May 4, 1953 - May 8, 2019
Mark Alan Bryan, age 66, of Phillips, died on Wednesday, May 8, 2019, at Aspirus Care and Rehabilitation Center in Medford under the care of Hospice and his doting and loving wife, Katie. Also present at the time of his death was Katie's sister, Sally, who drove from Tennessee and arrived just in time to say goodbye.
In the previous week, Mark celebrated his birthday with his wife, his son, Garrett Jeffrey, and special friends from California. Regularly visited by his friends and family throughout his valiant, decade-long battle with cancer, Mark was beloved by many, including his nurses.
Born on May 4, 1953, Mark was the second child and first son of Charles Leslie and Laura Kathryn (Cornett) Bryan. His early life and schooling were in Phillips, where he graduated from Phillips High School. After two years at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau, Mark worked for the Peace Corps in Iran, teaching electricity without electricity. Following that he worked for Bell Helicopter. Always interested in people from other lands, Mark travelled extensively throughout Afghanistan, Nepal, Tibet, Thailand, New Zealand, Russia, and India. After returning home in the late 1970s, Mark purchased his parents' dairy farm, where he worked until his health forced him to sell his cows in 2011.
Mark married twice, first to Sharon (Bacholl) and then, following divorce and a decade as a bachelor, to Katie (Gunn) Heil. After retiring from farming, Mark was very active in Northwoods Players, where he designed and built sets and props, acted on stage, and shifted scenery backstage. He was never afraid to try anything new (except asparagus) and appeared in
several ballets produced by his second wife (and yes, sometimes even wore tights!).
Whilst his son Garrett was growing up, Mark supported him in lawnmower racing, showing dairy calves at the fair, snowmobiling, fishing, and hunting. After Mark married Katie, he supported her interest in show cats (Siamese) and designed cages with the same skill, intelligence, and
creativity he used in his other pursuits. Very civic minded, Mark was on the board of several entities, including Northwoods Players.
Mark is survived by his wife; parents; son Garrett; two stepchildren, Frank Heil and Julia Greenspan of California; four grandchildren, Bentley, Carter, Miles, and Calvin; a sister, Cathy (Dan) Haupert of Catawba; two brothers, Wayne (Jane) of Vienna, Virginia, and Dan (Beth) Bryan of Phillips; five nephews; eight nieces; a large extended family; and longtime friend from his Peace Corps days, Bernice Conrad, of California. He was preceded in death by his youngest sister, Diane (Dale) Hartmann. He is also survived by his devoted collie, Honeysuckle; his Siamese cats; and a miniature pig, Spot.
Friends are invited by the family to say goodbye to Mark on Friday, May 17, at 4:30 p.m. at Heindl Funeral Home in Phillips and then to celebrate Mark's life on Sunday, June 2 at 2 p.m. at Lionite Park, also in Phillips. A picnic lunch will be provided following the life celebration in Lionite Park.