Mark Bradley Bjerke
Date: Thursday January 16, 2020
Time: 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Location: River Park Chapel at Macken Funeral Home [ view map ]
Date: Friday January 17, 2020
Time: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Location: Autumn Ridge Church [ view map ]
Date: Friday January 17, 2020
Time: 12:00 pm
Location: Autumn Ridge Church [ view map ]
Location: Grandview Memorial Gardens [ view map ]
Sunday, June 15, 1975
Date of Death:
Friday, January 10, 2020
44 years old
Mark Bradley Bjerke
Beloved son, brother, uncle, nephew, cousin and friend, Mark Bradley Bjerke, 44, of Rochester, MN, died unexpectedly on Friday, January 10th, 2020 at home of a massive heart attack.
Mark was born on June 15th, 1975 in Rochester, MN to Robert and Mary (Seaton) Bjerke . He graduated from Mayo High School in 1994. He remained in Rochester and became part owner of Dillon’s Auto Salvage in Byron, MN, where he enjoyed helping others and was a customer favorite.
Mark was a skilled hockey player, accomplished golfer, and avid mountain biker in his youth. He continued his love of hockey as a MN Wild fan, enjoyed fishing and most of all spending time with his cherished German Shepherd, Jackson. He was a music enthusiast and enjoyed following the Grateful Dead, among other bands. He was a kind spirit and was generous beyond measure. To know him was to love him and he will be missed tremendously.
He is survived by his parents, Robert Bjerke of Rochester, MN, and Mary (Rick) Swenson of Rochester, MN; siblings Bob (Jackie) Bjerke of Kasson, MN, Chris Bjerke of Rochester, MN, and Melissa (Jeff) Thome of Apple Valley, MN; and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by paternal grandparents, Leonard and Joyce Bjerke; maternal grandparents, Brad and Evelyn Seaton; and uncles, James Seaton and Gary Seaton.
The funeral service will be held at 12:00pm on Friday, January 17th, 2020 at Autumn Ridge Church in Rochester, MN. Visitation will be held on Thursday evening, January 16, 2020 from 5:00pm until 8:00pm in the River Park Chapel at Macken Funeral Home and one hour prior to the service at Autumn Ridge Church. Burial will be in Grandview Memorial Gardens in Rochester.
Online condolences are welcome at www.mackenfuneralhome.com
The family of Mark Bradley Bjerke has received the following condolences.
It was with great surprise, and sadness I read of Mark's death. He was a very good person. I learned much from his gentle personality. He was a great friend, business associate, and neighbor. I am very sorry for your loss.
Sorry to hear about Mark. He graduated from Mayo HS with my son Jeff Thompson. They played hockey together. Jeff introduced me to Mark. It was a good thing because with 3 boys I needed a source for parts for old cars ! Made many trips out to Dillion's. Mark was always helpful and always remembered me. He also always remembered Jeff. I sent the the obituary to Jeff in Portland OR. He said that Mark was always a nice guy and that he was saddened about the news . The last time I talked to Mark was a year ago October when I had an old car taken out to Dillion's.
To Jackie and Family.
My condolences to the whole family.
I am incredibly sorry for you're loss. I'd gotten to know mark at Dillons over the last 14 years, and he was the nicest guy and always treated you fair and with the utmost respect. If I gotten to see mark one last time I wished i could shake his hand and tell him thanks again for everything. He truly was a great man. He's gone way to soon.
Mary, I am so sorry to hear about your son. I didn't even realize that he was your son.....he lived next door to my niece Mary Jo for years......he left his mark and will be missed by many. Thoughts are with you
Mary Jane (Sibley) Hass
Dear Robert, Mary, and Family,
We are so saddened to hear of Mark’s death.
He was indeed, a kind, generous, and gentle young man who had a loving and supportive family.
He was a great friend to our son and he will be terribly missed.
Our deepest sympathy,
Bob & Gretchen MacCarty
I just wanted to let you know I am thinking of you at this time. I am very sorry about your brother.
