After fatal crash, Family, friends, coworkers say goodbye to Mark Nerenburg far too soon

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  • Marissa Nerenburg’€™s son, Kenneth, holds one of the flags that was given out at funeral for Mark Nerenburg as he stands with his mother at the the funeral at the Meyer David Cemetery in Claremont on Friday, May 13, 2022. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • ABOVE: Steve Nerenburg stands at the site of his brother Mark’s funeral at the Meyer David Cemetery in Claremont on Friday. GEOFF FORESTER photos / Monitor staff

  • LEFT: New Hampshire Department of Corrections Honor Guard members Inspector Preston Schaub (left), Sgt. David Pelkey, and Lt. Stephen Isabelle hold the flags that were to be passed out.

  • New Hampshire Department of Corrections Honor Guard Inspector Preston Schaub holds one of the flags that were to be passed out at the funeral of Mark Nerenburg in Claremont on Friday morning, May 12, 2022. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Marissa Nerenburg is comforted at the funeral for her husband, Mark Nerenburg at the Meyer David Cemetery in Claremont on Friday, May 13, 2022. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Rabbi Levi Krinsky, regional director of Chabad Lubavitch of Manchester, leads the funeral procession for Mark Nerenburg at Meyer David Cemetery in Clairemont on Friday morning, May 12, 2022. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Marissa Nerenburg’€™s son, Kenneth, holds his mother’€™s hand at the funeral for Mark Nerenburg at the Meyer David Cemetery in Claremont on Friday, May 13, 2022. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Mark Nerenburg

Monitor staff
Published: 5/14/2022 3:54:39 PM
Modified: 5/14/2022 3:52:51 PM

Mark Nerenburg’s family and friends paid tribute to him on a day he would have loved.

Summer had finally broken through, and on a Friday, no less, the perfect time for a weekend motorcycle ride. Perhaps to a biker rally, or maybe a crystal-blue lake. That’s what Nerenburg loved. His wife, his sons, his friends, his bike, the sun and a crackling fire at night, the perfect ending to a perfect day.

“That was our thing together,” Mark’s wife, Marissa Nerenburg, said by phone before the funeral. “The moment we both got on a bike. It was such a great way to connect, and that was where he was the happiest.”

Mark, who worked for the Department of Corrections in Concord for 16 years, died on May 5. He crashed his bike near South Main Street and Exit 12S on Interstate 93. Police responded at 10:30 p.m. No other vehicle was involved.

Nerenburg died at Concord Hospital. He was 46. The police have yet to reveal the cause of death or how it happened, and did not respond to calls seeking information. Meanwhile, those closest to Mark are scratching their heads. Things don’t add up, they say.

“The weather was fine that day and he knew the road,” said Mark’s brother, Steve Nerenburg, who came from New Jersey to attend the funeral. “And it was his motorcycle, so he was familiar with it.”

Asked if drugs or alcohol might have been involved, Steve said, “Mark did not abuse drugs or alcohol. He was a straight edge when it came to that. He was responsible, he had two kids, he was in law enforcement and he had a lot to live for and he gets into this tragic accident. Everybody’s wondering what the hell happened.”

That was an issue for another day, though. Meanwhile, about 150 people attended the funeral at Meyer David Cemetery in Claremont, where Mark’s two sons live, and where his father is buried.

The traditional Jewish funeral included yarmulkes, Hebrew readings and a pile of dirt near the gravesite, for mourners to pour onto the coffin, once holding the shovel upside down to signify reluctance, and another time holding it right side up to mean acceptance.

Mark, who lived in Hooksett, worked for 15 years on the men’s side of the State Prison, one year on the women’s side, and law enforcement was well represented on Friday. State police, local police, K-9 partners, even the NHDOC Honor Guard (Mark was in the Marines for four years in the 1990s) all showed up.

The four members of the Honor Guard stood rigidly in the hot sun, each holding an American flag, crisply folded and stored behind glass in a wooden triangle. They were presented to Mark’s children, Gabe and Cameron, and his stepson, Kenny.

Asked about Mark, guard member and DOC colleague Preston Schaub of Tilton said, “He was in his typically bubbly mood. He was an ideal officer. He followed orders, never complained.”

A few feet away stood a table with white roses on it. There was a photo of Mark, a bear of a man, wearing a Patriots shirt, and a book to sign. There was a collage of photos on an easel, showing the couple laughing, hugging, and, of course, riding.

For Marissa, the Granite State’s close-knit motorcycle community gave her some of the best times of her life. Mark showed her the way, on his amber whiskey-colored Harley Davidson.

“He fell in love with it,” Marissa said. “I rode with him always, the passenger rooting him on.”

The people who rode often with Mark and Marissa – to Lake George, Daytona Beach, the coast of Maine, the Lakes Region, Canobie Lake Park, Canada – were happy to talk about the good times, Mark’s personality, anything to take them away from the misery and sadness that permeated the cemetery.

Chip Susca worked for the DOC with Mark for six years. They hit it off, the one common denominator tying them closely, beyond work and kids, being their preferred mode of transportation: a Harley. They both sought to customize their bikes. They rode together on weekends. They’d stop for breakfast.

“Very caring,” explained Susca. “He cared about everyone. He was a good friend to have.”

Steven had a nickname for his brother. “I’d tell him that he had a Superman complex,” Steve said. “He was always helping others, even at the expense of himself.”

Marissa overcame her emotions enough to give a speech. She called their bike trips adventures. She said Mark swam with the dolphins and stingrays. She reminisced about the trip to Canada with Chip and his wife, Linda. She loved snuggling with Mark and watching TV. She said he liked to act silly.

Last summer, Marissa convinced Mark to kayak for the first time in his life. She told Friday’s gathering that he was nervous. She said he looked up at her for strength and confidence. Then he paddled off, no problem.

“I told him he’d be good, do it,” Marissa said. “I told him I was his biggest cheerleader.”


Ray Duckler bio photo

Ray Duckler, our intrepid columnist, focuses on the Suncook Valley. He floats from topic to topic, searching for the humor or sadness or humanity in each subject. A native New Yorker, he loves the Yankees and Giants. The Red Sox and Patriots? Not so much.



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