It is with heavy hearts we announce Mark Clyde Olchefske, age 63, of Albert Lea, formerly of New Brighton MN, passed away on August 23, 2021. He died how he would have wanted: he was still very active, working his typical 12 hour days, having daily lunchtime video calls with grandkids, helping kids with house projects, and fixing cars. His passing was sudden but peaceful with no pain or fear. He will be deeply missed by his wife, children, grandchildren and countless others.
Mark said his intelligence was a mile wide and an inch deep. He was a life-long learner, voracious reader, gifted writer, fount of knowledge, and—as is common in (self-proclaimed) introverts—a perpetual networker. He could connect with people with such ease and genuine interest that he could rarely go anywhere without running into someone he knew. One of his favorite parts of his job was being out on the floor talking to his team or welcoming someone stopping into his office for a pep talk, advice, or to share a joke. To him, successful business was about people and relationships.
Mark’s wit, kindness, knowledge, and integrity made a lasting impression on everyone he met. He could never pass up an opportunity to demonstrate his wit and unique brand of humor—always with his tell-tale twinkle and grin. His greatest joy came from his large, loving family. “Bumpa” was adored by his grandchildren and he thoroughly enjoyed every moment he had with them.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Kenneth and Mardell Olchefske and 2 infant sisters; father in law, Daniel Sorenson. Mark is survived by his wife of 41 years, Beth; children, Sasha, Chelsea (Anton) Trevor, Kendra and Bryant; grandchildren, Ollie, Zoë and Riley; sister, Nancy (Mark) Fisher; mother-in-law, Shirley Sorenson; brother-in-law, Curt (Katie) Sorenson; sister-in-law, Ann (John) Krance; niece, Catherine (Paul) Boesl; nephews, Collin Krance, Ian Krance, Matt Stumpf and Mike Stumpf; many cousins and other relatives.
The Mark Olchefske Advancement in Leadership, Entrepreneurial, and STEM Education Endowment Fund has been established at the NIACC Foundation to support innovation, STEM, and personal and professional development in the workplace and community. Mark had a strong passion for "K through gray" learning. In lieu of flowers, the family asks you to consider supporting the work Mark was so passionate about. Gifts can be sent to NIACC Foundation, 500 College Drive, Mason City, IA 50401 or made online (select “other gift” and type Mark Olchefske in the designation field) at https://www.niacc.edu/community/foundation/foundation-give-online/
For those that would like to join Mark's Celebration of Life, it will be on Saturday, September 11, 2021 at 2:00 PM.