Sending hugs and prayers!
My deepest sympathy to Jackie and family.
I knew Mark and his brother Bob a little bit from years back. I got to know him better at Dillon's Auto Parts over the years. He was quite the guy, always friendly and helpful. I really enjoyed visiting with him and talking about our German Shepherds. The world isn't as bright without his kind, friendly spirit. My condolences to the whole family.
Rest in peace my friend,
So, sorry to read about the passing of your son Mark. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to you and your family. We hope that pleasant memories will help you through this time of pain.
Bill and JoAnn ( Beyer) Lawler
Prayers 🙏 for the family, Mark was a great friend & super person, he will be missed
Mark will be shurely missed allways there to go that extra mile to find parts or just to BS with ya about just anything,all arnd Great guy.Our condolences to his family.
Melissa & Family,
I am so, so sorry to hear about the passing of your brother. There are few bonds in the world like that of a sibling and he was taken way too soon from you all. Many prayers as you endure this difficult time and as you move forward through life without him. You are continuously in my thoughts and prayers! <3
His kind and gentle spirit touched many! Love and prayers to family! ❤️
Jody and I are so sorry to hear about Mark. He was a very nice person. Sorry for your loss.
My deepest condolences go out to the Bjerke family and all who knew Mark. I first crossed paths with Mark at Swimming lessons at Mayo High School when I was 5. He later transferred to Ben Franklin elementary school when we were in the 5th grade. I knew Mark at that point mainly through hockey. This is when the first memories/stories began with the guy who would later become my best friend in life. Mary I hope your ok with me telling this:) During the 6th grade hockey season we were on opposing teams and I was not liked well by the other teams in our hockey league. Marks mom Mary told either Mark or his team she would put up a $20 bounty on me when they played against our team. Looking back at myself at that time I probably had it coming:) At the end of 6th grade we parted ways as I moved across town and attended a different Jr. High school. But due to boundary changes our paths crossed again as we both attended Mayo High School. Starting around 11th grade I would hang out in Marks garage. Bjerke's garage was legendary! Over the next years, I and 100's of other people spent countless hours hanging out with Mark watching hockey and jamming out to music mainly the Grateful Dead (which I didn't like then but now am thankful Mark turned me on to it!). If I would ask enough times Mark might breakdown and set up the ping pong table which was 4 saw horses and the 2 tops. We were both competitive and played countless games through the years. Only problem was I had a ping pong table growing up so I usually won. I soon after started playing him and most others with my opposite hand so the games were closer. Mark seemed to be truly amazed at the fact I had been able to be as good with my opposite hand after a short time. If the table was up he made sure to tell others that would show up this as well. Mark always made whoever was in his presence feel they were special and always talked you up when people were around. Never a negative! Another story Mark would tell countless times over the years was the time when Todd Satre stopped by the garage one night when the pong table was set-up. Todd walked in and asked if he could have the next game. I was just finishing a game and either Mark or I asked Todd if he was any good? Todd replied you might say so! It was funnier when Mark would say it in a deep voice:) As Mark would say then you whipped him 21-4. Another story some would hear around the 4th of July was the time Mark and I took a package of Roman Candles to Mayo High School at night to light them off. I had never been around fireworks and just though you light it and just hold it out in front of you and the flaming balls shoot forward. Long story short the Roman Candle backfired and burned a hole through my shirt and burned me a little. Boy did he laugh, didn't you know you hold them off to your side??? During the summer after we graduated almost every night when I wasn't playing baseball I was at Marks garage. Garage door open, music playing just good times with countless people. That next year, I had gotten a mountain bike and was lucky enough to have Mark invite me to join him and Rob MacCarty to go to a place he called the 7 crossing somewhere near Johnny's Saloon on a back road. Mark was a master at the things he enjoyed and he was an excellent mountain biker. I just remember flying through trails all afternoon and jumping our bikes into a different creeks 7 times. That same year a few people moved into a house off Broadway and when we had gatherings Mark was always the guest of honor when