UT alumnus and deaf community proponent Mark Gobble killed in hit-and-run incident Sunday

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Mark Gobble, who recently finished his doctoral degree in educational psychology at UT, was killed in a hit and run accident Tuesday. Photo courtesy of family via KXAN

Mark Gobble, a 2012 UT alumnus, died in a hit-and-run incident while jogging on a sidewalk near West Slaughter Lane and Vinemont Drive in southwest Austin on Sunday morning.

Gobble, 37, was a husband and father of two children, a proponent for the deaf community, a UT PhD candidate, a teacher, a motivator and an avid skater and the founder of the skate shop Mark Skateboards. On Wednesday morning, Roman Jesus Turullos-Gonzalez, 20, was arrested in connection with the hit-and-run, according to a police affidavit released this afternoon.

“We will treasure our time with Mark, the teacher, mentor and leader and his role as middle school social studies teacher and associate and high school principal,” said Claire Bugen, superintendant at Texas School for the Deaf. “His passion for new knowledge is what lead him to UT for advanced study and I believe his work would have made major contributions to our field and we grieve that loss among so many other losses. Mark loved challenges, be they the mountains of Everest or the thrills of innovation in designing his own custom skateboards.”

Gobble was active in the TED community and served as a host for TEDx presentations focusing on issues affecting the deaf and hard of hearing community, said DJ Kurs, co-organizer of TEDxIslay. A presentation that Gobble was the host of, “Deaf in the Military,” was featured on the front page of TED.com.

“Less than one percent of all TEDx talks make it to TED.com,” Kurs said. “Mark was the emcee of the events and his presence added so much. He was able to frame the day into a context that inspired every attendee. He had a real passion for meaningful change and TEDxIslay was only part of his grand vision for the future. He had many academic and personal pursuits but above all, he was a husband and father.”

Assistant psychology professor Stephanie Cawthon said Gobble was a dedicated co-worker.

“He loved research, participating on many projects, including several here at UT,” Cawthon said. “Mark was very excited about his dissertation work and his upcoming move to Boston University. As a friend, Mark was a very loving and supportive person. Mark took on the world and never saw limitations in front of him, only opportunity. I will miss him greatly.”

A memorial service for Gobble will be held on Thursday. June 14 at 1:00pm at Mercury Hall in Austin.