Dr. Mark Timothy Rukavina
Tuesday 25th of November 1980 - Friday 18th of October 2019
Dr. Mark Timothy Rukavina of Louisville, Kentucky, beloved Husband of Sheri Greene Rukavina and Father to Luke Timothy Rukavina and Anna Love Rukavina, passed away at age 38 from a long and very courageous fight against cholangiocarcinoma on Friday, October 19, 2019 at 2:20 P.M.
Mark was born in Bossier City, Louisiana on November 25, 1980. He grew up in Louisville until the age of 11 when he moved to Lexington, Kentucky where he enjoyed playing baseball, basketball, tennis and swimming. He graduated from Lexington Catholic High School in 1999. In May of 2003, he graduated cum laude from Vanderbilt University with a major in Economics and a minor in Leadership and Organizations.
Mark went on to medical school at the Univerity of Louisville where he graduated as a Doctor of Medicine in 2009. Afterward, he completed three years of residency at the University of Louisville Department of Emergency Medicine. Upon graduation he started his career, working for Team Health and served as the Medical Director at Jewish East hospital in Louisville, Ky.
In addition to his wife and children, he leaves his father, Mark Wistrich Rukavina of Lexington, Ky and two brothers, Sean Patrick Rukavina (Jessica) of Lexington, Ky and Matthew Scallon Rukavina (Gabby) of Houston, Texas. He was predeceased by his mother, Linda Scallon Rukavina and by his son, Mark Richard Rukavina.
Friends may call from 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm on Thursday, October 24th at Milward - Man O'War located at 1509 Trent Blvd., Lexington. Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday, October 25th at 12:00 pm at Cathedral of Christ the King located at 299 Colony Blvd., Lexington 40502. Interment will follow in Calvary Cemetery located 874 West Main St, Lexington, KY 40508. Father Jim Sichko, Papal Missionary will officiate and Father Gino Donatelli, SJ will be presiding at Mass. Memorial contribution options can be made to: The Catholic Diocese of Lexington, c/o FJS Preaching Ministry, 1310 W. Main St., Lexington, KY 40508.
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Mark was one of the best docs I’ve ever had the privilege to work with. He was always sincere & genuine with his patients and staff he worked with. He will be so missed by all of those who knew and loved him.
David and Minnie Ontiverossays
I am so sorry for your loss Mija. GOD BLESS you, prayers going uour way, Love you
Sheri- Words can not express the sadness. Mark was such a wonderful man and always open to teaching others. Love to you and your beautiful children. Monica
One of the most memorized extra-biblical sentences in Christian thought is found at the beginning of Saint Augustine’s Confessions, “Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee.” My wife, Janey, constantly says Heaven is a prepared place for prepared people. Unquestionably, Mark was prepared to meet Jesus. I first met Mark about six years ago when he married my niece, Sheri. One of the things that immediately astonished me about Mark was his joy and compassion with life, and the huge number of devoted personal friends that he had. I was so honored and privileged to be asked to bless their marriage and pray for them at their wedding reception. Over the past five years, Mark and I grew very close. He became like a son to me. I was privileged to observe and share life with a remarkable young man who found so much joy in his work and his family. Yet, in the last five years he experienced great heartbreak with the tragic loss of his first born child and his mother. Last Christmas at our family gathering I gave Mark a copy of Thomas Merton’s autobiography, "The Seven Storey Mountain." As anybody who has ever read the Trappist monk Merton knows, he puts a hook in you the size of a battleship anchor and no matter how much one writhes and wriggles, you cannot break from him. Mark found great joy and motivation in reading Merton’s guiding principles about prayer, and finding our spiritual life seeking Jesus. A few days after Christmas we learned about his cancer diagnosis. A call for healing prayer was widely disbursed, on which hundreds joined and in which Mark felt great comfort. We were with him at the hospital the night before we were led to believe we were losing him, yet miraculously arrangements were made to transfer him to the Cleveland Clinic. Again, I was amazed to see the outpouring of love from his many devoted friends, many of whom made a special effort to travel to Cleveland to greet him there and support him. The outpouring of love, prayers, concern and financial support was simply awesome. We were amazed the liver transplant was so promptly arranged, and we