BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Family and friends of Mark Barhanovich gathered at Biloxi City Hall Tuesday afternoon. The city council passed a resolution naming a city park in memory of the community leader who was recently killed in a boating accident.
It's a fitting tribute to a well-known Biloxian, who played in the park, that will now bear his name.
The support was unanimous among Biloxi leaders. As Mark Barhanovich's family looked on, city council members passed the resolution remembering this special man whose dedication for serving his community, shined as brightly at the landmark lighthouse in the city he loved so much.
"Who through the force of his personality, and commitment to community service, became an outstanding and integral part of the community," said Mayor A.J. Holloway, as he read the resolution into the record.
That community leader will have his name forever remembered in this city park. Known by the locals as "Circle Park" it will now be called Mark Barhanovich Memorial Park.
"We're so proud. And I know Mark would be proud that his name will carry on through the park," said his wife, Jerrie.
All who knew and loved Mark Barhanovich speak similar words about the man: Genuine, Giving, Dedicated.
"He didn't have to be asked. He would just join and step into it. But he had his father, growing up, 'Yankie' Barhanovich. He saw his father so involved. So, he was taught at a young age how to help out and be a part of the community," said Biloxi City Councilman Ed Gemmill.
Mark Barhanovich left that same cherished legacy to his children.
"There are so many memories of him. A lot of happy ones. We did a lot of things together. He is going to be missed. But he taught me everything he needed to teach me to go on," said his son, Steven Barhanovich.
"I had no idea he had so many friends. I knew he had a lot of people that liked him. He wanted to be mayor one day. It's just that his life was cut short by this terrible tragedy. But I know he would be happy having this park named after him," said his wife, Jerrie.
The U.S. Coast Guard is still investigating the boating accident that claimed the life of Mark Barhanovich on September 16th.