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It was a glimpse of the Billy she wished she saw more of – fun-loving, outgoing, happy. Her marriage to Billy’s father was brief and violent. A group of kids once hung him from a tree by his underwear. “He thought drugs made him the person he wanted to be.” By the time Billy was 14, she began finding bottles of vodka stolen from a nearby convenience store stashed in his dresser. Mc Leod estimated that her son had overdosed and been revived at least a dozen times.On another occasion, a cousin tipped over a Porta-Potty while Billy was inside. Billy hated going to school, and dropped out to work with his father, with whom he had reconciled, packing moving trucks.What hobbled him were his hips, and a series of replacement surgeries in 20, including a procedure for a broken leg, that led to a deadly dependence on prescription painkillers and alcohol.His wife, Dee Berglund, described Mark as “the fun one.” He could talk to anyone about anything, she said, and that’s what made him so good at his customer service jobs at Time Warner and Fair Point Communications.Loved it.” Even more than sports, Mark treasured holidays and their traditions.When the Berglund children were born, he went to great lengths to make those traditions bigger and the celebrations better. The tree was decorated with ornaments from Mark’s own childhood, and the movie “A Christmas Story” would always be playing in the background.
He also played independent ball for two years, pitching for the Old Orchard Beach Surge in 2015 until an elbow injury ended his pitching career. “If there was something he couldn’t do, he would try it because that was in his makeup.” That made him a leader on every team he played on. “He was a jokester, a prankster who wanted to be the life of the party,” she said. She majored in criminal justice at the University of Southern Maine, hoping to one day help children and teens affected by addiction.She died of an overdose in July 2016, taking more heroin than her body could handle after several months clean.A friend who went through rehab with Ashley, Rachael Allenby, said the news came as a shock to her and others who had looked up to her as an example of someone who, despite everything, always strove to get back on the right path.Ashley was placed with a loving foster family with whom she lived for years, but her struggle never really went away.“I think she always saw herself as damaged goods,” said a friend, Hannah Paquette.