Mark Dennis McNeilus, 61, of Dodge Center
Mark Dennis McNeilus, age 61, of Dodge Center, passed away peacefully last Tuesday at his home after a courageous battle with cancer.
Mark was born Oct. 4, 1957 in Portage, Wis., to Dennis and Marge McNeilus. Mark became a world traveler at three months of age as he and Marge traveled by ship to Yokohama, Japan to join Dennis while stationed in Yokosuka, with the U.S. Navy. The family moved back to the U.S. in 1959 and lived in Galena, Ill. later moving to Dodge Center in 1967.
Mark attended Dodge Center Elementary and High School for grades 5-9th , he graduated from Little Creek Academy, Knoxville, Tenn. in 1975 and later attended Southern Adventist College, near Chattanooga, Tenn.
Mark returned to Dodge Center and during his working life, he worked for McNeilus Truck & Manufacturing, Lin’s Iron & Metal and McNeilus Auto and Truck Parts.
Mark enjoyed many activities. He was a runner and on the high school track team where he lettered as a freshman. He continued to run and completed a marathon in 1977. Mark was passionate about fishing and would fish all night along the Mississippi, trying to outwit the large flathead catfish, which were released to fight another day. He loved going “Up North” and fishing at Juggler Lake, Waubun. Mark was a patient and skilled fishing instructor to his many nephews. He enjoyed playing on local bowling, pool and softball leagues. Mark was amiable with a great sense of humor which endeared him to many.
Mark married Donna Brekke in 1983. They had two children and later divorced.
Mark is survived by his two children, Ryan of Dodge Center, and Jennie (Kyle Kiefer) of Stewartville, two granddaughters, Rylee and Esme, his parents Dennis and Marge McNeilus of Dodge Center, two sisters Gwen McNeilus (Peter Mongroo) of Orinda, Calif. and Luonne Malone (Mark) of Keller, Texas, a brother Linden McNeilus (Krista Arneson) Duluth, as well as five nephews Patrick, Jonathan and Daniel Burnes and Tyler and Derek Malone.
We thank those individuals who were helpful in so many ways, especially close friends Kathy Clark and Scott Roles. Mark will be greatly missed by all.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Mayo Clinic Hospice, your local humane society or the charity of your choice.
Visitation and funeral services were held Sunday, April 21, at the Dodge Center Seventh Day Adventist Church with Carroll Wheeler officiating. Burial was at Wildwood Cemetery in Wasioja.
Byron Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements. On-line condolences are welcome at www.byronfuneralhome.com.