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Mark Stephens 05/22/2024

Mark Alexander Stephens of Inver Grove Heights completed his 69 lap race, peacefully crossing the finish line at his home in River Falls, Wisconsin on Wednesday May 22nd, 2024.

His journey began November 18, 1954, in Minneapolis.  With guidance from his parents Alexander “Bud” and Betty Stephens, his path meandered through Park Brook Elementary and later Osseo Highschool where he developed his love of running, shop class and a passion for Triumph.

Mark would go on to find love and lifelong friendship in Alice Bous.  He coached their children on their paths, supporting them as a deckhand, welder, heavy equipment and crane operator. He was an avid painter and artist, passions he shared with all that ran alongside him.

He competed in other events.  In 2003, Mark and his high school teammates created the Osseo Cross Country Alumni Association, which over the years issued multiple Scholarships to runners in that program.

He had a love of cars, one of his first was a 1967 Triumph TR4A.  Tragically this first love went up in flames.  Later, he was reunited with this make and model, and he became a Member of the Twin Cities chapter of Minnesota Triumphs Sportscar club where he developed new friendships and shared passion for these vehicles.

Any runner will tell you that every race has both physical, mental, and emotional challenges.  It was no different for Mark.  He rose to every challenge that appeared in his path.  He was a man with more grit and determination than most and while cats are said to have nine lives, Mark seemed to have 99.

Regardless of where Mark’s journey led, he always kept pace with family and shared his time in their interests.  He had a wonderful ability to understand your journey.  You may not have noticed, but he was listening and would offer valuable insights to help you on your way.

He joined his parents and brothers Scott and Kurt at the finish line.  Mark will continue to cheer on his brother Mick, his spouse Gwen and their sister-in-law Barb.  He will proudly watch his children and their spouses Eric and Andrea, Ben and Kristyn, Summer and Patrick, Alex and Sherri.  Mark’s coaching legacy will continue to impact the lives of his grandchildren, Sophie, Adelyn, Angus, Ona, and Inga.

Mark’s Celebration of Life is being planned and invitations will be extended soon.

Mark’s memory can be honored by a donation to the Osseo Alumni Cross Country Association. He was extremely proud of the work they completed together.

Paypal:    https://www.paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=YS3H5GRFNHAQY

Venmo:   @OsseoAlumni_CC_Assoc

Or mailed to 9670 210th St Ct N, Forest Lake, MN 55025

The Stephens family encourages and would appreciate if you would share your memories and stories about Mark on the obituaries page of WWW.Bakken-Young.com

16 Comments

  • Eric, Ben, Summer and Alex Posted May 24, 2024 2:03 pm

    We love you Dad!

  • Andrea Stephens Posted May 24, 2024 4:17 pm

    Love you and miss you, Papa!
    Eric, Andrea, Sophie, and Adelyn

  • Mick Stephens Posted May 24, 2024 5:17 pm

    We will miss you Big Bother
    Mick & Gwen

  • Bette and Alan Johnson Posted May 24, 2024 6:02 pm

    Mark, thanks for giving us the puppy aka Abby, and starting our life long love of Boston Terriers. We will miss you, B&A

  • Stephens Barbara Posted May 25, 2024 8:18 am

    Will miss you Mark. Loved all of you, your generosity, your passion, your strong will, your ability to preserve through life and all that it throws at you.
    Hugs for you and pass them on up above.
    Always. Barb , Niomie, Nick,Emily, Johnathon,Harrison, Edith, Mary,Dae’Von, Adora, Joe Stephens

  • Gene and Karen Stephens Posted May 25, 2024 9:13 am

    Mark was a great nephew , he always had great stories to tell he not only told his stories but listened to your stories

    When Mark was young he always was thinking of ways to sell his paintings, pipes and other arts and crafts.

    He enjoyed life to the fullest.

    He was great at texting messages to us his Christmas letters were legendary.

    We loved him and will miss him.
    Love Uncle Gene and Aunt Karen

  • Steve & Lisa Kemp Posted May 25, 2024 11:13 am

    We will miss you our amazing courageous brother. Love you!
    Until we meet again.
    Lisa & Steve

  • John M Niederkorn Posted May 25, 2024 1:20 pm

    I worked with Mark for many years. He was the type of guy that made sure everything was right. From his training program which he implemented at the refinery down to his vigorous inspections of the heavy equipment before he would go out on a job. He always made a little extra work for me! But that’s good, he kept a lot of people safe. He always kept in touch through our retirement years along with those lengthy …..lengthy Christmas letters. I loved getting them I’m sure we’re all going to miss them. May he rest in peace!