he would make an appearance. There was just something about him. I never met a person who he didn't connect with in some way. He was a great communicator! Another activity Mark was fond of was rollerblading. One night during the fall of that year a few of us strapped on our roller blades and headed downtown to ride a few of the parking ramps and then found ourselves at Silver Lake pool. It had been drained for the year so we all hopped the fence and rode in the pool. After that summer, I left for college and whenever I returned for breaks/holidays you could be sure everyone would be heading to Marks to meet up. Somewhere around 1997 Mark decided it was time to get his own place and purchased a nice house on 13 ave. by Quarry Hill. I was in college in St. Cloud and numerous weekends when id come home I would say Hi to my parents and then off to Marks. Mark renovated a lot of the house and garage so there were projects to do every time. Each time back Mark always stopped what he was doing and focused on what was new with me and would ask about how our group of friends was. Sometimes we got work done others we would just catch up and jam out to music with the neighbors. As usual Mark enjoyed company and there were many new neighbors and their friends which let me tell you there was never a dull moment in the new neighborhood. Mark was the kindest guy and always opened his doors to visitors. Even the guy next door an elderly man named Gay Austin. Most people would not take kindly to an elderly neighbor just stopping over unannounced every day and always asking for multiple cigarettes and beers. Mark would always say sure fridge is over there and gave Gay the utmost respect. Around this time, when I came back on a weekend there was a new addition at Marks. He had gotten a German Shepard named Theo. Boy was he happy and Theo was a great dog. Sometime that summer I talked Mark into going up to the top of a very steep hill over by Quarry Hill and bombing down the hill. So we headed up there with his trusty companion Theo. As we bombed down the hill I don't think Theo had ever ran so fast trying to keep up with us. Looking back it probably was not the smartest thing to do as it was pitch dark and we easily could have gotten hurt. When we got back to Marks house Theo was tired so we left him and them headed downtown to rollerblade around. I recently found a video I had made that night and at one point I pass mark and he has the biggest smile on his face. It was the adventure I think that we both loved! Kinda took us both back to our childhoods. Around this time I graduated from College and moved back to Rochester and lived at my parents for a year. I kid you not I spent almost every night for the next few years at Marks with my future wife Kelly there most nights. These are the days when I started to realize how special of a person Mark was. Up until that point I looked at people we associated with as friends but hanging out with Mark over the years I truly saw what friendship is. Its the person who never judges you, never puts you down, never changes your moment into theirs, would always stop what he was doing to ask how you are. Even though I wasn't a car expert like him he never made me feel stupid when I would try to explain car related issues and Mark. He truly cherished the times he got to hang out with others. Too many people are judgmental and I cant say I remember ever seeing this from Mark. I have 100's of stories and memories over the years with Mark but will leave you with one more fireworks story. Annually at Marks new place many people would come over to watch the fireworks. This particular year a good friend Jason had gone to Wisconsin and purchased $800 of very large motor shell fireworks. Enough to fill half of a minivan. Mark was aware of the purchase and prior to everyone arriving went into his backyard and took the screws out of the bottom of his fence so the 2 boards could easily be moved and we could enter and exit his back yard without people knowing. Let me tell you these fireworks were something. We lit off 1 and I kid you not they were bigger than the ones at Silver Lake. At the time the police still tried to find people lighting off illegal works and Mark said no more from the backyard. So like little kids we loaded up our backpacks each with tons of fireworks and crawled through the fence and went into the neighbors backyards behind his house and would lite them off, run to the next neighbors that weren't home lite them off and then take off back through the fence into Marks. This was also the year the fireworks at Silver Lake were not very good. I kid you not the display that came from 13th, 14th and 15th ave that year was just as good as the real show.
While I will never be able to physically see Mark in person again I will never ever forget the person he was, the life lessons he taught me and the stories and memories we had. RIP and Godspeed my friend forever!