Mark Crumbo O’Neill was born at Port Hueneme Naval Base hospital near Oxnard, California on May 28, 1954 to Patricia Loling Evans Elliott and Ted O’Neill. Mark’s stepfather, Major Thomas Elliott, was a Marine Corps pilot and Mark spent his youth in Hawaii, Rhode Island, Utah and Coronado, California.
As a teenager, Mark was always drawn to water. He was one of the youngest people in Coronado to earn a sailboat skippers license. He swam competitively and played water polo in high school and continued swimming at Amateur Athletic Union. Meanwhile, he became an accomplished surfer and earned his scuba diver certification.
Mark spent his summers working as a beach lifeguard for the city of Coronado while attending his last two years of high school and his first two years at Grossmont Junior College. He was offered a full ride scholarship to USC for water polo, but turned it down to seek other adventures. He spent a few years at Montana State University and worked on a sheep ranch in Gallatin Gateway, Montana. He later moved to Logan, Utah and graduated from Utah State University.
While in college in Utah, Mark spent his summers as a river guide for Holiday River Expeditions (1976-79) and later with Grand Canyon Expeditions. After honing his skills as an accomplished boatman, he was hired by Grand Canyon National Park as a seasonal river ranger. This started Mark on his long and rewarding career with the federal government. Mark worked with the U.S. Border Patrol in Campo, California for two years. At that point, Grand Canyon National Park hired him back as a permanent law enforcement officer river ranger. Mark served in many varied and challenging emergency services positions at Grand Canyon National Park. After his adventurous Grand Canyon days, Mark became chief ranger at Nez Perce National Historical Park in Idaho. In 1996, he moved his family to Olympic National Park where he worked as a park ranger until his retirement in 2016. He achieved many awards and honors for his professionalism during his 30-year career with the National Park Service.
Mark died Sept. 13, 2021 alongside his brother, Kim Crumbo, on a four-day canoe trip to Yellowstone National Park. They were doing what they loved together. Their deaths came as a shock and are deeply felt among family members, friends and their vast communities of peers. Mark leaves behind his wife Karin Lowrie; son Cameron O’Neill; stepson Matthew Wadsworth; twin sister Toni Kelly of Dolores, Colorado; and brothers Keith Crumbo of Fallbrook, Calif. and Britt Elliott of Vallejo, Calif.; as well as their families.