Mark Peter Reinsmoen
We celebrate the life of Mark Peter Reinsmoen, 73, who passed Thursday, Nov. 7, 2019, after valiantly fighting prostate cancer for more than 13 years. He lived life vigorously with determination or humor. His motto throughout his illness was “prayer, attitude, exercise, and laughter.” Donations in Mark’s name may be sent to the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF).
Mark was born Mark Orland Reinsmoen on Dec. 1, 1945, in Mason City, as the son of Peter Orland Reinsmoen and Lois Jewell (Tweed) Reinsmoen. He grew up on a farm near Joice, with his brother and four sisters.
In 1963, Mark graduated from high school in Lake Mills. He was a proud graduate of Luther College, Decorah. He used his education to be a high school English teacher in New Hampton, for two years until he was drafted into the U.S. Army. He served in Vietnam in 1970, where he was exposed to Agent Orange. This eventually led to being certified by Veterans Affairs as being “totally and permanently disabled” a few years after he was diagnosed with cancer.
Before Mark’s deployment to Vietmam, he married Nancy Moe on June 1, 1968. From that union were born Matthew (1975) and Rachel (1978).
Mark did graduate studies after returning from Vietnam at the University of Minnesota, during which time he received certification in elementary education. Teaching fourth grade students became his passion as he worked for 34 years in I.S.D. 196 of Rosemount, Minn.
Mark married Dianne (Davis) Loftin on Dec. 27, 1997, at which time he became stepfather to Tara Loftin.
Consistent with his adventurous spirit, Mark called himself The Biking Viking, due to his heritage and his bicycle trips in Norway. He rode from the Arctic Circle, down the west coast, and across the mountains to Oslo. He also biked in Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, and France, Oregon to Glacier Park, and Glacier Park to Minnesota. Mark twice participated in RAGBRAI, an annual event of bicycling across Iowa from the Missouri River to the Mississippi.
Mark was deeply involved in sports besides biking, including coaching his son’s and daughter’s soccer teams. He took each youth soccer team to Norway to compete in the Norway Cup.
Mark and Dianne lived in Burnsville, Minn. After they acquired a winter home in Sun City Grand in Surprise, Ariz., Mark joined a softball league. He was a star shortstop and adept hitter for several seasons. Mark continued to play through his progressing weakness from cancer until January 2019. He biked and took walks until recently.
In 2013 Mark published a novel called J-Hawk Nation. He highlighted the importance of teamwork and leadership.
Mark and Dianne enjoyed traveling to Hawaii and various national parks and monuments, especially Yellowstone National Park. They went there almost annually to enjoy the animals and scenery.
Mark was always encouraging others, including grandchildren, students, teachers, friends, and teammates. His commitment to serve others is exemplified by financing and participating in building a home for a needy mother and her child in Reynosa, Mexico.
Mark absolutely adored his grandchildren and enjoyed playing with them. He lived for precious times and activities with them.
He is survived by his wife, Dianne (16561 Tranquility Lane, Surprise, AZ 85387); mother, Lois (Tweed) Reinsmoen; son, Matthew Reinsmoen (Jennifer Heim); daughter, Rachel Cohn (Tony); stepdaughter, Tara Allen (Dana); six grandchildren: Ethan Cohn (10), Reece Reinsmoen (8), Bennett Cohn (7), Scott Allen (5), Abram Reinsmoen (5), and Lindsay Allen (3); brother, Robert “Rob” Reinsmoen (Mary); and sisters: Mary Reinsmoen, Jane Reinsmoen, and Molly Iverson (Dave).
Preceding Mark in death are his sister, Laura Reinsmoen; and father, Peter Orland Reinsmoen.