Mark Secundino Sandoval, born July 26, 1961, passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, March 19, 2023. The only child of Secundino and Stella Sandoval, Mark was born in Los Alamos and was a lifelong member of the community. He graduated from Los Alamos High School in 1979, where he fell in love with golf and found friendships that lasted a lifetime. He entered New Mexico State University through the Crimson Scholar Program in 1980 and then attended the University Of New Mexico.
Mark met his wife, Trish, in 1989 while working at the family restaurant, Montoyas. Trish worked next door at Trail Bound Sports. They married in 1991 and with Trish, Mark gained three children: Heather, Brandon, and Caleb. He loved being “Pops.” He enjoyed coaching, teaching, tutoring, and terrorizing his children and all the neighborhood kids. No matter the day of the week, Mark was feeding the teenage masses.
Mark joined the Fire Academy in 1991, which led to his 21 year career taking care of the Los Alamos community. He worked 24/7 through both the Cerro Grande and the Las Conchas fires, leading and working with his crew of firemen. While the fires were certainly challenging, telling friends, neighbors and the community about their personal losses took the biggest toll on him. He retired with the rank of Assistant Chief in December 2011.
You could always find Mark at the golf course enjoying the camaraderie of his golf buddies. He loved to camp in the Jemez, or Colorado…or anywhere there was fishing. He found great joy in sharing these passions with his grandkids and watching their excitement when they reeled in the “big one.” He also loved following sports at all levels, including the junior high, high school, college and professional leagues. This time of year was one of his favorites with March Madness, but it didn’t hold a candle to the fever he had come football season…GO COWBOYS! He was also an avid coin collector, skier and inherited his father’s artistic ability. He loved to sketch and had beautiful handwriting. He enjoyed watching Westerns, a LOT. Mark was a very active member of the Elks Lodge of Los Alamos and a Past
Exalted Ruler. He enjoyed cooking with his Elks family for numerous events and charities. He was also a son of the Los Alamos American Legion.
Mark was preceded in death by his mother, Stella, and father, Secundino. He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Patricia, and his three children, Heather Campbell, Brandon Finch and wife Alicia, Caleb Wahl and wife Amanda. He was blessed with 7 grandchildren that he loved very much; Hannah and Matthew Campbell, Maddux, Kinsler, Beckett and, Dylan Finch and Adalyn Wahl. He is also survived by numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and his best puppy, Buddha. Mark loved his family and friends beyond measure.
Our family would like to thank our Elks Lodge family and our family of friends for your love and support during this difficult time. We love and appreciate you so much.
Please join Mark’s family and friends for a Memorial Service to be held at The Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church (3700 Canyon Road, Los Alamos) at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, April 21. The Los Alamos Fire Department will be escorting Mark from the Elks Lodge on Trinity Drive around 1:30 p.m. in a full fireman’s procession, ending at the church. Refreshments will be served at the Parish Hall immediately following the Service.
The Sandoval Family requests that in-lieu of flowers, donations be made to:
Los Alamos Elks Lodge, BPOE 2083
1601 Trinity Drive
Los Alamos, NM 87544
The National Fallen Firefighters Foundation: Access the QR Code or visit the Donate website below. Once in the site, go to the Tribute Gift section and enter your gift in memory of “Chief Mark Sandoval, Los Alamos (NM) FD.”