Mark Coon

Obituary of Mark Coon

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Ralph Markette “Mark” Coon passed from this life into the presence of the Lord on November 4, 2023. The way he lived demonstrated a love for God and people. He served wholeheartedly and tirelessly; motivated by the knowledge of what Jesus has done for him and a desire for all to know the grace, mercy, and love of God. He was born in Brookhaven, MS on November 10, 1954 to Thomas Jefferson Coon and Ada Pearl Douglas Coon. He graduated from Clinton High School in 1972 and from Mississippi College in 1976. He received his Masters degree in Counseling from MC in 1998. He served as Minister of Youth and Recreation at Temple Baptist Church in Ruston, LA, and Broadmoor Baptist in Shreveport, LA. He served as Minister of Recreation and Activities at Alta Woods Baptist Church in Jackson, MS. In 2000, he became Assistant Pastor at First Baptist Church, Madison, MS and served there until he retired in 2016. His life could be described by his career in ministry, but he wouldn’t like that one bit. He would tell you that everything he did, everything he is, is because of who God is and that the Lord is worthy and deserving of any effort we make to serve Him. He loved God and was in constant awe of His goodness. He loved his family. Cindy, his wife of 48 years, was his favorite person and the two of them created a home that was filled with love, laughter, music, and joy. They met when he was working as a “bouncer” in children’s church choir and she was the teacher. After a date to the Dairy Queen, she and he both knew they were meant for one another. They loved each other with grace and good humor, and brought out each other’s best. So much of their lives were spent at church: ball games, dinner theaters, choir programs, chaperoning trips and events, and they were the example of how to live a life committed to Christ with joy. In retirement, Mark and Cindy homeschooled grandkids, traveled, and enjoyed their family…together. His kids, Anne and John Mark, grew up to become his close friends and married people whom he loved so well. Countless hours have been spent talking and laughing around the table or on the front porch. He allowed them to express themselves and be heard. He listened and responded with care and compassion. As they were growing up, he helped them find the humor in hard times and joy in the small things, like rolling the window down as you drive and enjoying the fresh air. His regular response to the teenage complaint, “well everybody else is….” was “I’m not everybody.” It may have taken them a little growing up to realize how freeing it is to think for yourself and depend solely on God’s guidance and wisdom, but they’re getting there. He talked to them about how to love, how to forgive, how to depend on Jesus in the hard times. He told them regularly that he was proud of them and that he loved being their friend. Then…his grandchildren. Oh, his grandchildren. The joy Mark found in becoming and being a grandfather was tangible and contagious. All six of his grandkids were loved from the minute he knew they were on their way. He created space for them to grow and talk and explore the world God made by cutting trails through the woods on his property, building waterslides, zip lines, a treehouse, and swings. He filled the bed of his truck with a tarp and water and gave them a pool when it was hot outside. He was “G” to them, and as they grew, he found ways to stay in touch with them and let them know how much he loved them. He created a safe space for everyone who knew him. His family lived in that safe space and will be grateful for it all of their lives. Mark was described many years ago by a family friend as a “soul-winner.” While to many, that brings about an image of a fire-and-brimstone preacher, that was not his way. Mark was a soul-winner because he saw people and cared about their souls. He saw them. He cared for the “least of these” and made space for them. His heart was expansive and his motives were purelove them and tell them that God loves them. Whether it was a child in the daycare at church as he led chapel, singing songs he wrote from scripture so they could learn God’s word, or someone coming to him for counseling, or a widow or widower who was deeply grieving…and everyone in between…if they were hurting or had a need, he made a safe space for them and cared for their souls. The goal was always to point them to Christ. He wasn’t afraid of their hurt or their need or how ugly the situation was because he trusted that God led him there and would help him help them. Mark was preceded in death by his parents, Tom and Ada Pearl Coon, his brothers Lamar and Jerry Coon, and his sister Bobbie Bowman. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Cindy Rives Coon, his daughter Anne Coon Albritton (Michael), his son John Mark Coon (Sharon), and his grandchildren, Aidan Albritton, Max Coon, Molly Albritton, Maggie Coon, Paisley Albritton, and Jack Coon. He is also survived by his sister, Peggy Coon Roberts (Billy), and many inlaws, nieces, and nephews whom he loved. A celebration of his life will be held on Thursday, November 9, at 11:00 at First Baptist Church, Madison, MS. There will be no visitation or graveside service. Any memorials in his honor should be made to The Canton Connect Center ℅ FBC Madison, or His Heart Ministries ℅ Calvary Baptist Church, Jackson. If you knew Mark, you probably saw him in blue jeans. His family is all wearing them in his honor, and we hope you will too.

Celebration of Life

11:00 am
Thursday, November 9, 2023
First Baptist Church Madison
2100 Main Street
Madison, Mississippi, United States
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Mark Coon

In Loving Memory

Mark Coon

1954 - 2023

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