လၢ KOM အတၢ်ကရၢကရိအပှၤမၤသကိးတၢ်အခၢၣ်စး, ပအဲၣ်ဒိးပာ်ဖျါထီၣ်ပတၢ်သူၣ်အုးသးအုး ဆူ ပပှၤမၤသကိးတၢ်လၢတၢ်အဲၣ်ဘၣ်အီၤ သရၣ်မၤနၢၤအတၢ်လဲၤပူၤကွံာ်ဟီၣ်ခိၣ်အံၤန့ၣ်လီၤ.
သရၣ်မၤနၢၤမ့ၢ်တ့ၢ် ဒီပုၢ်ဝဲၢ်ခွါ, မ့ၢ်ဖါတံၢ်, မ့ၢ်ဖု, မ့ၢ်ခိၣ်နၢ် ဒီး မ့ၢ်တံၤသကိးလၢပှၤအါဂၤအဂီၢ်န့ၣ်လီၤ. အဝဲအတၢ်ဟ့ၣ်လီၤသး လၢတၢ်မၤဂ့ၤမၤစၢၤပှၤဂၤ ဟဲခီဖျိလၢ အတၢ်နၢ်ပၢၢ်ပှၤအဂၤ, အတၢ်သ့ၣ်ညါနၢ်ပၢၢ် တုၤထီၣ်ထီၣ်ဘး, အတၢ်ဆီၣ်လီၤသး, အတၢ်သ့ရ့ တံၤရ့သကိး, ဒီးအိၣ်ဒီးသးလၢအသူၣ်ဆူၣ်သးဂဲၤ အဃိ န့ၣ်လီၤ. တံမၤနၢၤမ့ၢ်ပှၤလၢ အဟ့ၣ်လီၤတ့ၢ်အသးလၢာ်လၢာ်ဆ့ဆ့တဂၤန့ၣ်လီၤ. အဝဲဟ့ၣ်လီၤအသးမၤဝဲ အဂ့ၤကတၢၢ်လၢကမၤစၢၤ ပှၤလၢလိၣ်ဘၣ်တၢ်မၤစၢၤတဖၣ် ဒီးကဲထီၣ်တၢ်မၤစၢၤအတိၤတဘိလၢ အပှၤ မၤသကိးတၢ်တဖၣ်အဂီၢ်လၢကျဲအါမး, ဒီးခီဖျိလၢအဝဲဒၣ်အဃိ, အပှၤမၤသကိးတၢ်တဖၣ် ထံၣ်န့ၢ်အီၤ ဒ် အမ့ၢ်တံၤသကိးလၢတၢ်နာ်န့ၢ်အီၤသ့တဂၤန့ၣ်လီၤ. ပှၤလၢအထံၣ်လိာ်သးဒီးအီၤအခီၣ်ထံး တဘျီဝံၤအလီၢ်ခံ, နံၣ်တဖၣ်လဲၤပူၤကွံာ်ဘၣ်ဆၣ်, ပှၤလၢတံမၤနၢၤမၤစၢၤဘၣ်တ့ၢ်သ့ၣ်တဖၣ် အဲၣ်ဒိးဟဲထံၣ်လိာ်ကဒါက့ၤသးထဲ ဒၣ်ဒီးအီၤတဂၤဧိၤ မ့ၢ်လၢအဝဲမ့ၢ်ပှၤလၢ ပှၤနာ်န့ၢ်အီၤ, ဒီးမ့ၢ်ပှၤမၤနံၤမၤအ့အဝဲသ့ၣ် ဒီး အဝဲတူၢ်ဘၣ်ဝဲ ဒ်သိးအမ့ၢ်အတံၤသကိးတဖၣ်အဃိန့ၣ်လီၤ.
