Mark J. (Flash) Zirpolo
August 29, 1949 ~ December 12, 2020
At 4:48 am on December 12, 2020 in the quiet glow of white Christmas lights God took Mark by the hand and gently led him “Home” to perfect peace and complete and total healing.
Mark was born in Medford, MA as the second son of Joseph and Rose Zirpolo. His first home was in Stoneham where his father worked in the Post Office and his grandfather owned and operated a large construction business.
At about the age of 7, Mark moved with his mother and brother Peter to Pelham, NH where they lived in a 1700’s farmhouse with his mother’s best friend Helen and her family. He had many fond memories and funny stories about having no running water, the old hay barn, the horses, and small animals and especially the lifelong friendships he made there with Billy and Karen Lehan.
The blended families spent time later in Manomet where both mothers were employed doing advertising for The Priscilla Beach Theatre at White Horse Beach and the children enjoyed the sun, sand, and all things “Summer”.
When Mark was 9, they all moved to Cape Cod and lived on Old Main Street in South Yarmouth. Working in real estate the mothers moved into and bought and sold many homes in the area. Marks’ favorite was the house on River Street which he always pointed out whenever he drove by.
Living there was like a history page of quieter simpler times. A time where Hamblins garage and Fran Hamblin provided fuel and service to the community and patiently sold penny candy to the local children. A time with no traffic and Cape Codders didn’t lock their doors. He and Billy had great times together fishing, boating, and riding their bikes. They also enjoyed getting into mischief, like accidently setting a barn on fire.
Mark attended Yarmouth Elementary, John Simpkins and DY High School.
As a young man Mark worked for Local 23 Union in Boston where he began to learn carpentry and worked on everything from subways to skyscrapers.
In the 1970’s and 80’s he took part in the Cape Cod building boom and used his hammer in subdivisions from Sandwich to Provincetown and the Islands. He would become a skilled carpenter and in later years felt very privileged to become part of the remodeling crew for the Coast Guard Station on the Cape Cod Canal and the Federal Building in Boston.
After many years in carpentry, he decided he wanted to try his hand at commercial shell fishing and loved it. The sunshine, salt air and flat bottom skiff helped him to make a nice living at it. To make extra money during those years he obtained a contract to plow snow for the Town of Barnstable and took great pride in keeping the school parking lots cleared and safe with his tendency toward perfection.
After several years of shell fishing Mark soon decided he wanted a bigger boat and a bigger challenge. In 1990 he fulfilled a childhood dream and bought his 28’ J.C. Fishing boat which he fondly named the “Flashy Lady”. He chased tuna and enjoyed taking friends and family for rides to Vineyard and Nantucket. One year he decorated the boat and took part in the Christmas Parade in Hyannis Harbor with his Mom and wife aboard. His mom talked about it for years.
In 1996 Marks brother Peter was planning a trip to Sturgis, South Dakota to attend the annual motorcycle rally and Mark and Gloria decided at the last minute to go with him. While they were there, Mark borrowed one of his brother’s bikes and had the time of his life. Not long after returning home, he bought his first Harley.
When the fishing industry as a whole began to struggle Mark sold the Flashy Lady and took part in a program for displaced fisherman that assisted him in obtaining his CDL license.
With his CDL in place, in 1998 he began working part-time for a company hauling U.S. Mail. It wasn’t long before it became full-time.
In 2003 as a testament to his hard work and self-discipline he made another dream come true and started Zirpolo Trucking, an independent U.S. Mail hauling company which he proudly operated until October 2018 when he retired.
Mark was a member of the Cape Cod 5th Chapter Clean and Sober Motorcycle Club for over 20 years and served as President for 10 of those years. He was a friend of Bill W. for 33 years. He was passionate about trucks and motorcycles and had his share of both. What Mark lacked in education he made up for in hard work, good common sense, determination, and impeccable attention to detail. He built a campfire like a work of art.
Despite his many health challenges over the years he always turned the storms into stories. He made a calm courageous commitment to live one day at a time and to trust God. His church was the sun, the sky, the wind, the water. He beat the odds in every single area of his life.
His warm laugh, deep blue eyes and charisma will be missed by all who knew him.
Marks is predeceased by his brother Peter Zirpolo of Buzzards Bay. He is survived by his wife Gloria, the love of his life and best friend for nearly 50 years. His daughter of whom he was so proud, Danielle Souba, his grandson Austin Zirpolo and great grandson Grayson Zirpolo of Cocoa, Florida, his nephew Conrad Zirpolo of Mashpee, grandnieces Corie Zirpolo and Chloe Zirpolo and grand grandnephew Hudsyn of Monument Beach, cousin Ashana Michaels of Daytona, Florida and best friends Billy Lehan and Karen LaLonde of Louden, New Hampshire.
In lieu of donations, please share your love with one another and enjoy each day.
A Celebration of Life will take place at a later date.
Mark and Gloria would like to say a special thank you to his best friend Billy and his sister Karen, to Greg St. Laurent who Mark loved not just as a friend, but as a son, his wife Kathy for her compassion and for moving mountains on our behalf. Jimmy Vigneau for his willingness to always help and his wife Patty who Mark loved and thought of as a daughter. “Froggie” for keeping Mark company at the coffee shop and for keeping him laughing. Bruce Sabatinelli for helping to keep both Mark and his trucks up and running, Chris Simmons for his genuine concern and generosity, our ‘forever family” the Cape Cod Fifth Chapter and Kelley for her consistent check-in calls and Mass General Hospital and Cape Cod Hospital for their good medicine.
Romans 8:28 “We know that in everything God works for good with those who love Him.” God is good. May he bless you all. We are so grateful. It has been" A Wonderful Life”.