Mark Laechelt was born July 20, 1958 at the Clarkfield Hospital in Clarkfield, MN to Merlyn and Alice (Wick) Laechelt. Mark was one of 6 children. As second to the youngest, he and his little brother Merle were always getting into some kind of trouble. Mom knew, when it was too quiet, that they were up to something.
Mark was baptized and confirmed at Zion Lutheran Church in rural Boyd. He graduated from Clarkfield High School in 1976, which he would always remind everyone, was the biggest graduating class in Clarkfield history. Mark attended Agronomy School for two years while farming full time with his dad.
On December 9, 2006, Mark married Natalie Berg. He became a husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather and great-grandfather on that day. Better known as “Papa” to his beloved grandchildren, there was nothing he loved more than teaching them about crops, farming, and how his family had farmed this land for 200 years. His granddaughter MaryJane and Papa were like two peas in a pod. She loved to tell him that he was “not handsome!” And he loved to hear it! There was never a finer moment when all of his granddaughters MaryJane, Amanda, and Tiffany spent time with him on the farm. Mark loved his family. If you knew Mark, you knew the special relationship he had with his brothers, Mike and Merle, his sister June, and his nephew Doug Pierce. He was a champion of the special-needs programs and loved being “Uncle” to his nieces and nephews.
Mark had many challenges in his life with health and because he just seemed to be accident prone. He survived a fall from a grain bin and numerous surgeries. In the last few years, he seemed to be finally turning a corner. He started going hunting with the guys in Montana, restarted a big garden, and put up a table at the farmer’s market. He loved his garden, his pigs, cats, and dogs—all of which were spoiled rotten.
Mark loved visiting relatives, visiting neighbors, visiting anyone really. He loved to visit! And he loved to talk about the weather. No matter what subject you talked about, he would eventually give a weather report. Numerous times a week there would be calls, from neighbors, to catch up on how much rain had fallen. While Natalie was working in Vegas, Mark was blessed to have so many people check in with him. A special Thank you to Leland Rogge and Todd Cole, who called Mark almost every day just to check on him, help him with a project, and of course, get a weather report!
The last week of Mark’s life was spent with Natalie and the numerous animals on the farm. There was a lot of visiting and celebrating of June’s retirement. He spent time tickling Mike and visiting with Dougie and Janet. However, Mark’s body was getting tired. He was sleeping more and more and became tired more frequently.
Mark laid down his tired body and peacefully took the hand of Jesus on April 3, 2022. He was preceded in death by his parents, Merlyn and Alice Laechelt; father and mother-in-Law, Earl Berg and Darlyne Breyfogle; brother, Merle; grandson, Max Walton; sister-in-law, Cindy Berg; grandparents, Walter and Julia Laechelt and Anton and Mable Wick; aunts and uncles, Rose and Edward Wick, Solvieg and Floyd Belseth, Juliana and Everett Belseth, Clifford Wick, and Phyllis and Sylvester Kockleman.
Mark is survived by his wife Natalie; step-daughters, Myracle (Aaron) Walton of Henderson, NV, Kimberly (Rion) Landrum of Mt. Vernon, KY, and honorary son, Douglas Younie of Henderson, NV; siblings, Julie (Bill) Ward of Norfolk, VA, Janet (Alfred) Pierce of Clarkfield, MN, June Laechelt of Wilmar, MN, Michael Laechelt of Canby, MN; granddaughters, MaryJane, Amanda and Tiffany; 2 great-granddaughters; 1 great-grandson, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Mark’s visitation will be held on Saturday, April 9th, 2022 at 10 AM at Zion Lutheran Church in Tyro Township, followed by the funeral at 11 AM. Interment to follow in the church cemetery.