တံမၤနၢၤမ့ၢ်စ့ၢ်ကီးပှၤတဂၤလၢ အတၢ်ဘၣ်ထွဲ, အတၢ်ဘျးစဲလိၣ်သးဒီးပှၤဂၤအိၣ်ဝဲအါမးတဂၤ န့ၣ်လီၤ. လၢတၢ်ဂ့ၢ်အံၤအဃိ, အဝဲမ့ၢ်ပှၤလၢအဃုအါထီၣ် ကျိၣ် စ့လၢအဂ့ၤကတၢၢ်တဂၤန့ၣ်လီၤ. ဖဲ 2012 နံၣ်, KOM ဃုအါထီၣ်စ့လၢ တၢ်က ပှ့ၤ van သိလ့ၣ်အသီတခိၣ်အဂီၢ်အခါ, အဝဲဃုအါထီၣ်စ့ န့ၢ်အါန့ၢ်ဒံး ပှၤဃုအါထီၣ်စ့အပှၤဘၣ်မူဘၣ်ဒါဒၣ်လဲၣ်န့ၣ်လီၤ. အဝဲနီၤလီၤ အတၢ်သ့ၣ်ညါနၢ်ပၢၢ်ဒီး တၢ်ဘျးစဲလိာ်သး တဖၣ်ဒီး ပှၤလၢအလိၣ်ဘၣ်ဝဲ ဖဲလၢအဝဲသ့ၣ်တသ့ၣ်ညါလၢ ကကဲဘျုးထဲလဲၣ်ဒၣ်လဲၣ်န့ၣ်လီၤ. ပဝဲ KOM အပှၤမၤသကိးတၢ်အါဂၤ သ့ၣ်နီၣ်ထီၣ်က့ၤ အတၢ်ထံၣ်လိာ်သးအဆိကတၢၢ်တဘျီ ဒီးတံမၤနၢၤဖဲ အဝဲသ့ၣ်အတၢ်ဟဲတုၤသီဖဲ အမဲရၤကၤအပူၤန့ၣ်လီၤ. အဝဲမ့ၢ်ပှၤလၢအမၤစၢၤအဝဲသ့ၣ်လၢ တၢ်လဲၤဆဲးလီၤ မံၤလၢ ESL အတီၤ, မၤစၢၤအဝဲသ့ၣ်လၢကဒိးန့ၢ် တၢ်နီၣ်သိလ့ၣ်အလံာ်ပျဲ, ဒီးဒုးဘျးစဲအဝဲသ့ၣ်ဒီးသရိာ်စိၤမိၤ, ဒီးဟ့ၣ်ဂံၢ်ဟ့ၣ်ဘါ အဝဲသ့ၣ်တဖၣ်လၢကပတံထီၣ်တၢ်မၤဖဲ KOM အံၤဒၣ်လဲၣ်န့ၣ်လီၤ. ဘၣ်ဆၣ်အဝဲ တၢ်ဆီၣ်ထွဲမၤစၢၤ တကတၢၢ်ဖဲန့ၣ်ဧိၤန့ၣ်ဘၣ်.
ဒ်ပှၤမၤတၢ်ဖိအကျါတဂၤလၢအမၤတ့ၢ်တၢ်ယံာ်ကတၢၢ်ဖဲ KOM တဂၤအသိး, အဝဲဟ့ၣ်ကူၣ်ဟ့ၣ်ဖး ပှၤမၤသကိးတၢ်ဖိလၢအစးထီၣ်မၤသီတၢ်တဖၣ်, ဒီးပှၤမုာ်သးမၤကလီတၢ်တဖၣ် ဒီးပှၤအါဂၤထံၣ်အီၤဒ်အမ့ၢ် ပှၤလၢအအိၣ်ဒီးတၢ်သ့ၣ်ညါနၢ်ပၢၢ်အလၢအပှဲၤလၢ အတၢ်ဖံးတၢ်မၤအပူၤတဂၤန့ၣ်လီၤ. အဝဲမ့ၢ်အိၣ်ဒီး တၢ်လဲၤခီဖျိအါထဲလဲၣ်ဘၣ်ဆၣ်, အဝဲအတၢ်ပာ်သူၣ်ပာ်သးလၢအ ပှၤမၤသကိးတၢ်အဖီခိၣ်အိၣ်ဒီး တၢ်ထဲသိးတုၤသိး, သးအနံၣ်အလါဒီးတၢ်ကူၣ်ဘၣ်ကူၣ်တဒုးလီၤဆီတၢ်နီတမံၤလၢအဝဲဒၣ်အဂီၢ်န့ၣ်ဘၣ်. အဝဲထီဘိမ့ၢ်ပှၤလၢအဆီၣ်လီၤသး, အဝဲတမဲာ်ဆှးလၢ ကဃ့တၢ်မၤစၢၤလၢပှၤဂၤအအိၣ်စ့ၢ်ကီးဘၣ် ဒီး မ့ၢ်ပှၤလၢကွၢ်ဃီၤတၢ်ဆူညါ လၢကန့ၢ်ဘၣ် တၢ်ခွဲးတၢ်ယာ် လၢကမၤလိန့ၢ်တၢ်အသီကွ့ၢ်ကွ့ၢ်အဂီၢ်န့ၣ်လီၤ.
တံမၤနၢၤကဘၣ်တၢ်သ့ၣ်နီၣ်အီၤ ခီဖျိအတၢ်ဟ့ၣ်လီၤအသးလ့ၤတုၤလ့ၤတီၤလၢအပှၤတဝၢအဂီၢ် ဒီးတၢ်ဆိကမိၣ်တၢ်ထီလၢပှၤဂၤအဖီခိၣ် ဒီးအတၢ်နံၤတၢ်အ့လၢအဘၣ်ကူဘၣ်ဂာ်ပှၤဂၤအဃိန့ၣ်လီၤ. အဝဲ ကဘၣ် တၢ်သ့ၣ်နီၣ်အီၤလၢပဝဲကိးဂၤဒဲးဒိၣ်ဒိၣ်ကလဲၣ်န့ၣ်လီၤ. မ်ပသရၣ်သးဘိ မၤနၢၤစီ အိၣ်ဘှံးလၢတၢ်မုာ် တၢ်ခုၣ်အပူၤန့ၣ်တက့ၢ်.