prayed that this would restore Mark to a renewed and joyful life. The past few months Mark and I talked about how much he was looking forward to the family gathering for Thanksgiving and our going to spend a day at Gethsemane, the monastery outside Bardstown where Merton lived, taught, prayed and wrote sharing his gifted intellect. Well, Gethsemane has come to Mark by his coffin for the interment of his body, and Thanksgiving has come to Mark where we gather and pause to give glory, praise and thanks to God for the life of Mark and the incredible impact he has had on each of our lives. I cannot adequately explain the joy I had sitting with Mark discussing matters of life and our respective professions, the books we read, and the phone calls, emails and texts we exchanged, particularly during his illness. Now it is we who are heartbroken and grieving, while he is experiencing untold joy walking on streets of gold in the companionship of the greatest physician of all eternity, and I truly believe Mark is saying to our Savior “Jesus, we have to do something about this cancer thing.” Sheri’s grandfather and my wife’s father was an ob-gyn, who from the end of WWII to the early 1970’s delivered half the babies of Central Kentucky. He was the leading physician in the founding and building of Central Baptist Hospital and its maternity center in Lexington. He was the first chief of staff at Central Baptist, and was delivering babies into this world as the hospital was being publicly dedicated. Mark so exhibited the heart and personalized attention for his patients that my father-in-law manifested in his devoted duty to his patients and his profession. God gave Mark the excellent mind and skills of a physician, who served in the emergency room where he often was the first medical practitioner who held the lives of persons in his hands, while their family was looking at him with tears and pleading to rescue and save their loved one. With compassion he calmly carried out his vocational vows with every patient while giving hope and reassurance to that person and their family. Mark was the embodiment of the mindset that my wife’s father and Sheri’s grandfather lived by, that next to saving a person’s soul there is no greater vocational calling than saving a person’s life. Mark felt honored and blessed to serve in the medical profession and his vocational calling. We often talked about the commitment that he engaged every day, and the concern and compassion he would share with the patient and their family. And we talked a lot about his being a patient on the receiving end of medical attention. We both found it ironic that several young doctors at the Cleveland Clinic came in to him to discuss the manner of the care he was receiving and what could they do as doctors to improve the care they provided, so much so that we discussed his growing desire to resume practicing medicine by teaching. It is my respectful opinion that we have not only lost a most beloved family member, son, brother, husband, father, nephew and friend, but we have suffered a huge loss of a true professional in every sense of devotional duty to God and his Lord and Savior, to his vocation with skillful practice, teaching, and learning, and to his family and friends with love. It is a huge loss that is difficult to bear. I thank God for the invention of the I-Phone camera, as Kodak could not produce enough film to provide Mark’s wife, Sheri, the ability to take all the photographs she has taken of Mark with his children, that will enable them to always carry his image and memories in their hearts and their minds, and eventually share with their children, as Mark’s legacy lives on. Mark, thank you for sharing your life, your friendship, your compassion and your love with us. We love you, greatly miss you and are forever blessed from the impact you had on our lives. We weep over our loss of you, yet we rejoice and give thanks to God Almighty with all our hearts for the life He gave you and the brief time we were allowed to participate in your life. It has been a very memorable journey. Respectfully, Patrick Moores Lexington, KY
Marli and Heather Boticellisays
We are absolutely devastated with the passing of Mark. The Lord needed him more than we did . We both worked with Ruki during his residency at UL . He was such a humble man. There is no one like him. He was always so sweet, caring, and sure knew how to have a good time. He sure made the 12 hours go by quickly with his sense of humor. Lots of good memories with him. We will continue to pray for his whole family. He will always be watching over everyone ♥️♥️
Fr Jim Sichkosays
May God Bless and Renew you and your family! The Sichko family shares in your sorrow and supports you in this time!