Mario David Pomponio

mario pomponio
Mario David Pomponio

Mario David Pomponio, 28, passed away on January 30th, 2023, after a devastating and vicious battle with


Mario was born in Arlington, Virginia on March 11th, 1994, and grew up in Oakton, Virginia. He was a beloved son,

brother, grandson, nephew, cousin, and friend.

Mario graduated from Oakton High School in 2012 and was continuing his postsecondary education at Towson

University. Mario was a few credits away from obtaining his degree in Finance.

Throughout his childhood, Mario spent much of his time playing with his younger sister, Andie, and his friends. He

took pride in his special relationship with his paternal grandparents. They shared many meals together which

nurtured Mario’s love and excitement for good Italian food. He also had a love for baseball and was actively

involved in Vienna Little League for many years. More recently, Mario began playing golf which brought him

noticeable joy.

Mario was an intelligent, kind-hearted, empathetic, and passionate young man who had many goals for himself. He

was a hard worker who always strived to be the best he could possibly be. While Mario could envision the future,

he absorbed the pain of the world which caused him to struggle with the tough questions and expectations of

society which often led him to depression, anxiety, and an inability to cope with his emotional landscape.

Mario was introduced to substances at a young age and was highly susceptible to addiction. Mario completed his

first long term treatment program in December 2016. Mario’s most recent treatment in Maryland began in July

2018, and he was proud to be drug and alcohol free for nearly four years. During this time Mario became a

treasured member of a supportive community who shared in the challenges he faced. Not only did Mario receive

support from others, but he also provided strength to those who wanted to achieve what he had worked so hard

for. Mario set the example for many. Mario continued to reside in Maryland to be close to his fellowship of people.

Mario’s most recent relapse escalated after he lost a close friend to an overdose that also ended in death. This

time, Mario’s abuse spiraled at an aggressively fast pace. Addiction is an insidious disease that is entirely senseless.

This illness causes an unbearable amount of suffering for everyone involved. Mario’s loved ones fought hard for

him throughout his entire battle. As Mario often said, this disease is so real and does not discriminate. In honor of

Mario’s life, we ask that those who knew him continue to raise awareness around the power of addiction and the

current epidemic that is so prevalent in society today. Reducing the stigma, for example labeling, stereotyping, and

discriminating of those challenged with any substance use disorder is crucial. The stigma that addiction is a

personal choice reflecting a lack of willpower also needs to be replaced with an understanding that addiction is a

complex disease of the brain and body.

Mario is survived by his loving parents, David, and Leslie Pomponio; sisters, Andie, and Lindsay; paternal

grandmother, Eleanor; girlfriend, Margo; and soon to be brother-in-law, Daniel. He is preceded in death by his

paternal grandfather, Bruno Pomponio, and maternal grandparents, Robert, and Carol Olson. He will be deeply

missed by several aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.

Information about a celebration of life for Mario will be provided later. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Chris

Atwood Foundation ( and National Alliance on Mental Illness ( in memory of


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Memories Timeline


  1. Words are inadequate to express our sorrow to the Pomponio family, but please know how many people are thinking of you, praying for you and caring about you. The life of the Harris family changed forever – for the better – when your family moved two houses down on Pine Street. Our kids spent hours and hours playing, laughing and eating together – roller hockey at our house, basketball at your house, skateboarding anywhere possible, VLL games, Italian food, lots and lots of Gatorade and snacks first come to mind. The picture posted captures how we saw Mario hundreds of times through our kitchen window. He was an amazing young man and he will be missed by so many people. May all of you somehow find peace at this very difficult time.
    Mary and Dave Harris

  2. I’ve gotten to know Mario the past 3 years or so at EKD. He’s was always such a positive dude, a voice of reason in many ways in the heat of the moment at work. A very intelligent person and a great listener. He always wanted to make people laugh and have their opinions listened too. Him and I would always share laughs together over the behavior of Lynda and he will be very missed to me and many many others as well. Last time I saw him was in mid January. I’m glad I got to shake his hand one last time. Rest In Peace Mario.

  3. Dear Pomponio Family,

    My deepest condolences for your loss. May the fond memories of Mario bring you all peace and comfort during this difficult time.

    With love,
    Elizabeth Condo

  4. “May the wind always be at your back and the sun upon your face. And may the wings of destiny carry you aloft to dance with the stars.”

  5. Mario wanted nothing more, but to connect with others on a different level. Mario and I first became friends meeting in the same treatment center. Our friendship was unmatched. We stayed in touch after graduating said program and continued our friendship in the “real world”. There were so many life factors that came our way, but like myself Mario always strived to be the best, we bonded on our work ethic, our values, our dogs, and most of all great Italian food. I will never forget the support Mario gave me effortlessly, through my recovery, watching & bonding with my dogs, and most recently a near death health experience. Mario was by my side at the hospital for 6+ months, Mario made time to visit me, my mother, and my dogs. If I needed Mario to go to the store for toilet paper straight from work, no questions were asked he was there. I will never forget and I will always remember our best friend Italian dinner dates, we ate our way through Baltimore city and I wouldn’t have wanted to have done it with anyone else. Mario, i’m sad, but I’m selfless knowing you are comfortable and at peace. I will always keep you close to my heart, as will your nephews Manny & Bill (chaos). (I will forever remind everyone how you chose to rename my “geriatric” dog once he turned 10 years old.) We love you so much. Take care of Bill when he arrives, he’ll be looking for YOU.