  • Mike Grabowski Posted May 26, 2024 12:34 pm

    MARK and I became good friends from work and outside of work. The fun times we had and the good memories from Mn. and Az. Will always be treasured. Marks kindness and thoughtfull little treasures he would send to us and his beautiful artwork is in our homes and will forever be part of our lives. We will always remember our last visit and his showcar the triumph. Mark stopped over last year and showed us his little new Miata. He was so happy and we were so jealous. Mark will always have a special place in our hearts and he will be missed

  • Deb Pribyl Posted May 26, 2024 2:08 pm

    Mark was a very good friend to me for the past 12 years ago. We enjoyed many summer day trips riding in his beloved ’67 Triumph. We had many good years of dancing at Stark’s Saloon before they shut down permanently. We enjoyed meals in local and out of town restaurants. He was always willing to try foods new to him. He insisted we ordered something different so we could share various foods at one time. We took numerous Saturday road trips to Northfield, Oronoco, Lake Pepin, Red Wing, Harmony, Preston, River Falls, Stillwater, Hudson. St Crouix Falls and many more. He lived his life with enthusiasm and happiness. He was always looking at the road map for new routes, new places to visit. My memories with him will never fade. He truly was a good friend to me. His life was cut way too short, but he’s finally free of pain and suffering with different ailments the entire time I knew him. May he rest in peace forever.

  • Todd Aalto Posted May 26, 2024 9:48 pm

    When I first started at the Pine Bend refinery in 1989; Mark was my trainer. We had common interests in old cars and building stuff and quickly became friends. Over the years as my senior crew lead at the refinery, he seldom let me sit for more than a short time before there was another task to get after. He was always looking to make things better and would be there with advice and a helping hand, whenever needed. He showed me how to navigate life with a positive perspective no matter what the challenge. We even shared the same cancer treatment but about 10 years apart. Mark’s treatment being earlier in time and the cancer more extensive than mine, hit him much harder than me. Every time I saw him, I asked myself why he couldn’t have gotten by like I did. I will likely never know another person who endured so much bodily pain and challenges throughout life but never let anyone feel sorry for him or lose his positive attitude. I will miss him immensely.

  • Dave Gardner Posted May 27, 2024 9:21 am

    I worked beside Mark for many years at Koch Refining. I have many fond memories of our friendship. Godspeed my friend.

  • Amy Pavek Posted May 27, 2024 9:41 am

    Memories of Mark :
    I was about 4 yrs old. He put me on his shoulders while a train went by so I could wave to the man in the caboose.
    Kayaking In Isabel & Rebecca lakes in Hastings. Spending time at & learning all about Lock & Dam #2. Getting a little gold cross at a flea market when I was very young.. & a spoon ring he made (I still have them)
    A small painting of a country church he painted for my Confirmation.
    He encouraged my young children to be in sports & activities & active in their own community.
    Nicknames – Mark had one for everyone & every animal they had!
    My prayers & love to all of you, the sadness is great but Mark’s love will carry you through.

  • Joe Bisanz , Founder Minnesota Triumphs Sportscar Club Posted June 5, 2024 9:35 am

    I met Mark after he joined our Mn Triumphs Car Club.
    I had numerous conversations with Mark at our monthly Club meetings and at other Club social events and gatherings.
    My impression of Mark and that of many others in our Club was that Mark was a kind and gentle person with a quite demeanor and seemed to be a very good listener. He didn’t have to be talking all the time like some others. He enjoyed the Triumph marque and was very knowledgeable on many topics regarding it. At one of our national events that Mn Triumphs hosted Mark asked me if he donate many,many back issues of Triumph and other sports magazines as free “giveaways” to the people who were attending the event.
    I know the Club members will miss Mark and we were glad to have had him as a member of Mn Triumphs.
    Joe Bisanz

  • Allan Bohlke Posted June 6, 2024 3:26 pm

    Mark will be missed by everyone associated with Osseo Cross Country. Mark’s passion for the Osseo Cross Country program started with an idea to award graduating Osseo Cross Country runners with a chance to win a scholarship to college. He inspired other Osseo Cross Country alumni to join him to donate to be able to initially award one $500 scholarship to a boy and girl runner from each graduating class. That was in 2002. Mark handed over the reigns of the Association several years ago and it has grown. We now award a scholarship to all qualified Cross Country Osseo graduates. Because of Mark’s foresight, passion, and generosity, we have been able to provide over $60,000 and 120 scholarships to graduates of Osseo Senior High and the Cross Country Program. Thank you for your gifts Mark. Your legacy will continue. Allan

  • Crystal Eckhoff Posted June 18, 2024 8:31 am

    So sorry for your loss. Mark will be missed by his Pine Bend Refinery Team! I had the pleasure of helping him through some of his benefits shortly after I started for the refinery. He was so sweet and caring – sharing his many memories of the refinery and also his great love for his family! In the short time that I sat down with Mark, I felt like I had known him for years. He even, shortly after, hand delivered thank you notes and treats as a thank you for helping him. He had a tough health journey, but he was so incredibly positive after all he had been through. Mark, you will be missed. Prayers and hugs to his family and friends.

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