Mark A Mathison, MD, 83, of Fargo, North Dakota, passed away on January 21, 2021 after a three-year stand-off with cancer. Mark was born on December 28, 1937 to Alfred and Daisy (Anderson) Mathison in Kasson, Minnesota. After graduating from John Marshall High School in Rochester, Minnesota in 1955, he went on to study at the University of Minnesota. He was proud to be a Golden Gopher. Mark studied medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical School. After graduation, he served in the United States Public Health Service. He met Marjorie Carlson, RN of Pelican Rapids, Minnesota while they both worked on the U of MN hospital wards. Mark bought tickets from Marge to a dance he knew he could not attend. He kept those tickets in his wallet for years. They married in 1961 and welcomed seven children and 16 grandchildren over their 59 year marriage. Mark returned to his hometown of Rochester, MN for his residency in Urology at The Mayo Clinic. He was delighted to accept a position at Dakota Clinic in Fargo, North Dakota in 1971. He was recruited by James P. Lantz, MD and the clinic’s legendary founder, E.P. Wenz, MD both his life-long friends. He worked there as Chief of Urology until his retirement in 2000. He also worked many extra shifts in the Emergency Room. After retirement, he filled in when needed for the Urology Department and built his dream log cabin on East Spirit Lake near Vergas, Minnesota. He lived an amazingly full but humble life. He always introduced himself as Mark and disliked any sort of pretense. He loved his patients and got to know them well. Mark was a master surgeon, called “Chief” by his OR teams. He was known for his calm demeanor, speed and surgical skills. He was a master woodworker, crafting beautiful furniture that he gifted to his children. He was so good that he kept all fingers intact despite a few injuries here or there. Mark was also a master outdoorsman and cherished training Labrador “Lagador” Retrievers. He enjoyed walleye and salmon fishing, hunting pheasant, waterfowl and big game animals. He loved being outdoors with friends and family, especially in frigid weather. He will be remembered in his favorite attire of blaze orange or camouflage, with a big smile and bright red cheeks. He was known for his kindness and generosity. Mark gave beyond his means, helping all seven kids through college and graduate school. He would waggle his index finger and tell his kids, “This finger paid for your college education!” referencing the prostate exams he conducted regularly. He would do anything to help his family. He loved to visit and transport kids and grandkids all over the country for college and hockey…. from Vermont to Washington, California to North Carolina, and everywhere in between. He loved road trips and drove because he hated to fly. He would point out the beautiful sites and scenery along the way, exclaiming, “Pretty, isn’t it?” He was also funny to the core. He loved to tease, create nicknames and use funny voices. He got to know his kids’ friends well and they would get a good dose of his sarcasm, teasing and affection. Mark acquired a few nicknames of his own. Our favorite for him was Sparky, from the Walter Matthau character in the movie “Grumpy Old Men”. We also called him SuperDad, SuperMark, SuperMarket, Guy, Eagle Eye (for his prowess as a navigator and attention to detail), Doc, Chief and Bumpa. When he was not telling jokes he was pretty quiet, but he showed his deep love for his wife and kids through his hard work, generosity and outdoor activities. He loved to flip the bird when the occasion called for it and used a spicy string of words whenever the Vikings played, or any of his boys needed to step up the efforts on the ice. “Skate (insert child/grandchild’s name)!” His latest hobby was the challenge of making custom fishing rods. He built at least one for all his kids and grandchildren, as well as for many of their friends. He built a custom rod for Bud Grant, former Vikings coach, and beamed with Purple Pride. Mark converted to Catholicism when he married Marge in 1961. For the past year, he watched daily morning Mass on TV, and felt blessed that he got to say his confession and receive communion a few days before he died. The priest said that Mark brought him joy during this time. Mark loved God, and was ready for Heaven... but he was still hoping for another fishing trip. He talked about his latest rod design just a few minutes before passing. Mark was preceded in death by two “angel babies”, his parents, Alfred and Daisy Mathison, his in-laws, Hans and Agnes Carlson, his brother Robert Mathison, his sister-in-law, Mary Lou Carlson, two brother-in-law’s, Hall Smith and Howard Carlson and two nephews Daniel and Todd Mathison. He is survived by Marjorie, his wife of 59 years, his daughters Susan Mathison, Michelle Mathison Holmes, and Kathryn Mathison Cole (Hugh Cole,) his sons Chris Mathison (Elizabeth), David Mathison, Brian Mathison (Jenny) and Peter Mathison (Sara), his two sisters Anni Mathison and Donna Smith as well as his-brother-in law Wally Carlson, and sister-in-law Gail Carlson. Mark loved his nieces and nephews, and absolutely adored his 16 grandkids, Trent Holmes, Eleanor Holmes, Paige Mathison, Cole Mathison, Anders Holmes, Megan Mathison, Olivia Mathison, Rebecca Mathison, Kayla Mathison, Michael Mathison, Emily Mathison, Maryn Cole, Grant Mathison Johnson, Wilson Cole, Henrik Mathison and Harrison Mathison. The Mathison’s would like to sincerely thank the doctors, nurses and team at Essentia Health-Fargo for their kind and compassionate care of Mark over the years, and especially the last few weeks. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate memorials to Dakota Medical Foundation, Great Plains Food Bank, or The Marv Bossart Foundation for Parkinson’s Support.

