Marc Perez-Abergel was cautious of how he was dressed. His sweater always matched both his shirt and his hat, and on his fingers were always the same two sparkling gold rings. His loyalty to his image mirrored the loyalty he felt for his family and friends.
Marc passed away at his home in Toronto on August 31st when he succumbed to a blood clot that had lodged in his heart. He told his mother he loved her before falling to the floor, and suddenly, he was gone at the age of 26.
A quiet-spoken and reserved student at Laurier Brantford, Marc was nearing the completion of his honours degree in Journalism. He was ambitious, hardworking and dreamed of the day when he could fight for a spot on the staff list at the Toronto Star.
But before he could get there, Marc threw himself into his schoolwork and other activities that would help him perfect his reporting skills. He volunteered to take photos for the Sputnik and began writing for Suite101 in the summer.
Aside from being an excellent student and a talented writer, he was a wonderful friend.
Marc lived two doors down from me in first-year and for nearly three years, he had been a part of my life. Witty, genuine and unwaveringly dependable, he made an impact on all of us who knew him and grew to love him. He was always there for his friends, and even on my most miserable days, he could make me laugh by cracking his signature one-liners (“Do you need a tissue for your issue?”). There was no one else like him.
Marc’s easygoing nature allowed him to befriend many different types of people—from the most fastidious of students to the thugged-out chain smokers with diamond studs in their ears. He could talk to them all and they would all like him. Marc’s attitude was the perfect mix of work and play – he was focused on doing well in school, but knew when it was time to unwind (he especially liked his Jack Daniels).
“He was always the nicest and friendliest guy,” says Ian Robinson, a fourth year criminology student and Marc’s roommate for three years. “He always had a smile on his face. And you may not have been able to tell by looking at him, but he was also very funny.”
“He was my best friend,” he adds.
In his short life, Marc was passionate about many things. He loved baseball, evident by the characteristic baseball cap on his head, and he liked hip hop music, gambling for fun and praying to the Pro-line gods. Robinson recalls that after one big win, Marc treated his roommate to a victory dinner.
“He was just a very generous person,” says Robinson.
Above all things, what Marc loved the most was his family. He was fiercely family-oriented and always mentioned how his family came before anything.
“Whenever his parents were coming to Brantford or whenever he was going home, he was always so excited to see them,” remembers Robinson. “He would look forward to it for weeks.”
Loving to the very end, Marc was never afraid to show his genuine affection for the people in his life. And in an ideal world, he would still be here – joking, playing Xbox and furiously writing news stories. He would be walking across the stage at convocation with us in June and we would be “conquering Toronto journalism” together like we always planned.
But if there is such a thing as heaven, we know that Marc’s there. He is laughing his distinctive laugh, fishing to his heart’s content and waiting to see us again. We miss him.
Marc is survived by his mother, Linda, his father, Daniel, and his sister, Corinne.
For those who are interested in celebrating Marc’s life, a memorial will take place in the Read Lounge of the Carnegie Building (CB100) on October 4th from 4:30 until 5:30. Members of Marc’s family will be in attendance and are extending an invitation to all members of the Laurier community to contribute to a bursary fund in Marc’s name by donating a gift in his memory. More details for how people can contribute to this memorial fund will be available soon.