Mark Kycia passed away at his home in Cliff, New Mexico on June 22, 2021 after a long illness. He was listening to NPR, his favorite radio station.
The eldest of four siblings, Mark was born May 4, 1957 to Michael and Dorothy Kycia in Glastonbury, Connecticut. Growing up, he had a paper route, was an altar boy and boy scout, and had fond memories of his early adventures during family summers at Lake Dunmore in Vermont.
Mark sought and found adventure throughout his life. As a teenager, he left Glastonbury and rode freight trains west across country with his best friend, Johnny Hoy. He had stories of hiding from authorities as trains pulled through major cities, dangerous mishaps, and near escapes. He traveled always with his furry soul mate Travis, the black lab who he taught to ride passenger on his motorcycle and lean with the curves. In more recent years, he was known as The Garlic Man of Kittery Point, driving from his garlic farm in New Mexico to Maine during the fall, where he lived in a small sailboat he referred to as “his apartment” and sold garlic braids out of the back of his truck.
During his life, Mark was exceptionally skilled in many trades. He was a farmer, blueberry harvester, arborist, automobile and boat mechanic, wooden boat builder, commercial fisherman, sawmill owner and operator, circus lion feeder for Lion Tamer Julius Von Uhl, roofer, snowmaker, logger, carpenter, Christmas tree harvester, traveling chile ristra and garlic salesman, and creative craftsman of many incredibly beautiful and loved objects.
Mark loved being a dad and shared many unforgettable adventures with his daughters. He took his then five-year-old daughter, Autumn, to ford Roaring Brook from High Street up to Cotton Hollow in South Glastonbury, and he brought his then seven-year-old daughter, Grace, on an unforgettable cross country road trip, fueled by truck stop cappuccinos and George Strait hits. He expanded his then teenage stepdaughter Mariah’s motor-mechanic skills, working with her to outfit a Karmann Ghia as one of her first vehicles, and taught her son Tripp about gun safety and hunting ethics. Mark roasted awesome home-grown green chile and made epic breakfasts. We will never forget waking up to the smell of his breakfasts - garlic potatoes, eggs with bell peppers, and pancakes.
Mark was a master storyteller (the best of which were stories of his many adventures), an avid reader, and a lover of books. Nature was where he felt most at home; he always preferred to be outside and had a fascination with animals- especially birds, squirrels, and otters. He loved flying kites, sailing, teaching kids to double and triple-skip stones, and picking wild berries for pancakes. He was shy and kind. His hearty laugh filled the room with warmth, his sparkling blue eyes lit up the world around him, and his wonderful hugs brought deep comfort to anyone lucky enough to be enveloped in one. Mark had a gentle, generous spirit and an incredibly soft heart. He is and will forever be deeply missed by all of those who knew and loved him.
He is pre-deceased by his brother Thomas Kycia, sister Nancy Kycia-Siwik, and his soul mate dog, Travis.
He is survived by his parents, Michael and Dorothy Kycia (Cromwell, Connecticut), daughters Autumn Menard (and wife, Angie Menard – Portland, Oregon) and Grace Bustamante (and husband, Cesar Bustamante – Tucson, Arizona), stepdaughter Mariah Giardina (and son Tripp– Flagstaff, Arizona), longtime partner and friend Mary Giardina (Cliff, New Mexico), sister Susan Baron (and husband Cliff Baron – Suffield, Connecticut), nephews Mickey and Andrew Baron, and many friends from his nearly 30 years in Southern New Mexico and his travels throughout his life.
In lieu of funeral services, and to honor Mark, we ask that all who wish to participate make a donation to Silver City Gospel Mission in his name http://silvercitygospelmission.org/donate-food-clothing-or-cash-to-the-gospel-mission/make-a-cash-donation/