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  1. Mathison Family – deepest sympathies on the loss of your father and patriarch. He was an amazing example to all of you and a leader in our community – all evident by what great people all his children and grandchildren have become. Prayers for your dad and healing in all of your hearts

  2. Sorry to hear about Mark. He is with his fishing buddy Dit. We enjoyed all our fishing trips to Washington Is. with Mathison family. And later years with Mark and Marge to Wisc. I know Mark was the best fishing guy. He has a wonderful family and will be missed by all. Love,Janice and Ken Baker

  3. I wish I could be there to support your family in person, your dad/husband, Mark, was a great man to many and will be missed. Your family will be in our prayers. May God rest Mark’s soul.

  4. Sue, sorry to learn of your dad’s passing, I was fortunate to work with
    him for a few years in the OR, many memories. GOD BLESS HIS MEMORY. Thinking of you and your family.

    Marilyn Gilbertson

  5. Mathison family,
    Our hearts go out to you all of you during this very difficult time. As I personally know with my dad in Heaven, he is with you all always… watch for those signs . Sending you all so many prayers.
    With love,
    Tom and Steph Astrup

  6. Dear Marge and Family, we have pondered Marks passing and cannot find words that reflect our caring .We remember his coming to Fargo and the the joyful times we had visiting your houae and helping build the fence around it,and the goose hunting trips and the fun our families had. Mark was a welcome addition to Dakota Clinic, and he worked long and hard. God Bless all of your family and the care they have brought to our community. We will be attending mass on line.

  7. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the fabulous Mathison’s during this difficult time. So many memories of Mark and our Scheel’s road trips. Mark’s love of his family was truly an inspiration for me. Love, Keith and Sue Astrup and family.

  8. My deepest sympathy to you all for the loss of your family Patriarch. He leaves behind an amazing legacy. I am forever grateful that my boys, Tyler and Riley Holland, got to know him and came to love him as well. You are all in our prayers
    Kim and Ryan Radermacher

  9. Our deepest condolences are with all of the Mathison family. Many great memories with your family. I still can not walk into the Fargo Coliseum & not look for Mark Mathison John Noah & Bill Barker on the rail. I shared that with Mark a few years ago & he gave me a big smile, pat on the back & said good times Barker! Good times. He truly left his mark through his wonderful family. May your wonderful memories comfort you at this time.

  10. My sincerest condolences on the loss of Dr.
    Mathison. I am sure Dr. Wenz and dad were there to welcome him home and there is a ton of fishing going on!

    The world lost an awesome guy.

