Tuesday, February 15, 2011

God Bless Marty Mesmer

I ran into Jeff Schwartz at Tysons Corner yesterday.   Jeff asked if I heard about Marty Mesmer.  Unfortunately, I had heard that Marty Mesmer had passed away.   I know Marty through coaching in basketball in the Ashburn area.  Marty's son, Mark, and my son John were the same age.  We were both coached our sons from 4th grade through 8th grade.  Marty was the guy who would bring all the coaches together to have the draft.  Now if you have never been to a boys basketball draft, you have never been to a bunch of over-competitive fathers trying to load their team up with the best ball players.  During those five years there were countless loud discussions between the coaches on every topic known to man as it relates to basketball.   Everyone except for one guy - Marty Mesmer.  Marty was ALWAYS above the fray and EVERYONE like and respected Marty.   Marty was the type of guy who always had a smile on his face and never took the game too seriously.  Marty kept everything in perspective.

I was at Marty's house in 2001 with all the other 8th grade coaches for the draft.   Everyone comes to Marty's house from work and they are ready for the draft.  The 8th grade is the final year that a lot of kids play and it is the last year that fathers coach their sons - so it is sort of like March Madness for Fathers and their sons.   Everyone asks, "let's get the draft done Marty."  Marty just smiled and said, "no, we have food, beer, wine, sodas and water that we are going to enjoy first."    Marty then comes up to me and says, "I know these guys Dave, things will go a lot easier after they have a few drinks in them."   I just smiled and said, "you're brilliant Marty."    He was brilliant and just a hell of a great guy. It is a very sad day and Marty will be absolutely missed.  

I will be at Marty's funeral this Saturday.   I am sure it will be standing room only.  I am sure that there will be lots of coaches there as well.  I am sure there will not be a dry eye in the house....

Below is the obituary from The Washington Post:


Marty Mesmer died peacefully at his home in Ashburn, VA, on Tuesday, February 8, 2011 surrounded by his very loving family and his many friends. He had leukemia. The family would like to say a special thanks to all the caring and compassionate oncology nurses at Virginia Hospital Center.
Marty was a devoted and loving husband to Elaine, and a proud and devoted father to sons Mike and Marc and daughter Katie. Marty was the son of the late Fred and Dorothy Mesmer. He is survived by his siblings Ricky and Joe Mesmer, and a sister, Dori Stanwick, and predeceased by his brother John. Marty was born in Washington, DC and was a proud graduate of Gonzaga College High School and the University of Maryland. 
He leaves behind a large loving extended family as well as many friends who cherished him for his kind spirit and enthusiasm for life. His also shared his passion and love for the game of basketball by coaching both youth boys and girls teams for years in his community.
Mr. Mesmer began his career in real estate, eventually establishing Walsh, Mesmer and Associates and then merged with Fred A. Smith Company where he was a partner and President. 
He is a member of St. David's Episcopal Church in Ashburn, Va. where a memorial service will be held on Saturday February 19, 2011 at 11 a.m. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Marty's name to Capital Hospice, Philanthropy Office, 2900 Telestar Court, Falls Church, VA 22042.