Mark Allen Bilbrey

October 19, 1979November 6, 2018

Mark Allen Bilbrey, 39, died on Tuesday, November 6, 2018, from injuries sustained in a one vehicle accident in Nashville, TN. Mark was born October 19, 1979, in Nashville, TN. He graduated from Hume Fogg High School in Nashville in 1998. Never in danger of a shortage of degrees, Mark earned a BA in English from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in 2002, an MFA from the Iowa Writer’s Workshop at the University of Iowa in 2004, and a PhD in Literature from the University of Georgia in 2008. He served as a lecturer at the University of Wisconsin – Parkside through 2012. After leaving academia, Mark started the Paragraph Doctor, a freelance editing and tutoring business, and worked as the cheese monger at the Porter Road Butcher in Nashville. Mark was an avid musician, playing guitar in a rock band with his childhood best friends and trumpet in various big bands, jazz combos, and other groups. He was a lifelong poet and lover of literature. More recently, he developed a keen interest in birding and fine cheeses. Mark was a quiet soul, a loving son, a patient brother, a silly uncle, a quick and lasting friend, and a smiling face to everybody else that crossed his too short path in life. Mark is survived by his mother, Eve Bilbrey; his father and step-mother, Keith and Emy Joe Bilbrey; his brother and sister-in-law, Eric and Jessica Bilbrey, and their children, Amelia and Rory Bilbrey; his step-sister and step-brother-in-law, Stephanie and Charlie Warner, and their children, McKinley, Meredith, and Madden Warner; many beloved aunts, uncles, and cousins; countless friends; and a world of friends that he just hadn’t met yet. He is preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, Margaret and Walter Pruitt, and his paternal grandparents, Ethel and Leo Bilbrey. Visitation will be held on Friday, November 9, 2018, from 6:00 pm until 8:00 pm at Belmont United Methodist Church, 2007 Acklen Avenue, Nashville, TN. A memorial service will also be held at Belmont UMC on Saturday, November 10, 2018, at 11:00 am, with visitation beginning at 10:00 am. Rev. John Collett will officiate. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Friends of Radnor Lake, Tennessee Justice for our Neighbors, or a charity of your choice. “Won’t you be my neighbor?” – Fred Rogers

Woodlawn-Roesch-Patton Funeral Home, 660 Thompson Lane, Nashville TN 37204 615-383-4754


Mark Allen Bilbrey

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Tempest Earl

November 17, 2018

I was student of Professor Bilbrey's at UW-Parkside. I've always loved writing, but it was something about being in his classroom that made me feel alive. He taught me what it meant to be a poet, and he made me feel valid as a student and as a writer. I will never forget his lectures, his personality and kindness and his positive spirit. I am saddened by his passing and all those who will never get to experience what it's like to be one of his students. He will be dearly missed. My heart goes out to his family and close friends...

Phyllis Payne

November 13, 2018

Sending our deepest sympathies to the Bilbrey Family and Mark's other loved ones and friends...
Friends of Carol Bilbrey Joyner and the late Sandra Bilbrey Horner...

Jack and Phyllis Burgess Payne
Cookeville, Tennessee

Neal Anderson

November 12, 2018

Mark... you've been a good friend since our time in Athens as neighbors. After we both left that town we lost touch and I was thrilled to reconnect in Nashville as I returned there several times a year to visit family. I have lasting memories of your laughter and grace in my life. I attach this picture of us having a grand time at a Sounds game in May. I'll miss you. Godspeed.

Jamie Roskie

November 12, 2018

Mark and Sarah lived across the street from us in Athens. They were, by far, our favorite neighbors. We traded pet sitting, ate meals together, and appreciated and enjoyed each other's company. We lost touch a little bit when we all left Athens, but we'd recently been in touch again since Mark moved back to Nashville (where my husband's family lives). My husband was actually scheduled to see Mark next week. We're shattered by the news. He was one of the kindest men I have ever known. I will miss his gentle spirit, his wonderful writing, his observations about birds, and so many other things. The world is a poorer place without him. My love and prayers go out to his family, and to all the many people who loved him.

Mary Lenard

November 11, 2018

I worked with Mark at UW-Parkside. Actually, I was the chair of the Search and Screen committee that hired him, a decision that we never regretted. He was an energetic and gracious colleague, and I was so disappointed when he left us. We all loved him, and he really left his mark on the department.

Leslie and Ron Elliott

November 11, 2018

We have not seen Mark since he was a little fella back stage at the Opry where we met and became friends with his Dad, Keith Bilbrey. Our friendship started when Keith joined WSM and the Grand Ole Opry and has been very strong and solid ever since. We have shared many times with him and love him like family and this loss has hit us very hard, as we are hurting for Keith and his loss. We send our love, thoughts and prayers to Keith, Emy Joe, Eric and all of Mark's family and friends. Our Lord must have needed a very special Angel and he chose Mark - may he rest in peace. God be with you Keith and all your family and know that you all are in our prayers and thoughts now and always, Leslie and Ron Elliott.

Cindy Coronis

November 11, 2018

I am so sorry for your loss. May God wrap you and your family in His comforting arms.

Robin Adams

November 10, 2018

Sorry for your loss. Unfortunately I did not get to ever meet or become friends with Mark but I like and appreciate his love for Mr. Fred Rogers.

Diane Jordan

November 9, 2018

I never met either of your sons, but anyone who knows you, knows how close the three of you were. My heart aches for you now, and for your family. When I lost Larry, I learned that life happens and love lives on. I replay favorite memories over and over, as I know you will do with Mark.

Britnee Ramirez

November 9, 2018

I worked with Mark at UW-Parkside. The memory I want to share with you, those who knew and loved him best, is how Mark helped me through one of the most challenging times in my life. When my husband and I separated for a time, Mark helped me face my grief. By sharing his own heart ache and his healing process in his amazing Facebook rants--and by reading and responding to my own rants and sappy poetry--Mark made me feel less alone, less crazy, and more whole. November 6th is my birthday, and we were the same age, 39. I have started copying some of our old Facebook messages. I will reread them on my birthday to remember the simple truths they hold: to live with empathy, curiosity, humor, and love.