By: Bradley Hunsaker
Mark LeBaron, thrill seeker and owner of many Chuck E. Cheese’s around the Salt Lake Valley died June 15. He had just turned 115.
Mark died on his birthday in a skydiving accident when a bird flew into his parachute tearing a hole in the fabric and causing him to fall to his death. The coroner reports Mark actually died of a heart attack resulting from the shock of the bird.
Born on 15 June, 1987 in Orem, Utah to Hyrum and Deanna LeBaron, Mark is the fourth of six children. He grew up in Orem where he met and married Airin Bresock on April 30, 2011.
Mark graduated with an associate degree from Utah Valley University before transferring to the University of Utah where he got his degree in mass communication. It was working as an intern at the mayor’s office that he met franchise owner, Don Turner, and started his own Chuck E. Cheese chain.
In his younger years, Mark was best known for his vocal performances around the valley. Many people still remember his riveting performance of the National Anthem at the Real Salt Lake game on April 28, 2012 that brought the audience and players to tears.
Mark was very active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints serving as a mission president in the Polynesian Island Mission from 2056-2059 where he actively defended his faith. During his service in Polynesia many may remember Mark as the well-decorated war hero of World War Z. His efforts were what rid the area of the zombie threat and made the area one of the safest in the world. He is also an Emeritus General Authority, serving in the First Quorum of the Seventy from 2065-2094.
Mark left behind his wife, four children, 18 grandchildren, 105 great grandchildren, and seven great-great grandchildren. Most know Mark’s son James LeBaron, recently retired CEO of Google, who as of last year handed the company over to his son Skip. The funeral will be held Friday at midnight in the Orem cemetery; he will be buried next to his parents.