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May 26, 2019

4/18/2019 3:04:00 PM
Mark Lundholm

If he had a choice, Chaplain Mark Richard Lundholm would forgo his obituary with its details of a life well lived, to instead have a campfire and tell stories. He loved telling stories, many of which were true, all of which were fun, some of which had a deep message. Mark was a consummate storyteller whose greatest joy was to enthrall his children, his grandchildren and great grandchildren with stories of the north woods. Many a bear walked into a campsite, many a wolf chased a deer, and canoes were portaged across miles, according to his telling.

Chaplain Mark Richard Lundholm was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in November 2018 and went home to his God surrounded by his loving family on April 10, 2019 at age 80. Mark’s love for his Lord was evident in his words and actions throughout his life. We thank God for our time with him.

Mark was born September 7, 1938 in St Paul, MN. He loved his Swedish heritage and was a true son of the East Side of St. Paul, growing up in the Payne Avenue neighborhood, and baptized at Payne Avenue Baptist Church. He worked at his father’s dry-cleaning business from an early age. Mark attended Minnehaha Academy and graduated from Johnson High School in 1956, having made friendships that would last his whole life.  He fell in love with his future bride Carol when they met 60 years ago on April 12, 1959 on a blind date.  They married in 1961, and he introduced Carol to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area on their honeymoon. The North Shore and the Boundary Waters became central to their family, a deep connection that they passed on to their children and grandchildren. Northern Minnesota became a sacred place for Mark and Carol, as they canoed, hiked, camped there so often, compelled by the presence of God in the solitude, creation, and intimate theological and philosophical campfire discussions.

Mark worked at a variety jobs to support Carol and their two children while attending Bethel College part time for his BA in psychology and later his M.Div. from Bethel Seminary (Class of 1970 and 1977). He loved telling stories about his time as a surgical technician and assistant in the morgue at St. Luke’s Hospital. He also worked at Carol’s father’s business, MidWest Plastics. He even tried his hand as being an insurance salesman. Mark’s close connection and love for scouting through Troop 50 bought him to work for the Indianhead Council of the Boy Scouts of America as a district executive for three years.

Mark was ordained in 1977 after completing Bethel Seminary. His first ministry was five years as pastor at Friendship Baptist Church in East Bethel, MN, where he ministered through building community and pastoral relationships, leading worship and teaching the love of Christ. He also served his community as a volunteer fireman and through the Lions Club, a membership that lasted over 25 years. He also was active in Toastmasters.

Always the learner and seeker of spiritual depth, he began an 18-month residency in Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) at Hazelden Foundation Treatment Center in 1982. This gave him a firm foundation for being a chaplain, his next vocational calling, one that lasted 30 years. At Fergus Falls Regional Treatment Center, beginning in 1983, his compassion, kindness and love brought Christ to those chemically dependent and severely mentally ill in whom he saw the face of Christ each day.
Mark and Carol moved to Lindstrom, MN to be closer to family in 2013 after retirement.  They traveled in their Scamp, a fifth wheel trailer, and on trips abroad for the adventure and connections they could make along the way. They made deep friendships while wintering in Casa Grande, AZ where he continued to minister to others, particularly those experiencing grief and loss. Mark also sang in the Palm Creek, AZ chorus and belonged to a writing group there. He played his trumpet throughout his life, including in a community band.

Mark is preceded in death by his parents, Richard Roland Lundholm and Miriam Lillian (Gagnelius) Lundholm.

He is survived by his beloved wife, Carol of Lindstrom; daughter Kim (Jim) Lundholm-Eades of Marine on St. Croix; son Kent (Sally) Lundholm of Scandia; grandchildren Jeremiah (Liz) Olson, Kierstin (David) Andresen, Chase and Carver Lundholm, great grandchildren Kacie and  Sophie Olson, Annika and Sten Andresen; brother Kent David Lundholm of St Louis Park; brother in law Bill (Ann) Roth, and many other extended family members.

In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to Trinity Lutheran Church or Boy Scout Troop 50.

Mark’s Celebration of Life service is on April 25, 2019 at Trinity Lutheran Church, 13025 Newell Ave., Lindstrom, MN 55045. Visitation at 10 a.m., service at 11 a.m. with luncheon to follow.  Online condolences can be made at StrikeLifeTributes.com. 

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