    With love,
    Katie and Tim Yoder and boys

  11. This is Jeffrey Anderson from Portland OR. I will start by saying that I send condolences from the Anderson family. I am so sorry for your loss. My brother Don told me alot about Mark because he spent sometime growing up with him as I did not! Last time we all saw Mark is when he and Anni flew out to my Dad’s, their Uncle Don,s 90’s Birthday! From what I’ve read he seemed to have lived a good life along with being surrounded by a loving family! God’s Speed Sir! Anni, if you could give me a call that would be appreciated. Brother Don would love to chat as well? My number is 503-201-6665. God Bless your family and I hope everyone is doing well!

  12. Sending love and our deepest sympathies. Mark and the entire Mathison clan have been such dear friends to our family. While everyone left behind miss Mark greatly, I know Mom & Dad welcome his company.

  13. This Beautiful tribute certainly shows the Great man I was privileged to work with!
    #Family First!!!…,ALWAYS!
    Love & Hugs to you all!

  14. David and Sharon Humphrey
    Our most sincere condolences to the entire Mathison family. Mark was a “Happy Camper” always with a smile especially in goose camp, elk camp, deer camp, and salmon camp. And even in the trenches at Dakota Clinic. I’ve always respected Mark for being a loyal family man, dedicated and conscientious physician, and a great guy to go on an adventure with.
    RIP Mark

  15. Blessed be the memory of Mark. In 41 years of our business Mark was a great customer and kept us in line. Not just a customer but a volunteer quality control guy. Thanks for the memories.
    Robin and Carla Johnson
    Lakeland General Store and the
    Cornfield Cafe (retired)

  16. I worked for you Dad as an appointment receptionist and enjoyed working for him. His demands were few. I regarded him as one of the easiest physician to work for. Those days were very few when he came in the office in a bad mood and we had to walk around him on eggshells. It was an honor to know him and knowing how kind of a man he was and how he would not miss a hockey game for one of his kids. He was a great role model.

  17. Prayers and sympathy for Mark’s family. We got to know him at East Spirit Lake. Mark always had a smile and a thumbs up as he passed by our cabin, which he did quite often on his way to and fro! Les and I would be on our daily walk and he would stop and ask if we didn’t have something better and more exciting to do! ❤️ We will remember the twinkle he always had in his eyes!!!! Hugs to all. JoAnn & Les Nesvig

  18. Great tribute! Amazing man and family. Prayers for the family. He will be missed by many, and Mark’s smile lights up a room! ❤❤🙏🙏

  19. My memory of Dr. Mathison starts with hockey and ends with Mass. In the early years of knowing the Mathisons it was all surrounding Scheels traveling hockey. In the end, it was seeing him at Sts. A&J for Masses. I always enjoyed him and his whole family. May God bless Mark and his whole family. I will pray for his soul and for his family and friends as they mourn his passing.

  20. What a nice tribute and such a beautiful service to your dad Chris. We are thinking of you and all the Mathison family!

  21. May Mark Mathison be at peace as he enjoys the rich rewards of his good life on earth. My prayers and sympathy to his family.

  22. Dear Marg and family, My deepest condolences to you and your family. I cherish my memories of the Mathison family during my time at Shanley High School. The support you and Mark gave to the students and staff was endless and most appreciated. Mark’s legacy will forever live on through his children and grandchildren. Rest In Peace Good and Faithful Servant of the Lord. You all remain in my heart and prayers.❤️🙏🏻

  23. We offer our deep sympathies to the Mathison family. Dr. Mathison has a special place in our hearts as a strong supporter to Dean as he coached the Shanley hockey team on and off the ice. We treasure his memory and hold you all close to our hearts.

  24. My thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Mathison family. Great neighbors for many years. May God bless and comfort you.

