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Mark Saunders Frodesen

Mark Saunders Frodesen

Mark Saunders Frodesen died at Bethesda Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota on December 28, 2017. After living courageously with pulmonary fibrosis for almost two years, Mark succumbed to the disease.

Mark, along with his twin sister Jan, was born on July 20, 1949 in Superior Wisconsin, where he lived most of his life. He attended Bryant Elementary School and Superior Cathedral High School. Mark entered Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin on an athletic scholarship and graduated in 1971 with a Bachelor's degree in Biology, specializing in botany.

Upon graduation from Lawrence, Mark taught high school biology and chemistry. He was a much loved teacher at Boylan-Haven-Mather Academy in Camden, South Carolina. Returning to Wisconsin in 1975, Mark joined the Admissions staff at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. He later worked for a number of years as a conductor on the Burlington Northern Railroad until he retired.

Athletics were a significant part of Mark's life from his youth, starting with Little League baseball and moving on to renown as a starting basketball guard at Superior Cathedral High; standing 5'8" tall, he amazed fans with his extraordinary ability to dunk a basketball. While Mark also played basketball at Lawrence University, his most outstanding athletic performances there were in Track and Field; he competed in the 100-yard dash, long jump, and triple jump. He still holds the Men's Outdoor Track and Field records he set 48 years ago, in 1969, for the long jump and triple jump. In 2005, Mark was inducted into the Lawrence University Athletic Hall of fame.

In addition to his remarkable athletic abilities, Mark was known as a terrific dancer; he loved music of all kinds. He also developed skill as an amateur photographer, often doing photo shoots for local events such as the annual Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival on Barker's Island, hockey games, and family weddings of his friends.

At home, Mark loved his family's dogs, especially Sammy (adopted from Superior's Animal Rescue Federation) and Sami, another rescue dog, and he enjoyed gardening.

Everyone acquainted with Mark knows his enthusiasm for everything Wisconsin, especially his beloved sports teams: the Wisconsin Badgers, the Milwaukee Brewers and the Green Bay Packers. He greatly enjoyed an annual fall trip to Green Bay with his Cathedral classmates. He was an active alumnus of both Superior Cathedral Class of 67 and Lawrence University Class of 71, attending most reunions and frequently helping to organize them. He served as a member of the Lawrence '71 Reunion Committee in 2011.

Mark is survived by his mother Jeanne Frodesen of Superior, sisters Kristin (Al) Brown of Sedona, AZ, Jan of Goleta, CA, and Lila (Terry Davidson) of New York, NY, and brother Eric (Sheri) of Niceville FL. Survivors also include nephews, a niece and cousins. Mark's father, George Frodesen, preceded him in death.

Among Mark's many friends, his family wishes to acknowledge the very special friendships he had with Jim and Patty Schafter of Superior, who were like family to him, with Bernie Tomzak of Superior, his best pal with whom he shared many conversations during their mornings at the YMCA swimming pool, and with Lawrence University classmates David Jones of Chicago, IL and Melissa Lamberton of Denver, CO. In a tribute to Mark on FaceBook, David wrote: "Ever a good soul, wise mind, quick wit, lifter of others' low spirits ...a dear, deep old friend, and we only get so many of those in this lifetime..."

Mark's family also wishes to express appreciation for the care Mark was given at Essentia Health-St. Mary's Hospital in Duluth and at Bethesda Acute Care Rehab Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota, especially the Bethesda staff working on the 5th floor west wing.

The family is planning a celebration of Mark's life in Superior during the summer of 2018. Those wishing to write remembrances of Mark can do so on https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/markfrodesen.

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