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Mark R. Krosch

Funeral services for Mark Ripley Krosch of Morris will be held Monday, Feb. 23, 2009 at 10:30 a.m. at Federated Church in Morris. Reverend Hilda Parks will be officiating. Visitation will be held one hour prior to services at the church on Monday. Burial will be on Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009 at Riverview Cemetery in Elmore, Minn.

Mark Ripley Krosch, a long time resident of rural Morris, departed this life on Feb. 17, 2009 at the Minneapolis home of his daughter. He was 96.

He lived those years with courage, dignity, strength, and wit. He taught us by example that material things can come and go but to give generously of one's love and time. That is how he fulfilled what he considered his most important roles - those of father and grandfather. For many years, summer vacation at the farm meant going fishing or for tractor rides with "GPop", eating apples he so precisely peeled, cored, and sliced or trying to decipher how it was possible for him to get all the aces when challenged to a game of rummy. Always he could be counted on to read or tell a goodnight story or recite from memory the poems of Kipling, Longfellow, Stevenson and others. In return he received undying respect, love, and loyalty. All of us gathered around him during his final weeks.

Mark was born on Nov. 13, 1912 to John Henry and Bessie Adelia (Ripley) Krosch at their home near Elmore. He was pre-deceased by his parents, sisters Alice Farrow, Marjorie Dickman, and brothers Harold and John. He was survived by his sister, Helen Farrow, of Spirit Lake, Iowa and sister-in-law Delores Farrow of Ledyard, Iowa.

By the age of twenty, he had hitchhiked to California. He was to work at a variety of jobs during the Depression. His grandfather, W.B. Ripley, was a Union veteran of the Civil War and had instilled a love of country in his young grandson, so Mark was fulfilling established family precedent when he enlisted in the Army during World War II. He served with the Army Corps. of Engineers Company C, 139th Airborne Engineering Battalion. He fought in the battles of Rhineland, Ardennes, and throughout Central Europe.

After his discharge on Oct. 26, 1945 he settled for a time in Jerome, Ariz., where he worked for Phelps Dodge. After a determined courtship, he was married on Oct. 21, 1947 in Albuquerque, N.M. to Erma Lillian Farrow. In Jan. 1949 they moved to Ledyard, Iowa, to run the family farm until March of 1953 when they moved to their own farm near Morris. Mark called that home for nearly 56 years.

It was there they raised their four daughters who also survive: Lillian (Ram) Mittal, Leota (Greg) Brucker, Mary (Patrick) Rockhill, and Nola Krosch. They celebrated 54 years of marriage before Erma's death on Jan. 22, 2002. Mark continued to spend his summers on the farm in the company of his children, grandchildren, and a retinue of their friends who had become like family to him. Until this year he had been able to winter in California. Although his health was declining, his grandchildren made it possible for him to spend one last summer at the farm.

These grandchildren, Mark (Tiffany) Mittal, Monica (Daniel) Stanghelle and their son Erik, Adriana and Alarica Mittal, Kyle and Krista Brucker, Roland, Nadine, and Max Miller, and many nieces and nephews are also left to mourn his death.

There is no more fitting epitaph for this good and gentle man than that which he spoke shortly before his death, "Adieu, Adieu, kind friend, Adieu." We could have had no better father nor kinder friend. We shall cherish his memory. The world was a better place for his presence in it.

Pallbearers for the service are: Kyle Brucker, Mark Mittal, Roland Miller, Daniel Stanghelle, Onur Zilelioglu and Mike White. Honorary pallbearers are all of Mark's grandchildren. Cheryl Rempel will serve as organist for the service with Rosanne Halloran serving as soloist. Pedersen Funeral Home in Morris is in charge of the arrangements.