Janet Haudenschild feared that her husband, Mark, a volunteer firefighter, would one day get hurt in the line of duty, but she knew she couldn't stop him because he loved helping others.
Mark Haudenschild II died Sunday after the tanker truck he was driving rolled over as he responded to the scene of a brush fire. He leaves behind Janet, his wife of five years, along with a 3-year-old son and 1-year-old daughter.
“He always had a passion and wanted to get into firefighting,” Janet Haudenschild said Wednesday in a news conference. “Just the aspect of helping people…gave him a sense of accomplishment.”
Janet Haudenschild said her favorite memories of her husband were the simple things: Trips to the zoo with their kids and curling up on the couch to watch a movie together.
Since Haudenschild's death, Janet Haudenschild said, the local firefighting community has shown her “phenomenal, huge” support. The group Supporting Heroes, which aids families of police and firefighters after deaths in the line of duty, has dispatched a counselor to help her through the funeral and grieving process.
Janet Haudenschild said she is gathering newspaper clippings and other mementos to share with her children when they are old enough to understand their father's death. Her son “seems a little lost” and has been looking for his father, Haudenschild said.
“He loved the kids very much,” she said. “Our son was his buddy, our little girl he adored with all this heart.”
Viewing and funeral services for Mark Haudenschild have been set for Friday and Saturday, and a procession route was expected to be released Wednesday. The first viewing is set for 2 to 8 p.m. Friday at D.O. McComb Funeral Home, 1320 E. Dupont Road.
The second will be 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at The Chapel, 2505 W. Hamilton Road South, with the funeral service to follow immediately afterward. Mark Haudenschild will be laid to rest at Riverview Cemetery, 11425 Carroll Road, in Churubusco.