By Rose Crompton
Mark was born in Port Augusta Hospital on June 17, 1967, the youngest son of Patricia and the late, John Lenard Crompton. Mark was well-known in the community as a family man, whose passion for his work was evident in everything he did.
With nine older siblings; seven brothers and two sisters, Mark grew up in Iron Knob and attended Iron Knob Primary School and then Whyalla High School until Year 10. After Whyalla High School, Mark left school in pursuit of work at various sheep stations in the north of South Australia. Working at Siam, Hiltaba and Miller’s Creek station’s where he discovered a love of the land, blue heeler’s and motorbikes.
Mark and I met in 1990 at the Iron Baron Community Club. I was at the time, working as the local Primary School teacher. We shared garlic bread together, unaware that we would share our future lives together. I suppose it was from there, our friendship and love grew for each other.
Mark gave up his work on the sheep stations and gained various jobs with Whyalla Fencing, BHP and Barry Hales Removalists. At the end of 1991, we moved to Whyalla and were engaged. Mark gained employment at the Whyalla City Council and commenced work on the 11th November 1992. This involved him in various operations, including driving trucks, backhoe and grader operator.
Our first child, Melissa Antoinette, was born on December 19, 1992 and it was during that time we started making plans for our wedding. However, our marital plans were postponed, when I fell pregnant with twins, Kayla Rose and Leanne Teresa, who were born on 8th December 1993. Mark and I were married on 8th October 1994 at St Pius X Church, Dernancourt.
In addition to his work at the Whyalla City Council, Mark took on a second job at Steel City Coaches in October 1999, where he found his love for coach driving.
Driving was more of a hobby, not a job!
He developed a great rapport with his passengers, and was part of the group, not just their driver.
In 2005, both Mark and I became affiliate members of St John Volunteer’s and the following year, Mark left his job with the Council and Steel City Coaches and moved to his dream job with Premier Roadliners in 2006. He was over the moon about his position with the company. He wore a smile on his face that no-one or anything could wipe off.
On Friday, July 14, Mark was involved in a tragic work accident that took his life. Mark’s funeral was held at Our Lady Help of Christians on July 20, with touching tributes given by his daughter’s Melissa, Kayla and Leanne, his nephew Shane, his cousin Robert Dillon and work colleague Alby Niemann (from Whyalla City Council).
A loving husband, proud dad and a dedicated coach driver are amongst the things that he will be remembered for. Melissa, Kayla and Leanne describe him as a practical joker and a loving dad who made a huge difference in their lives. He always encouraged them and others to reach their full potential.
I will always remember Mark for his friendly smile, his wicked sense of humour and his heart of gold. I’m sure that he’ll be looking down now, telling us all to “stop being a sooky la la.”