Paddle Out for Dr. Mark BrackerPosted on
On Sunday, October 9th at 4 pm loving friends and family gathered at Simmon’s Reef in La Jolla to celebrate and honor the amazing life of Dr. Mark David Bracker.
Friends on the beach were united and found comfort in the understanding that Mark lived a remarkable life dedicated to his family, community service, and adventure. Smiles and a great sense of understanding of Mark’s purpose in life prevailed to win the day and all our hearts!
The paddle out was led by Mark’s son, Ryan, and grandson, Sean. Ryan’s love, respect, and admiration for his dad were palpable, a warm smile masking his broken heart. Friends and family know Ryan is a “kind soul’ a lesson instilled in him from his mom and dad.
Others shared wonderful stories of how Mark impacted their lives in a very significant way. All our hearts were touched to hear how fully he loved life and how much he was loved and respected.
No one wanted to paddle in for quite a while after the paddle out had ended, it was like everyone collectively was feeling a moment of wonderment. Several family members and close friends stayed in the water as others paddled in. At that moment, his Daughter-in-law, Sheila Bracker, heard a whale spout. A grey whale swam directly next to this small group as if to let them know that Mark will forever be present in their lives. To add to the magical moment, a full rainbow appeared out of nowhere as the surfers hit the sand and walked up the beach. This was a special moment that represented Mark’s grand finale.
Mark was born on January 6, 1949, in Detroit, Michigan to Dr. William and Enid Bracker. Mark moved from Oregon to Clairemont at 9 years of age and immediately discovered his lifelong passion for surfing.
Mark graduated from Clairemont High School in 1966, San Diego State University in 1970, and then the University of Miami Medical School in 1974 (becoming Board Certified in 1978).
Mark retired from Medicine in 2008.
Mark was a passionate volunteer in our community which included being a founding Board Member of the Blacks Beach Foundation. One of Mark’s many joys was enhancing the landscape at the bottom of the road at Blacks. The Pride of Madeira’s in the landscaped area next to the parking lot at the end of the road to Blacks Beach were planted by Mark a few years back and are a legacy that we all can get inspiration from (look for their purple and blue blooming stalks to flower in mid to late winter).
In 2021 Mark was diagnosed with lung cancer. On September 20, 2022, Mark passed away peacefully in his home in the presence of his loving family.
Mark is survived by his wife Alida van der Lans Bracker, his daughter Shauna de Moraes and her husband Sean de Moraes, his son Ryan Bracker and his wife Sheila Bracker, and his four grandchildren: Ethan, Emily, Liam, and Sean.