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A father’s love lives on

Good news lifts hearts.
That was especially true when Maryann Kauffman, whose husband Marco died in December, gave birth to their son Friday. Word spread instantly and happily.
Sweet mystery of life. The fact that little Marcus Landon Trace Kauffman was born on Valentine’s Day seemed to underscore the message that, even after the worst of tragedies, life goes on. Amid horror and loss and heartbreak, the world keeps turning and the sun shines again.
And it sends the message that, above all, Maryann and their baby are loved.
Marco Kauffman died much too young, only 25, in a tragic sequence of events that unfolded in western Rowan County. Marco and Maryann arrived home from vacation Dec. 2 to see a strange car that appeared to be broken down in front of their house on Chenault Road. Wisely, Marco took Maryann to a safe place before checking out the situation. When he returned, he found burglars raiding their house — burglars who fired shots and critically wounded the young father as he was calling authorities. A prolonged hospitalization ensued, raising hopes over and over only to dash them again. Finally, peacefully, Marco died on Dec. 20.
Nothing can undo that loss for the people who loved Marco. But family, friends and the community at large have stepped in to fill part of the void. Arrests were made, suspects charged. And throughout the ordeal, people have surrounded the young family with prayer, love, contributions and moral support in a way that reaffirms faith in humanity, despite the senseless acts of a few.
A lot of that support has come from people the Kauffmans may never know. As of Saturday afternoon, the “Remembering Marco, Praying for Maryann” Facebook page had 59,004 followers, and more than 16,000 people had “liked” the news about the Kauffman baby’s birth.
That’s reassuring. But the most important people are right here — the families that nurtured Marco and Maryann, the fellow members of Cleveland Believer’s Fellowship who lifted them in prayer, the neighbors and friends whose help is hands-on.
News reports about Marco’s death usually mention that he was a volunteer firefighter, and that he was. But, as his obituary weeks ago noted, he also worked for the family business building drawer boxes with his father and brother. He cheered for the Panthers, worshipped at church and sang in a prison ministry choir.
And, as Valentine’s Day underscored, Marco Kauffman was a loving husband and father. Godspeed to his young family and the many people who are keeping Marco’s love alive.

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