Community mourning the loss of Mark Yanaway
The late Mark Yanaway prepares to place a wreath at the war monuments on the Litchfield Green during the town's Memorial Day observance last week. BZ photo
Litchfield and Wamogo Regional High School are mourning the death of Mark Yanaway, a social studies teacher at the school, on Saturday.
Yanaway, commander of American Legion Post 27, a former leader of Boy Scout Troop 29 in Bantam, and a highly-decorated and retired Army colonel who served two tours of duty in Iraq, was found dead in the parking lot at the Town Hall Annex in Bantam, according to Resident Trooper Jim Holm.
Yanaway's body was found between 6:30 and 6:45 p.m. on Saturday, Holm said. He had been reported missing by his wife, Anne, earlier in the day, according to Holm. The death, which police are calling untimely, remains under investigation.
"He was a patriot who served his country and his community very well," First Selectman Leo Paul Jr. said of Yanaway. "It is an unfortunate situation and our thoughts and prayers are with his family."
Region 6 Superintendent of Schools Christopher Leone notified district residents of Yanaway's passing in an email Sunday. Yanaway taught at Wamogo for 14 years.
"This sudden and tragic news will impact the school community in many ways," Leone wrote. "There are students who have lost a teacher and staff members who have lost a colleague and friend.
The district's mental health team met Sunday in preparation for providing grief counseling for students and staff as needed this week, according to Leone.
"On a personal level, Mark was one of the first staff members to help in my transition to the district," Leone wrote. "As social studies teachers, we shared a passion for history and international events. Most of all, he was a fellow educator who became a confidant and was always there to share ideas and provide honest feedback. He will be deeply missed."
In addition to his service to Post 27 and Troop 29, Yanaway was a volunteer at St. Michael's Church, was a member of the Republican Town Committee, and was cubmaster for Cub Scouts Pack 31. St. Michael's rector, the Rev. Dr. E. Bevan Stanley, informed parishioners of Yanaway's death in an email Monday.
Yanaway was the master of ceremonies for Post 27's Memorial Day observance last week.