Thara Marner Saw was a brother, uncle, grandfather, leader, and friend to so many. His dedication to helping others came from a place of deep understanding, extensive knowledge, humility, friendship, and an encouraging heart. Tee Marner gave everything his all. He worked hard to help his clients and co-workers find the resources they needed, and through him they also found a trusted friend.
Culture Broker, Lwepaw Kacher, remembers, “Tee Marner was very present in the community, and was available to everyone who needed him. When it came to helping, he gave it his all, up until his last breath. He was very thoughtful and down to earth. He must have been through hardships, but he knew how to enjoy himself. I remember one time when he helped me with a difficult client appointment at the court, and afterwards, we stopped at a local ice cream shop and shared ice cream together. No matter what difficult situation you were in, he would be your brother, friend, leader, … there was something very special about him.”
Tee Marner seemed to have all the connections. For this, he was the best fundraiser and travel planner anyone could have.
“When I first started at KOM in 2012 I was in the fundraising role working on raising funds to get a new van, and Marner out-fundraised me. He was really good at connecting with people and telling stories,” recalls Alexis Walstad, Co-Executive Director.
Family Assister Sawchritheh Sayoo shares his memories of Marner, “Our friendship started in 1997 when we were in high school together and graduated the same year. I remember when we were in school, everyone said he was the one who had good connections with other people from other communities, not just in the Karen community. We wanted to go somewhere but had no connections with Thai people, but he did. He arranged the travel for us, providing boats, cars, and everything.”
He shared his knowledge and connections with anyone who needed it, even if they did not know how great a benefit it would be. Many of our current KOM staff remember first meeting Tee Marner shortly after they arrived in the U.S. He was the one who got them to enroll in ESL classes, helped them pass their driver’s test, connected them to a Karen church, and even encouraged them to apply to work at KOM.
“Tee Marner was the one who got me a job at KOM. He was the one who enrolled me in a program and ESL class at Hubbs Center and helped me get county benefits. Later, he would pick me up in the morning from my apartment and take me to KOM to volunteer. When there was an open position, he was the one who encouraged me to apply. He was my reference, and I will never forget that,” shares Eh Tah Khu, Co-Executive Director.
“He was a very encouraging person to me and he took me for my road test. I got my driver’s license because of him,” says Laymu Paw, Program Manager for New Arrival Services.
“When I had car troubles, he helped me and would pick me up all the time. He was a very good guy with an open and big heart for his community,” says Ner Mu, Program Manager for Community Health.
But, his support didn’t stop there.
As one of the longest members of the KOM staff, he often advised new staff and volunteers, and many saw him as an expert. Even with all this experience, he treated everyone as equals, no matter their age or education level.
Youth and Family Coach Lah Tha Pwee recalls, “He was someone who really got down to our level, especially someone as young as me, and he could be friends with anyone. Sometimes we would joke with each other, and even though he’s an elder, he would joke with me as a friend. I only got to work with him for under a year, but I always felt like he respected me as I am, and he never looked down on me.”
Mu La Tu, who was one of our first staff in Marshall in 2014, and rejoined our staff this May, reminisces about her connection with Marner, “I know KOM from him. He brought me to KOM to volunteer so I could build up my experience. He treated me as his friend. When I didn’t know much English, he always supported me with his words. Once, when I thought I would give up on school, he told me to think of my future. I can’t find all the words to describe him. He was like my father, teacher, and friend.”
Lisa Gibson, Career Development Counselor, summarizes, “We are mourning the loss of Marner to the community as a whole, and individually. It’s amazing that he was able to connect with each of us so personally and have such an impact so widely… Marner was so many things to so many people. He was this great leader, and at the same time he took naps at his desk. As others have testified, he was never far from a joke. He made us laugh and connected with people while he worked to navigate complicated systems and find the way to get around obstacles.”
Thara Marner remained humble, never being too proud to ask for help, and looked forward to the opportunity to learn new things.
Tee Marner will be remembered for his selfless service to the community, and for his infectious sense of humor. As Nana Loo, Youth and Family Coach states, “He always made us laugh and it’s hard to forget about his smiling face.”
He will be deeply missed by us all. May our dear Thara Marner Saw rest in peace.
Marner Saw passed away on October 2nd, 2020 at the age of 50 due to complications from COVID-19, and is survived by his wife, four children, and one grandchild.
To support Marner Saw’s family, please donate through their GoFundMe Page.