Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2007

Open forum: Damascus community’s support appreciated

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On behalf of our family, we would like to thank the Damascus community for the outpouring of support this summer when we faced the tragic passing of our son-in-law, Louis Mulkey.

On June 18, exactly one year and one day after he married our daughter, Lauren, Louis lost his life, along with eight other firefighters, courageously battling the fire at the Sofa Super Store in Charleston, S.C.

When something as sudden and horrific like this happens, most of us will respond with wordless shock. We’re all so afraid of saying the wrong thing or causing more pain. But this wonderful community didn’t hold back. From letters to e-mails to visits, our family has received the comforts that only old friends can give.

Lauren has heard from classmates around the world, former teachers and employers who wouldn’t let the opportunity go by without offering the encouragement that she will never be forgotten.

If Lauren would ask anything additionally from those who are seeking to ‘‘do something” she would ask you to read about Louis’ life and know that he was dedicated to doing for others and helping kids get the most out of an education. She established the Coach Louis Mulkey Scholarship that will benefit young people who may not have the financial means at continuing in higher education. She wants her husband’s legacy to be remembered as service to others and being the best person that you can be.

We loved Louis Mulkey as a man and a son. We are honored that he was brave and dedicated to his community and our daughter. We will miss his sweet southern accent and his smile.

Thank you once again for your friendship and comfort at this very sad time for our family.

Karen, Mike, Jeb and Grace Bennett, Laytonsville