Mark (Norm) Edward Kempenich, 53, died at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis on Tuesday, September 20, 2022, surrounded by his loving family.
Mark was born on July 22, 1969 to James and Patricia (Holscher) Kempenich at Trinity Hospital in Baudette, Minnesota. He was welcomed home by six older siblings and was raised with them, along with his younger sister, in a small town that fostered both his independent approach to life and his community-focused spirit. From drama and chorus and sports program participation to jobs in food service and resort hospitality, Mark’s formative years in Baudette set the stage for a life where meeting and knowing people was a foundation of his joy for life and others’ joy in knowing him.
Mark was a life-long Minnesotan (and Vikings fan) and left an unmistakable imprint on many parts of the state. He studied culinary arts in Staples and Crookston and worked at restaurants in Baudette, St. Cloud, and the Twin Cities metro area. Mark was proud to earn his Certified Medical Assistant certification from Lakeland Medical Academy in 1997 and enjoyed laboratory work in the Twin Cities for several years. Following a medical event in 2004, Mark was blessed to meet his friend Jim Miller who employed Mark in building maintenance for many years. Mark’s years of retail experience and customer service were apparent in his work from Borderview resort on the Rainy River to the Warner Brothers store in St. Michael to Stogies on Grand to his most recent position as manager-in-training at a Holiday station near his home in St. Paul.
The things most important to Mark in his life were his faith, his family, and his connections with friends. His faith in Christ was evident through years of volunteering at Camp Courage in Maple Lake and his service through his faith community. Mark was proud of seven years of sobriety and was fiercely loyal to and protective of his family, especially his beloved nieces and nephews. In recent years, Mark has enjoyed frequent visits to his mom’s home in Pine City, helping her with yard projects and errands around town. Whether with friends or family, Mark always had a story to share, and the best ones came with a punchline at the end.
Mark is survived by his mother Pat Kempenich; seven siblings: Mary (Darrell) Norstebon, Jean (John) Wolfe, David (Karla) Kempenich, Pat (Mike) Erickson, Lois (Ed) Colaprete, Dan (Jane) Kempenich, and Janice (Pat) Arthur; along with his dear friends Bob and Paula Milne; 20 nieces and nephews; 17 great-nieces and great-nephews; many aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends.
He was preceded in death by his father Jim Kempenich; grandparents, godparents, numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.
In lieu of flowers, please direct memorials in Mark's memory to the: Kempenich family by mail or at this site: https://gofund.me/4e722041.
Monsignor Aleksander Suchan will celebrate a Mass of Christian Burial for Mark: 10:30 AM; Friday, September 30, 2022 at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Pine City. A time of visitation and reviewal is planned from 5-8 PM; Thursday (9/29) with a rosary service at 7:30 PM at the Swanson Funeral Chapel in Pine City and also one hour prior to the Mass in the St. Anthony Commons area at the church. The interment will take place in the Calvary Catholic Cemetery, Pine City.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the: Funeral and Cremation Service of Pine City ~ Swanson Chapel