Mark Anthony Urquiza
Mark Anthony Urquiza passed away on June 30th after more than three weeks battling COVID-19. Mark was a high school 400-meter dash state champion and cross-country runner. Mark was known for his infectious energy, strong will, and yes, stubbornness. He met his wife Brenda at Tolleson Union High School. They welcomed their only child Kristin Danielle in 1981. The family loved their annual summer vacations to California where Kristin now lives. Mark, who was often called "Black Jack" by his friends and family, was a lover of nature, the night sky, and politics, and was the life of the party.
Along with Brenda and Kristin Danielle, he is loved and missed by siblings Frank C. Urquiza, Benny C. Urquiza, Richard C. Urquiza, Diana U. Camacho, Gina Urquiza Waters; siblings-in-law Carol Urquiza, Chris Waters, Yvonne Urquiza, and Ray Camacho; his nieces and nephews; the broader community of Tolleson, Arizona; and countless friends. He is preceded in death by his parents Venancio and Ruth Urquiza and his brother George.
Mark, like so many others, should not have died from COVID-19. His death is due to the carelessness of the politicians who continue to jeopardize the health of brown bodies through a clear lack of leadership, refusal to acknowledge the severity of this crisis, and inability and unwillingness to give clear and decisive direction on how to minimize risk. Mark's daughter Kristin Danielle and daughter-in-law Christine are channeling our sadness and rage into building an awareness campaign so fewer families are forced to endure this. We honor Mark's life by continuing this fight for others, even in these darkest moments. Kristin Danielle will be starting an Ofrenda, an altar with pictures of those lost to COVID-19, outside the Arizona State Capitol building on Wednesday evening at 4:30. All are welcome to bring pictures of their loved ones who are suffering from COVID or who have passed. For more information follow @MarkedByCovid on Facebook.
Published in The Arizona Republic from Jul. 6 to Jul. 8, 2020.