Serving Western Wisconsin
Mark Cleveland 12/19/2020

Mark Cleveland 12/19/2020

On Saturday, December 19, 2020, Mark Cleveland, loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend passed away unexpectedly at the age of 65.
Mark was born on December 12, 1955 in Oak Park, Illinois to Richard and Ruth (Ketelsen) Cleveland. He attended Glenbard East High School and graduated from Illinois State University in 1978. Mark married Susan Jankowske on August, 25, 1979 and started his career at Syngenta (Northrup King). The couple lived in Paris, Illinois; Columbus, Indiana; Clinton, Iowa; and Verona, Wisconsin; where they raised their three children, Andrew, Thomas and Elizabeth. In 2004, Mark and Sue relocated to Aurora, Nebraska, where Mark maintained a small hobby ranch and worked for the Aurora Cooperative – until retirement in January 2020. At that time, they moved to New Richmond, Wisconsin to be closer to their ever-expanding family.
Mark lived his life in an abundance of humor that would make even the most reluctant introvert crack open with laughter. Family gatherings brimmed with witticisms, wisecracks, and Susan trying to make sure his humor didn’t get too colorful in front of the grandkids, with her notorious protest, “Mark!!” This would inevitably roll out more laughter. This trait, and his infectious belly cackle, will never be forgotten, as it is still very much alive in his family and friends.
Happiest outdoors, Mark proudly captained his Cobalt boat whether it was pulling his grandkids in tubes or having a peaceful ride with Sue. When not boating, he could be found exploring the mountains of Colorado via four-wheeler, hiking in the Wisconsin parks, jamming on the drums to 70s rock, hunting with his longtime friends in Illinois, building various pieces of furniture and supervising home renovations for his three kids, and spending time with his grandchildren.
Mark is preceded in his death by his parents, Richard and Ruth Cleveland, his brother-in-law, Dr James (Jim) Lagocki, and nephew Adam Lagocki. He is survived by his wife, Susan; sons, Andy (Megan) Cleveland, and Tom (Alicia) Cleveland; daughter, Liz (Brian) Akert; his five grandchildren, Lucas, Avery, Mia, Jacen and Piper; in addition, his siblings, Janet Lagocki, Donna (Dennis) Yarosh, David (Karla) Cleveland; and many nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends.
We know Mark would never want us to “be a baby” about his unexpected passing because he would ask “what’s the sense of that?” We will never stop “stealing his lines” and will forever miss “the only normal person we know.” There you go, Mark…There you go.
A private family service was held on Wednesday, December 23, 2020. A public memorial service was on Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 11:00 am at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church (365 West River Dr.) in New Richmond with a visitation starting at 10AM. Guests will be asked to follow all CDC guidelines for gathering including social distancing and face masks.  Memorial designations will be decided at a later date.  Mark’s memorial service will be live streamed via a link found at the bottom of the obituary. Arrangements are with Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services.

Please share a story, favorite memory or favorite line of Mark’s in the comment section below.

Click here to watch Mark’s recorded Memorial Service.


  • Terry Lynch Posted December 21, 2020 11:41 pm

    So sorry to hear of Mark’s passing and at such a young age as I am 65 too. First met him at Lombard Jr. High thru all of Glenbard East HS.
    Funny guy and quit too which is a good combo to have.
    Off to Valhalla now for your next journey

  • Tim and Rebecca Huls and Kids Posted December 22, 2020 12:19 am

    Love you Clevelands (Uncle Mark).

  • Jan Hoegh Posted December 22, 2020 2:12 am

    Thinking of you and your family during this time of loss! Praying that your incredible memories bring you comfort! I am so sorry! ❤️

  • Richard Cebula Posted December 22, 2020 2:13 am

    To Sue and the entire Cleveland family my condolences. Like Terry I first met Mark way back in junior high school – the fall of 1968! Little known fact: he and I were in a rock band together, “The Sky Blues”, during our freshman year at Glenbard East High School. I am pleased to read that Mark kept up his drumming throughout his life, and the humor and wit I remember from long ago never left. Ad astra friend.

  • Veronica Wortman Ploetz Posted December 22, 2020 2:37 pm

    Liz, I was so sorry to hear the news. I am holding space in my heart for you and your family this season. I hope the wonderful memories you have with your father will bring you some comfort in your time of grief.

  • Mike and Pat Nardi Posted December 23, 2020 12:16 am

    Sue and family you are all in our thoughts and prayers! Mike and Pat Nardi – Verona

  • Kim Rapponeau Posted January 6, 2021 12:03 am

    So sorry to learn of Mark’s passing. Alex and I are truly saddened by this news. He will be greatly missed and Alex will miss his weekly phone calls with Mark. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Cleveland family.

  • Tiffany Stevens Posted January 7, 2021 1:35 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss! I enjoyed talking to Mark when he came in for haircuts, and all the stories about his family and the fun they had on their trips. He was a great person, and I’m sad to hear of his passing. Keeping your family in my prayers.

  • David Williams Posted January 10, 2021 4:04 am

    Thinking of you with heartfelt sympathy. In this time of sorrow, our thoughts and prayers are with you. The Williams family, Jane, David and Chris (Kotleba).

  • Bill & Stephanie Schuetz Posted January 16, 2021 7:13 am

    Dear Cousin Sue and family,
    So sorry to hear of Mark’s passing. You are in our prayers and hope the loving and fun memories will continue to live on forever until you all meet again.

  • Lynn Jankowske Posted January 16, 2021 6:25 pm

    Fitting memorial service for Uncle Mark…thank you! As pastor was mentioning Mark’s phrase concerning warm water, I could not help but remember one ill fated family trip to the Lake of the Ozarks during an extremely hot summer. Water fun led to fevers and ear infections, but not wanting “to be babies” at Mark’s admonition, we began planning the next trip! Miss you, Mark! Love you, Sue, Andy, Tom, Liz and all!

  • Carl and Nancy Hardy Posted April 28, 2021 7:46 pm

    We are very sorry to hear about Mark’s passing. God Speed to Sue and family

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