In Memory of



Obituary for Mark Early

Mark Anthony Early (December 29, 1963 – May 21, 2022)

Mark Anthony Early, 58, of Roanoke passed away Saturday, May 21, 2022 after a courageous 2 ½ year battle with stage IV pancreatic cancer. He was preceded in death by his father, Ellis Early and in-laws, Earl and Beulah Gilliam.

Mark was a 1986 graduate of Emory & Henry College with a major in Communications and Business Management. He later received his master’s degree in Corporate and Professional Communications from Radford University. Throughout his career he was a television news videographer in Kingsport Tn, Knoxville Tn, aboard Norwegian Cruise Lines and at WSLS TV 10 in Roanoke where he also served as a reporter for the agriculture and Spirit of Virginia segments. He left television news for a position at Franklin County High School where he developed the first television production curriculum for the school system and taught for many years. The last 20 years of his career were spent as Director of Communications for HopeTree Family Services, formerly Virginia Baptist Children’s Home. Mark also authored the book The Ballad of Sy Black.

His happiest days were spent reading, writing, and capturing the world’s beauty via his Nikon camera especially when his sons participated in various events. He also enjoyed listening to a variety of music and time in the mountains and at the beach, particularly his favorite spot at Ocean Isle.

He is survived by his wife Rhonda, who he adored and always made priority for nearly 33 years, and his son’s, Mason of New York City and Zachary (fiancée Hannah Zeigler) of Roanoke. Also left to cherish his memory are his mother, June Early; brothers, Glenn (Diane) and Danny (Connie) and sister, Hope (Kevin) along with his nephews, nieces and great nephews and nieces.

The family would like to thank the many caregivers who were part of Mark’s medical team these last few years.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, May 27, 2022 at Rosalind Hills Baptist Church with Rev. Brad Scott officiating. Following the service there will be a reception in the church fellowship hall. Interment will follow the reception at Fairview Cemetery, Buchanan, VA.

The family will receive friends on Thursday, May 26, 2022 from 5 until 8 p.m. at Oakey’s South Chapel.

In lieu of indoor plants the family requests consideration be given to outdoor plants for inclusion in a memorial garden on the family farm or donations in Mark’s memory to HopeTree Family services in Salem, Va.