Vale Mario Pieris, who lived a full life – By Lawrence Machado

Vale Mario Pieris, who lived a full life – By Lawrence Machado

Vale dear friend, Mario Pieris. I cannot believe you are gone so soon. You were always the cheeky but reliable altar server at St Lawrence’s Church, Wellawatte. Father of four, Mario, died peacefully in a Seattle hospital yesterday.

We served many times together for the daily, Sunday, Christmas, Easter, and feast days, which were so special to us. You were the very popular bell ringer when we went for our Madhu pilgrimage with St Lawrence’s in the seventies.

You were later the handsome charmer and talented sportsman at St Lawrence’s youth club before going on to be a flamboyant rugby star, helping St Joseph’s College, Colombo, re-establish themselves as a highly-respected side. You were also a top Scout leader at college. I am glad we caught up in Sri Lanka many moons ago and spent time together reminiscing about old times, family and friends. Mario, you never lost your kindness, your love for life and those around you, you always kept in touch with old friends and remained true to yourself.

I remember the many good times we spent at the church and at your home which was always a warm place, thanks to your wonderful family. Tears come to my eyes as I picture your impish and infectious smile, which made us unable to be angry with you for long, even if you did something to annoy us. You were a bright star whose light brought sunshine to those around you.

Your legacy will live on through your lovely sons, Alex, Aston, Andrew and Kaden, who all have your wonderful genes. I hope I can meet them someday. May God grant strength and comfort to your sisters, Diane, Karen and Yvette and their families, your extended family and all your friends around the world .

Like your close friend Basil, Marcelline put it so well: “Mario would always say: ‘Living the life’ and what a life he lead! Going to miss him dearly.”

May the turf lie gently on you my dear friend. Till we meet again.

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