Update: A memorial college fund for Mark Gobble’s children, Trent and Shanna, has been established by the Texas School for the Deaf. Find out how to contribute on the school’s homepage.
When a truck swerved across multiple lanes on Slaughter Lane and jumped a curb early Sunday morning, 37-year-old Mark Gobble didn’t have the chance to move out of its way. Gobble was deaf—he didn’t hear the truck swerving off the road.
The UT PhD candidate was rushed to University Medical Center Brackenridge, where he later died of his injuries, just one day shy of his 38th birthday. Gobble leaves behind a wife, two kids, and a remarkable legacy in the deaf community. The truck was found crashed a few blocks away, and Austin police say they have identified the driver but have yet to make an arrest.
Before he began studying educational psychology on the Forty Acres, Gobble worked at the Texas School for the Deaf as a history professor and associate principal of its high school. He also played a key role in the creation of TEDxIslay, a convention that brings innovative movers and shakers together to help the deaf community advance.
Gobble was recently hired as a faculty member at Boston University. He also ran a successful skateboard business, Mark Skateboards, that specializes in limited edition skateboard decks.
According to KXAN, Gobble was featured in a 2007 documentary called “Team Everest: A Himalyan Journey” as he and a group of disabled hikers climbed Mount Everest. In the film, he advised his viewers: “Go out. See the world. Do what you want to do.”
At UT, Mark served on a team of graduate research assistants under assistant professor Stephanie Cawthon, studying issues of the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities.
“Some phrases that come to mind about him from our team here at UT: incredible communicator, bright, articulate, wealth of information, and passionate about what he did,” Cawthon says. “Personally, he had a wonderful sense of friendship, huge hugs, and was a true friend.”
His memorial service will be held this Thursday at 1 p.m. at Mercury Hall in Austin.
Gobble is the second UT student to be killed in a month. Sophomore Erick Whitaker passed away shortly after being shot on May 27.
From left: Leslie, Trent, Mark, and Shanna Gobble. Photo courtesy KEYE TV.