  25. One of my all time favorite physicians I worked with. He was always up for a good laugh or a shoulder to cry on. He always called me Margaret cause he knew it would get a rise out of me. A very talented, humble and gentle giant. Rest In Peace. My prayers and hugs to the family

  26. I worked with Dr. Mathison back in 1986-1987 at Dakota Clinic. He was very easy and fun to work with. I remember I’d go in his office to ask something and he’d look up at me through the top of his glasses on the end of his nose and say “Yessss?” like he was annoyed but you knew he wasn’t. He was a kidder! My thoughts and prayers are with the Mathison family. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  27. Mark was a wonderful family man. He had a great sense of humor. He cared for his patients & he cared for his partners @ Dakota Clinic.

  28. i am so sorry to hear that Mark has passed away..It brings back so many wonderful memories of our years together at Dakota. David had such fond memories of the hunting and fishing trips and dinners afterward and I know he would join me in affirming what a wonderful person Mark was:: Husband, father. friend and physician. Love and condolence from Ruth Rasmussen, Steven and Michael. Scottsdale, Arizona

  29. Marge and entire Mathison family
    My deepest sympathies to you with the loss of Mark. My first 20 years of practice involved spending much time working with him and I enjoyed every minute. He made me a better radiologist and a better person and I will miss him. My best to all of you.

  30. Susan and family you have my condolences with your Father’s passing. I would see Mark “now and then” at the Vergas Hardware and we always had a nice short visit. I am forever grateful when he operated and kept care of my brother 23 years ago at age 42 with his cancer and doing well today.
    Many have been blessed with his skill and presences. Dr. Paul Hendrickson

  31. Mathison Family, I am so sorry for your loss on such a gentle soul. I worked with Dr. Mathison in the Dakota OR for many years. He was such a joy to work with!! No matter what surgical procedure we were doing, whether it was simple or very complicated, he always remained calm and collected and never a bad word was said to his staff. His guidance taught me a great love for “Urology” even to this day. He teased and tried to play “Gruff” and say “Bah Hum -Bug to Christmas” to shock his staff, but some how that didn’t work. His smile and the noted ” twinkle in his eye” always made for a great day when I was assigned to his Operating Room. It was such a pleasure to work with him and know him. May he rest in Peace and be in the Company of Angels in Heaven.

  32. Marge and Mathison family,

    Mark was an amazing doc and welcomed me when I arrived at the good ol’d Dakota Clinic. I always enjoyed our coffee conversations in the doctors lounge. Our prayers to you all at this time.
    Robert and Bridgette Startz
    Columbia, SC

  33. Dear Mathison family…..this obit definately brought tears…soooo many memories of one of my favorites fellow Dakota Hosp. family…he tried so hard to have tough exterior and it didn’t work….one big teddy bear who was so caring whether it was his family, patients or us coworkers…I was a newbie in 1975 and he taught me so much…Rip, Bah Humbug!!!!You won’t be forgotten!!!

  34. Mathison Family: I always enjoyed seeing your dad at church and bringing communion to him.. Such a nice, kind and humble man. Eternal Rest grant unto him and may the perpetual light shine upon him.

  35. Mathison family,

    My dearest heartfelt condolences. Mark….the “doc”, my billet dad!! He took me in as I snuck into Fargo in 1987 to play one year of hockey at Fargo Shanley. Both he and my mom, Marge were so warm to me and made my move from home in Canada worth it and made me feel welcome from day 1. I have so many fond memories of Mark coming home LATE from work . . every day, collapsing on the couch with his TERRIBLE instant coffee and falling asleep from his exhausting day as a doctor. Throwing socks to little “cinder” the puppy and tolerating a houseful of kids and teenagers is a testament to his character. Thank you Mark for adopting me as your own for that amazing year (1987-88) and for all those things that you did for your fantastic family. Though I have not seen you, most of your family or many of my Fargo friends since 1988 you left a “mark” in my life and I will never forget you, Marge or my Mathison family.

    Your community and planet earth will miss you Doc. . . until we meet again.

    Sean Douglas
    your Canadian son (the second floor, second bedroom on the left)

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