Mark Metherell - former Navy SEAL [class#195]


running up that hill
Jan 3, 2007
in Wonderland, with my Alice

Brooks Street in Laguna Beach was lined with flags fluttering in the warm breeze Saturday afternoon. They were placed there by neighbors in memory of resident and U.S. military contractor Mark Barry Metherell, who was killed Thursday in Baghdad by a roadside bomb, according to family and neighbors.

Metherell, 39, was working on training efforts with the Iraqi forces, said father-in-law Peter Ochs. The former Navy SEAL would work about two months in Iraq at a time, and would come home in between to spend time with his wife and daughter.

"He was a wonderful, godly guy and a loving husband," Ochs said. "He was a gentleman in every respect."

He and his wife, Sarah, moved to Laguna Beach about 6 years ago, he said. The couple adopted a 1-year-old girl, Cora.

"He's just a nice guy," said neighbor Belinda Grosher. "He would say hi and chitchat. That's one of the things I'm going to miss."

When neighbors learned of Metherell's death, they staged an impromptu vigil Friday night. They placed candles, flowers and signs in front of the couple's home. One sign read, "The ultimate sacrifice for the world's freedom. Our condolences to the family of a true hero."

Clarke Brogger, who lives nearby, said he grew up with Sarah and met her husband after the two married.

"This has sent a shock wave through the community," Brogger said. "The street was packed with people who knew him and that speaks about what an amazing person he was. He was really inspiring to a lot of people. I'm super glad to have known him as long as I did."

Metherell, who grew up in North Laguna, attended Cate School, a private boarding high school north of Los Angeles. His parents and in-laws had been friends his entire life. He and his wife married in May 1999. Family members said they were very adventurous people.

"I'm so sorry this happened," said neighbor Harry Clurman, "He was always in harm's way."

Metherell is survived by his wife, Sarah; daughter, Cora; parents Alex and Pam Metherell; sisters Caroline Campbell and Alison Metherell; in-laws Gail and Peter Ochs; and sisters-in-law Kristi Young, Tori Cloud and Abigail Frederick.

The following was posted on his memorial website (

The memorial service for Mark will be at Mariners Church in Irvine, California this coming Saturday, April 19th, at 10am in the main sanctuary. Please visit for directions.

BURIAL IS SET FOR MONDAY, APRIL 21, 2008 AT 11:00 AM AT FORT ROSECRANS NATIONAL CEMETERY, SAN DIEGO, CA. For more information on directions, please call the cemetery at 619-553-2084.
RIP Mark Metherell. My thoughts and prayers out to those with whom he served, and to the members of his family and his friends back at home...