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Edmonds' Mark San Diego: Lynnwood Police Mourn Loss of One of Their Own

San Diego's bravery earned him a Medal of Valor for an incident in 1996.

The following was submitted by Shannon Sessions, public information officer for the Lynnwood Police Department.

Lynnwood Police Reserve Officer Mark San Diego, who lived in Edmonds, died on Feb. 22 surrounded by his family and friends after after being diagnosed with cancer a few months ago.

San Diego served Lynnwood for 24 years.

The Lynnwood Police Guild Web site  posted the following: “We will miss our brother in blue and our dear friend. Our police family is saddened by this difficult loss; however, we stand strong forever for his family.”

While a reserve officer is paid a small stipend, the 62-year0ld San Diego essentially volunteered his time to serve the public and put himself at risk.

For the past eight years, San Diego’s day job was spent protecting the Snohomish County Court House as a marshal in the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office Security Unit.

His supervisor there, Sgt. Dave Hayes, said it was clear Mark loved the job and the camaraderie.

“We lost a great public servant in Mark San Diego,” Hayes said. “He was funny, full of life and loved what he was doing.”

Mark was beloved and respected by many at Lynnwood Police Department.

Lynnwood Police Chief Steve Jensen said San Diego served the Citizens of Lynnwood and the Lynnwood Police Department with dedication and honor for 24 years.

“His death is a sad event in the lives of all City and Lynnwood Police Departmental staff. He will be missed and remembered with fondness and respect.”

Lynnwood Police Sgt. Jon Grabinski said not only was San Diego a fine man but he was also a combat marine in Vietnam and was honored for an extraordinary act of bravery with the Medal of Valor for an incident in 1996.

Grabinski was on duty the night of the incident.

“It was late one night in 1996 when a call came in to 911 regarding a knife fight at a Lynnwood convenience store. There was a large crowd that had formed and Mark was the first to arrive on scene.

The suspect who was still armed with the knife wouldn’t comply. Mark could have done a number of things at this point, even use deadly force, but instead he went hand-to-hand with him and disarmed the suspect of the knife and took him into custody all by himself.”

Grabinski added, “Mark is smaller in stature, which made it even more extraordinary.”

Many officers and staff have said San Diego was fun to be around. Everyone liked and respected him and he’ll be missed by many.

San Diego is survived by his wife Teresa, sons Mike and Mark, daughter Lisa and her husband Mike and his grandson, along with his mother Betty and a large extended family.

Adam Ballout February 28, 2012 at 04:52 AM
Officer San Deigo was a wonderful public servant and a class act. He showed everyone he dealt with respect and will be deeply missed. I'll never forget his kindness and willingness to help out in many difficult situations. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Alex Breen February 28, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Great guy good friend loving dad RIP buddy u left us way to early
soleille March 01, 2012 at 12:57 AM
Officer San Diego used to be around the lynnwood skate deck and bowling alley on weekends about 10- 14 yrs ago. from the time i was 13-16 he was there for me, keeping me in line and out of trouble when my dad was at work. and he gave me "karate lessons" he'd say, "what ya gonna do if someone does........this!" and before ya knew it, you were on your butt! i'd tell my friends, "ya gotta come meet my cop friend, he'll beat ya up!" lol. he always told me to not hang out with the wrong crowd and do my school work and those 4 yrs i knew him made a huge impact on my life. the last time i saw him he told me i wouldnt see much of him anymore because he was gonna be a sheriff. i was sooo upset, and he said, "what, you think i'm gonna hang out with you every friday night for the rest of my life!" I said, "yeah, why not?" lol. i'm so happy he did what he wanted to and accomplished what he said he would. i dont even know if he would remember me but i know i'll never forget him. i wish he knew how much he changed my life, and what a blessing it was to have a good male role model around. he was a real man, a godly man an honorable man. thats so rare these days, bless god for men like him that reminnd you there's still hope, that all is not lost. that god is still working, still among us and reaching out through people like officer san diego. i cant wait to get home and tell him myself.
Brian Soergel March 01, 2012 at 02:32 AM
Thanks for all the wondering comments about Mark San Diego. It seems like he was a wonderful person.
Nathan San Diego March 02, 2012 at 06:21 PM
thank you so much for writing this.
Brian Soergel March 02, 2012 at 06:35 PM
Thanks for writing, Nathan.

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