  6. i will never understand why we cross paths with special people on this journey in life that leave you feeling impacted. however, I can confidently say that our time as friends had been glorious. After living down in SoFlo at the same time as one another in 2017 and then moving in together with a solid group of friends in Maryland in 2019 we made some memories for sure. My heart feels for your family and friends who had the pleasure of getting to know you. I vividly remember the distinct low tone voice insightful thought provoking philosophical debates we would constant have, times we would pay one another back for drinking each others energy drinks in our fridge or when I would catch you wearing one of my shirts because I left it in the laundry room I will miss that immensely, playing Call Of Duty until 1am. Your struggle is over, may you rest in eternal peace brother! Sending love and light thoughts and prayers to everyone who knew Mario Pomponio and how amazing of a person he was.

  7. Q: What will you never forget about Mario?

    A: I never had the pleasure of meeting Mario. In fact, he doesn’t even know that I exist. However, what I will never, ever forget about Mario were the endearing stories his sister, Lindsay, has shared with me throughout the years. Memories which make her eyes sparkle with love and a longing for healing once the memory takes a turn. I won’t ever forget that his best parts were shared with individuals he has never even met. I will never forget hearing my friend retell stories of his childhood to her own children, reminiscing on sibling-hood and the importance of connection, love, and empathy. These experiences have far-reaching implications and carry one’s legacy through generations. I won’t ever forget Mario’s impact on the sister of his that I know. It lives forever.

  8. Mario was a great soul with a kind heart and a outgoing personality. I hung out with Mario a lot during my time at George Mason. We stayed in touch afterwards and he told me to meet him at ICC to hit golf balls often where he helped me work on my swing and we talked about the future and our goals. He was a really good person who everyone liked and I am devastated to see this news. I pray for his peace and the peace of the family and pray for this horrible epidemic of wonderful people losing their life too early due to drugs they were not expecting to end.

  9. Dear Pomponio Family, I am so sorry for the loss of your dear son Mario. You are in my thoughts and prayers Leslie. I appreciate your candor about Mario’s struggles. I see how hard everyone tried. You are not alone in this battle.
    XXOO Diane Fisher

  10. My deepest condolences to the Pomponio family. May Mario rest in peace and the memories you shared last for eternity.

  11. Leslie and David, my heart breaks for the loss of your Son. I pray that you find peace, comfort, and support during this difficult time.

  12. We miss you like crazy brother. Shine your light down and keep an eye on us all. You are truly loved and your presence will live on with us for the rest of our days.

    Until we meet again at the Big Meeting in the Sky.

    All Our Love,

    Pat & Mollie

  13. Hi, I’m the ED of The Chris Atwood Foundation and I would love to connect with the Pomponio family. Thank you so much for sending memorial contributions to us. It’s such a powerful way to make good out of the absolute unthinkable. The words “he absorbed the pain of the world” hit home so hard for me. That is exactly how I described my brother after his passing.. it’s such a tragedy that such a beautiful and valuable and necessary quality like empathy can turn on them like this. My email is if you would like to connect. Or you can text me at 703-489-0402 to set a meeting. Much love from one broken heart to another <3

  14. Leslie, I’m So deeply saddened to hear of this tragic loss, but also extremely inspired by your strength and love. I admire your passion to share your story so that others may be saved through knowing your truths! It is a selfless act of kindness that speaks to your love for your son and the world around you. God bless Mario and the entire Pomponio village around him. ❤️ ??

  15. Will always miss us talking on the phone and just wish I could hear your voice one and get a hug one more time. Me and Mario were good friends for over a year and would regularly hang out and our relationship was us bickering all the time for fun. That was how we showed our love for each other by laughing and pretend fighting. I just wish i got to say how much I cared about you more. My deepest condolences to the family❤️ we all love you Mario.

  16. Leslie,Dave and Andi, our thoughts and prayers are with you. We are so sorry for your loss. We know Mario is at peace with God now. Love Lisa, Steve, Monica and lauren Mathieu

  17. As soon as Mario and I met, it didn’t take long for us to realize we had a special connection — even after me being 40 minutes late for our first date, which he never let me live down. I only knew him for a short portion of my life, but in that time he managed to have a greater impact on me than anyone I’ve ever known. He was one of the smartest, funniest, and most kind hearted people you could meet. The way he felt everything on such a deep level was something I had never seen before. This was beautiful in a way, but I could also see the pain it caused. Despite anything and everything he was feeling, all Mario really wanted was to make the people he cared for happy and proud. I wish we had more time together, but I am forever grateful for every second we shared. I’m happy I was able to expose his authentic Italian palate to the fine cuisine of hot pockets and English muffin pizzas. I’ll also never forget the purest love he had for my cat, Troye, and I’m proud we finally converted him to a cat person.
    I think everyone who had the privilege of knowing Mario can agree: to love and to be loved by him was truly special. My only hope is that he has finally found peace.

    I’ll love and miss you forever, Mario.

  18. Wendy and I have very fond memories of Mario’s early years. Before having kids of our own, we delighted in our visits for dinner with Dave & Leslie, which always featured heavy playtime with toys and balls, with both Mario and Andi. They were such happy, fun kids with which to engage — so bright, curious, effervescent.

    Dave & Leslie & Andi & Lindsay — Wendy and I send you our heartfelt condolences. Words simply cannot express…. such deep sorrow. We hope that you take comfort in the powerful expressions of love and admiration for Mario that you’re hearing and reading. We pray for you, and Eleanor, and all of the extended Pomponio family.

  19. Mario was such a joy to watch growing over the years here in Oakton. He will always have a place in our hearts

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