Death of a Friend

Medicare Set-Aside Blog on October 5, 2010
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I learned this week of the death of a former colleague and friend, Mark Plastow. I served under Mark in 2004-2005 during Operation Enduring Freedom with the NCIS detachment in Kuwait. Mark was one of the most unassuming and genuine people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting and I had great respect for him as a supervisor and NCIS Special Agent. Mark truly embodied the mantra “lead from the front” and was an example for all to follow.

In 2006, Mark suffered a massive stroke while on assignment (aka in the course and scope of his employment) in Japan and was eventually transferred to Hawaii and Johns Hopkins as his condition stabilized. He spent months in a coma and another year rehabilitating so that he could return to work. Despite serious and debilitating health issues, Mark was not one to rely on the “presumption” theory liberally granted to public safety officials. He was no 300 pound, donut eating cop that blamed his heart attack on the “stress” of the job. He filed no SSDI application and was not seeking a tax payer funded disability pension. He justed wanted to get back to work as the following passage describes.

This week we lost one of the  good guys.

GENERAL ADMINISTRATION                                       28SEP10

FROM:  0000                                          GEN:  00-0032



1.  It is with the deepest sadness that I announce the death of SSA Mark Stuart Plastow, who passed away unexpectedly in his sleep this past weekend at the age of 50.

2.  Mark graduated from Weber State College with a BS in Criminal Justice in 1986.  He began his career with NIS in April 1987 at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, VA.  He served NCIS across the globe with tours as the Special Agent Afloat aboard USS Coral Sea (CV43) and USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 70).  He also served in Holy Loch, Scotland; Rota, Spain; Yokosuka, Japan and Washington, DC. During his 23 plus years with NCIS, Mark worked a variety of assignments including Staff Counterintelligence Officer, NCISHQ counterintelligence desk officer, and most recently, SSA in the Planning and Evaluation Department.

3.  Mark was a true gentleman and friend.  He would frequently make the rounds at headquarters, giving people encouragement and advice — and always searching for a piece of cake.  A religious man, he attended church every Sunday and Wednesday night.  He was a Cub Scout leader long after his sons had moved on from that stage of their lives.  Above all, Mark was a determined fighter.  He battled back from a near-death experience in the summer of 2006, when he suffered a major stroke, and fought hard so he could resume work following brain surgery in December 2009.

4.  Mark always had a smile on his face and was always willing to help others in need.  His bond of friendship was strong and worked both ways. He regularly reached out to the spouse of our former colleague, the late Special Agent Reuben Diaz, making sure she remained connected to the NCIS family and helping her in any way possible.  When Mark was hospitalized earlier this year, his fellow employees responded with five baskets full of gifts and a poster expressing their love and affection, which covered the hospital room wall.  His dedication and compassion will be sorely missed.

5.  Mark is survived by his wife, Bonnie Plastow; sons Matthew and Derek Plastow; his parents Peter and Patricia Plastow; brothers Jim and Bill Plastow; and sisters Suzy Gordon, Tina Anderson and Melissa Conklin.

6.  Visitation will take place on Friday 01OCT10 from 10:00 to 12:00 at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 50 Clyde Jones Road, Sunderland, Maryland.  The funeral service will take place immediately following visitation at the same location.

7.  The Plastow family has requested donations be made to the Special Agent Benefit Association (SABA), PO Box 3, Quantico, VA 22134.