Mark Elliott Horwich of Spencer, W.Va. passed away Saturday, January 11, 2020 in a
Line of Duty Death accident while responding to a structure fire with Clover-Roane Volunteer
Fire Department. He was 51 years old. Mark was born in Sioux Falls, S.D. on January 22, 1968,
the son of Deanna Dean (Johnson) Horwich Caniglia of Ocala, Fla. and the late Bruce T.
In addition to his mother, Mark is survived by his wife, Sarah Ferrell Horwich and their
daughter Genevieve Horwich of Spencer, W.Va.; his son, Pierce Horwich and daughter Leven
Horwich of Papillion, Neb.; step-father Larry Caniglia of Ocala, Fla.; sister Julie (Larry)
Widman of Lincoln, Neb.; sister Suzanne (Darren Cowen) Horwich of Omaha, Neb.; brother
Danny (Katie) Horwich of Villa Park, Cal.; sister Kristi Rhoads of Belleville, Ill.; sister Jill
(Kevin) Chavez of Clearwater, Fla; special family member Anna Martinez of Spearfish, S.D.; as
well as nephews, nieces, extended family, and his many brothers and sisters in the fire service.
In addition to his father, Mark was preceded indeath by his step-father, Harold "Skee"
Mark graduated from Westside High School in Omaha, Neb. with the class of 1986 and
then went on to earn an Associate of Science degree in Mathematics from Northeast Community
College in Norfolk, Neb. Mark was a software developer since 1996 and in 2010 founded Fire
Station Software, which markets software to fire departments. He was employed by the Roane
County Board of Education in Spencer, W.Va. as a Technology Systems Specialist.
Mark's fire service career spanned 18 years. He became a firefighter in 2001, shortly
after the terror attacks on September 11, 2001 because he felt strongly about giving back and
protecting his community. Mark was a member of and Captain at the Boys Town Fire
Department, Boys Town, Neb., from 2001 until moving to West Virginia in December 2015. He
became a member of the Spencer-Roane Volunteer Fire Department in January 2016 and a
member of the Clover-Roane Volunteer Fire Department in September 2017, where he served as
Training Officer at both departments. Mark's many certifications included EMT-B, Firefighter I,
Firefighter II, Fire Instructor I, Fire Officer I, Hazmat, Emergency Vehicle Operations, First
Aid/CPR. Mark had just completed the exam for Fire Officer II the morning of his death. Mark
was a principle member of the NFPA 901 (Fire Reporting FIP-AAA) committee. In June 2017,
he was invited to and attended the National Fire Protection Associations's Big Data Summit in
Quincy, Mass., representing his software company.
Mark was an extremely loyal and dedicated man. He loved his wife and children dearly.
There is nothing he would not do for them. He took great pride in his accomplishments within
the fire service and with his business, however he was never boastful. If you needed something
done, you only had to ask Mark once and he would do it. He valued helping other people and
enjoyed solving problems. He was a whiz at math and computers and could solve a Rubik's
cube within seconds. He loved hiking in the Colorado Rockies and Appalachian Mountains. He
was a big Stephen King and Star Wars fan and enjoyed woodworking and completing household
projects in his spare time.
Service, with Full Firefighter's Honors, will be held at noon Saturday, January 18 at the
Roane County High School, Spencer, with the Rev. George A. Chandler officiating. Mark will
be laid to rest during a private graveside service at the Ferrell Cemetery along Route 36 in
The family will receive friends from 9:00 a.m. until the service hour Saturday at the high
Condolences may be expressed at www.taylorfuneralhomeinc.com