Following a three month battle with leukemia, Mark Winfield Brunsvold passed away on Jan. 4, 2020, at Methodist Hospital, Rochester, Minn., surrounded by his family.
A memorial service was held at 2:00 on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020 at Zion Lutheran Church, 112 North 4th Street, Clear Lake.
Mark Winfield Brunsvold was born Aug. 10, 1950, the third son of Maureen “Polly” (Pollock) and Erling Brunsvold.
Mark spent his first 14 years growing up on the Brunsvold Farm west of Forest City. He and his step-mother moved into Forest City after his father died. He graduated with the class of 1968 after spending his entire educational years attending Forest City Community Schools. He continued his education at Waldorf College, in Forest City, for one year before transferring to Mankato State University in Minnesota. After his step-mother passed away that year, he was drafted into the U.S. Army as a military policeman during the Vietnam War. The military was exactly what Mark needed after the death of his step-mother, and he had many fond memories of the time he spent in the service. He was quite proud of being a veteran and especially proud of working inside a city in a “secret” mountain in Pennsylvania which was always prepared to house The President in the case of a national disaster. He finished his degree after commuting to Mankato from the farm during the 1980’s Farm Crisis.
After leaving the service and going to Sturgis with his motorcycle, he met his future wife and best friend, Marsha Torkelson, thanks to her brothers, Wayne and Roger. They were married in 1974 and moved to the newly created Brunsvold farm in Thompson, Iowa. They enjoyed farming together until they both went back to school at Mankato State University. Mark continued to farm until he retired from his dual careers of working at Kraft Foods and farming.
Mark and Marsha were blessed with three children who were the pride and joy of Mark’s life. Christopher Mark (Kristy) is the oldest, followed closely by Eric Kristian (Andrea) and finally Amy Louise (Darell) Peckham. They enjoyed raising their children on the farm until they moved into Forest City in the 1980’s.
Mark mastered the art of conversation after spending his first years being a shy little boy. He especially loved talking about anything with wheels. He fantasized about the vehicles he should purchase on a daily basis starting in upper elementary and those dreams continued until the day he died when he was researching Dodge pickups. Moving into the Clear Lake house with a three car garage put him in seventh heaven, and he tinkered out there every day.
Family was everything to Mark after so much loss in his life. Marsha, Chris, Kristy, Eric, Andrea, Darell, and Amy plus all the grandchildren were on the receiving end of all the love he had for them. When he became a grandfather almost 14 years ago, he embraced the role of a loving, proud and fun grandfather.
He is survived by his wife, Marsha, his sons, his daughter and their families. Mark is also survived by his grandchildren: Landon and Jackson Winfield Peckham, Bode Mark, Tucker and Emma Brunsvold, and Scout, Lacey and Lars Brunsvold. He is also survived by cousins whom he loved spending time with. Thanks to marrying into a large family, he is also survived by his sister-in-law, Bernice Voelker, Marsha’s brothers, Ronald (Lucille) Torkelson, Leslie (Paulette) Torkelson, and Roger Torkelson and Marsha’s sister-in-law, Janice Torkelson. When you combine his five nieces and nephews and their children with Marsha’s nieces and nephews and their children, grandchildren and great grandchild, you realize Mark had a multitude to enjoy in his extended family. Mark is also survived by his brothers’ wives, Judy Brunsvold and Iona Ahrens and his cousin’s wife, Mary Fran Larson. He is also survived by his constant companion, his little dog, Carly.
Mark is preceded in death by his mother, Maureen (Polly) Brunsvold; his father, Erling Brunsvold; his second mother, Norma Brunsvold; his brothers, Brad and Bob Brunsvold; and his great nephew, Tanner Brunsvold; and his cousin, Jack Larson. Three of Marsha’s brothers also preceded him in death; Clarence (Janice), Carroll, and Wayne Torkelson. Two of Marsha’s sisters preceded him in death; a three month old baby, and Margie Sogard. He was also preceded by seven aunts and uncles.
Ward-Van Slyke Colonial Chapel, Clear Lake, was in charge of arrangements.