Mark Steven Bissell, a former ferry captain and longtime airport employee, died of cancer at home in Roberts, Wis., on Monday, June 7. He was 62.

Mark died surrounded by family after a hard-fought battle with colon cancer, during which he always kept a positive attitude, even after three surgeries and four years of chemotherapy.

Mark was born in Ashland, Wis. and grew up in Garden City, Kan. and Boyceville, Wis. During his childhood, summers and holidays were often spent on Madeline Island, which is where his family had lived for generations. Mark felt a very deep connection to the island and as a young man, he had eagerly joined the community. For years, he worked as a deckhand and captain for the Madeline Island Ferry Lines. And throughout his life, he most enjoyed his time on Lake Superior, trolling for fish in Big Bay and island hopping with his brother, who was also his best friend.

Eventually he earned a degree from District One Technical Institute in Eau Claire, Wis., and after starting a family, he moved to the Twin Cities area. There, he worked for Northwest Airlines and Delta Air Lines for roughly 30 years in equipment service, mostly as a ramp supervisor.

Mark was extremely proud of his two daughters and eagerly listened to the details of their lives in daily phone calls after his cancer diagnosis. Those conversations helped to cement a closeness between them that all three cherished and will be greatly missed. Mark was very dedicated to his family and also spoke every day with his own parents. Their love and support -- as well as home cooking -- was a lifelong gift that especially lifted him up in his final years.

Mark will be remembered for his sense of humor, desire for everyone to have a good time, and how he lived his life on his own terms. He is survived by his daughters Ashley Bissell (Michelle Wallace) and Jennifer Bissell-Linsk (Jake Bissell-Linsk), father Theodore Bissell, mother Mary Bissell, brother Randy Bissell, sister Lynette Anderson (Brad Anderson) and numerous nieces and nephews.

A funeral for Mark will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 12, at St. Johns United Church of Christ on Madeline Island, 706 Main Street, La Pointe, Wis. with visitation starting one hour prior. Burial will follow in the Greenwood Cemetery on Madeline Island. A joyous celebration, as requested by Mark, will be held afterwards nearby at the family cabin.

The Bratley Funeral Home in Washburn, WI is handling the arrangements.

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