Air Force Veteran Passes Away After Falling from Ladder Decorating for Christmas

by Clayton Edwards

One Arlington, Texas family will have a hard time seeing the cheer in the holiday season for years to come. Retired Air Force veteran, husband, and father Mark Roath died in a tragic accident just days after Thanksgiving.

On the morning of November 27th, Mark Roath was hanging Christmas lights at his Arlington home. The Air Force veteran was on a ladder decorating the roof and eaves. Then, something happened and he fell, striking his head on their paved driveway. His wife of 22 years, Tammy Roath, spoke to WFAA, a local ABC affiliate about the tragedy. She told the outlet that she doesn’t know how it happened. She was, however, the person who discovered Roath’s body on the lawn.

Tammy Roath said that she doesn’t believe Mark felt any pain. Instead, she believes that his head injury was enough to kill him instantly. We pray that she’s right.

Mark Roath’s Death is Especially Heartbreaking

Any death is a tragedy. That tragedy tends to multiply when deaths occur near the holidays. Mark Roath’s passing pushes that heartbreak a little further. For one, he had recently retired from the Air Force where he served for 38 years. Additionally, he loved Christmas and the holiday season in general. Tammy said that he looked forward to putting up decorations every year. His widow said that it would take Mark several days to get everything just right. For him, it was a labor of love.

Tammy Roath hopes that some good can come from the heartbreaking loss of her husband Mark. He hopes that his story will help raise awareness about safely decorating for the holiday season. “Don’t do it alone. Have a ladder that is secure,” she told WFAA. She added, “I want him to be proud of me. I want to continue representing him and our family.”

A Brief Look at the Air Force Veteran’s Service

According to a press release, Mark Roath served in the 301st Fighter Wing of the United States Air Force for 38 years. His fellow Wingmen remembered him as a kind and humble man with an unmatched work ethic who was dedicated to the Airforce and the 301st. The release states, “Mr. Roath continued to serve his country and the maintenance group that had become his second family.”

According to his obituary, Mark Roath reached the rank of Master Sergeant before he retired. He served two tours in Afghanistan, two in Iraq, and was part of Operation Desert Storm during the Gulf War.

In lieu of flowers, the Roath Family has asked people to donate to Folds of Honor, The Wounded Warrior Project, or Holidays and Heroes. This continues the late Mr. Roath’s legacy of generosity and dedication to his fellow service members.