Plant Memorial Trees
Friday, September 8, 2023
2:00 - 5:00pm (Eastern time)
Mark David Trombley- 71 of Kernersville, North Carolina passed away after a long battle with cancer with his family by his side. Born January 2, 1952 to Joseph and Marie Trombley in Detroit, Michigan. From a young age Mark loved cars, baseball with neighborhood friends and playing in the woods. Many of his fondest memories revolved around spending time with his brothers and cousins at the family camp on Rock River in the Upper Peninsula.
His infallible work ethic started at a fruit stand at age 12. From there he worked at and eventually owned his own service station. Mark was a Certified Master Mechanic, there wasn’t a car he couldn’t fix. In 1984, Mark moved to Camden, SC to pursue a job with Snap-on Tools as a tool dealer. It wasn’t long before he was itching for something more; nearly eighteen months later he packed up his family and moved them to Kernersville, NC for a promotion. Mark was the new Field Manager for the triad area. He spent countless hours on tool trucks teaching dealers and running his territory. His groups were repeatedly nationally ranked within the company. Mark spent 30 years with Snap-on Tools and eagerly retired shortly after his 62nd birthday.
Whatever Mark put his name on, he considered it to be the utmost in quality, effort and heart. He exemplified this not only where he spent his time (hobbies and work) but with whom. If you were worth his time, Mark considered you something special. In 1968, Mark met a girl in school, it was love at first sight. This woman was the light of his life, his best friend and ultimate companion and, in September of 1975, she became his wife. On a crisp fall day, Mark married Kimberlee Miller. Mark and Kim built a life they were proud of, they worked hard, laughed hard and played hard. In 1981, they welcomed their first daughter, Amanda. Two years later, Robin was born and their family of four was complete. Mark worked hard to instill in his girls the importance of family, resilience, tenacity and always reminded them to protect his good name. He was an incredible father, working on math problems at the kitchen counter late into the evening after working a 12-hour day. He challenged them, humored them and stood up for them. He always told his girls how proud he was of them and how much he loved them. When Mark became a grandfather, he had big plans for his grandsons. For every birthday and Christmas, he thoughtfully picked out a tool for each of them, with hopes that upon adulthood they would have a first class (Snap-on of course) set of tools. He played ball with them in the yard, enduring wayward throws that catapulted his glasses into the grass, and taught them to shoot a bow with both rules and patience. With his older grandsons, he enjoyed betting with them on the golf course, rooting for them on the sidelines and swapping mechanic stories.
Even though he was an altar boy and an Eagle Scout, as a young man Mark was incredibly dedicated to his hobbies, especially street racing on Woodward Avenue in Detroit. With a twinkle in his eye, he would relive his glory days telling of how he had visited every county courthouse in and around Detroit. And how after subsequently losing his license multiple times for illegal street drag racing, he moved to the drag strip. For the next twenty years, you could find Mark under, tinkering with or behind the wheel of his racecar. He raced in the International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) and National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) circuits- chasing green lights and victories at racetracks up and down the east coast. In 1992, he achieved his biggest racing dream, winning the points race to clench the IHRA Stock Eliminator World Championship. Mark Trombley was a champion, he had the bronze statue and the medal to prove it.
In 1998, he sold his 1969 rag top Camaro and set his sights on new dreams, this time he pursued archery. True to character, Mark couldn’t simply buy bows, arrows and strings from the store, he had to have his hands on them. It had to be the best or nothing at all… so he built the best. He handcrafted arrows and strings at home, often teaching himself through trial and error. Mark Trombley persisted despite neighbors losing tires, garage doors being punctured and even a heart attack wouldn’t stop him from finishing the round on an archery range in middle-of-nowhere Florida. In 2010 Mark tasted victory again, claiming the Archery Shooter’s Association (ASA) Senior Shooter of the Year title. Nine years later, at the age of 67, he was still shooting, this time in the Super Senior Class and won their Shooter’s Championship; no trophy this time, Mark took home a gold belt buckle as his prize.
In the last few years, Mark packed up his bow and ran at a slightly less competitive pace. He enjoyed playing golf with his sons-in-law, grandsons, brothers and new friends. If you lost a bet to him on the golf course, you’d be forking over a dollar bill with your autograph on it. He displayed them proudly and would remind you often of the loss. He loved to toil over his shot, consider what new clubs would correct his draw, and complain about paying $6.50 for a hot dog at the turn. Most recently, Kim even talked him into becoming an amateur carpenter; building a grand cat castle for the back porch, a potting table for her flowers and benches for the fire pit. Despite Mark claiming he “wasn’t Jesus, I’m not a carpenter”, you have never seen a catio with more perfect right angles.
Even in his last days when his body was giving up, Mark never did. He was still asking for treatment options and looking for ways to fight back the disease that he had quarreled with for nearly a decade. He was a master story teller with a steel trap memory. Mark will be forever remembered for his euphemisms (dead nuts, holy Christmas, aw hail- to name a few), his work ethic, how he competed and how he loved his family and friends.
Mark was preceded in death by his parents, Joe and Marie Trombley and Brother-in-law, Scott Miller. He is survived by his wife, Kim (Miller) Trombley and his daughters, Mandy (Braden Ruch) and Robin (Brian Brendle). His brothers, Kevin (Julie) and Shawn Trombley; Miller brothers, (Christie), Craig (Liz) and Victor (Kim). Mark’s beloved grand and great grandchildren: Nathan (Candice) and Seth Brendle, Barrett, Samuel and William Ruch, Sawyer and Scarlett Brendle, as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins.
Mark has requested “a prayer and a bourbon” in place of a traditional service. In honor of him, his family will host an open house on Friday, September 8th from 2-5pm at the Kernersville Community House (405 Salisbury Street, Kernersville, NC 27284). In lieu of flowers, please send donations in his honor to St Jude’s Children’s hospital, as he fervently believed no child should have to battle like he did.