couple adopted a much loved shelter dog.

A link to the donation page (with a link to the event) is https// perronfamily-818423.

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