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June 7, 1960 - February 26, 2016

Mark was born June 7, 1960 in Cresco, Iowa to Darold and Arlene (Reinertson) Blaess.  He attended the North Winneshiek School. On March 21, 1981 he married Susanne (Sue) Hanson in Decorah, Iowa. He worked at Mabel Mill & Elevator and operated Mark’s Welding & Repair in Prosper, Minnesota before going to work at Harmony Enterprises (HECO) where he was employed as a welder for 27 years.

Mark was a member of the Toot and Whistle Club and the Hesper-Mabel Area Historical Society.  He was a devout Allis Chalmers tractor and equipment restorer and collector. Mark was a long-time volunteer at the Hesper-Mabel Steam Engine Days where he operated the threshing machine and other antique machines.  He enjoyed working on his tractors, going to antique tractor shows, going on tractor rides, cruising around on his Allis Chalmers golf cart, camping, and especially spending time with his family and companion dog, Charley.

Mark passed away Friday, February 26, 2016 at his home surrounded by family after a  courageous 6-year fight with cancer at the age of 55.

Mark is survived by his wife Sue of Newburg; five children Brandon of Newburg, Melissa (Ryan) Abshier of Evansville, Indiana, Brett of Newburg, Molly of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, and Benjamin of Harmony; a grandson Riley Mark “Little Buddy” Abshier; his parents Darold and Arlene of Canton, Minnesota; a brother Michael (Kim) of Decorah, Iowa; a sister Robin Holstadof  Idaho ; nieces and nephews; Mark had a special place in his heart for Madlen and RosalieDressel of Germany, neighbors Dacia Inglett and Dean and Deb Stortz and family; and his dog, Charley. He was preceded in death by his grandparents.

Funeral services will be 1 PM Wednesday, March 2, 2016 at the Burr Oak Lutheran Church in Burr Oak, Iowa.  Burial will be in the Burr Oak Cemetery.  Visitation will be 4 – 8 PM Tuesday, March 1 and one hour prior to services at the Burr Oak Lutheran Church.

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