Marcus Friskop

marcus friskop

Marcus J. Friskop, 57, Hankinson, passed away Sunday, March 10, 2013, at Essentia Health, Fargo.

Marcus was born on November 25, 1955, in Breckenridge, MN, to Merlin and Dorothy (Strom) Friskop. Baptized and confirmed in Wyndmere Lutheran Church, he graduated from Wyndmere High School in 1974. He attended Valley City State University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biological Sciences in 1978.  His first teaching job was in Adams, ND.  Marcus then moved to Maddock, ND, where he met his wife, Wendy Schulkoski.  They were married on June 10, 1985, in North Viking Lutheran Church, Maddock.  The couple made their home in Maddock, before moving to Hankinson in 1990. 

He was currently an educator at Hankinson High School, where he taught across several scientific disciplines.  He established an International Science Fair Program in Hankinson, advising hundreds of students during his tenure in scientific research.  Marcus guided a total of 68 students to present at 32 consecutive international competitions, at which his students garnered multiple grand awards.  In 2000, Marcus was chosen as the Intel International Excellence in Teaching award recipient, the highest honor bestowed upon a secondary science educator.  In 2002, he received the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction’s Excellence in Science Teaching Award.  In recent years, Marcus was selected to serve on the International Science and Engineering Fair’s Scientific Review Committee (SRC), where he was currently serving his second term.

Along with teaching, Marcus was a passionate member of the football coaching staff, helping to lead the 1991 and 2009 teams to State Championships.  He was an umpire for baseball and softball, an avid hunter and antique collector.  He was a member of Calvary Lutheran Church in Hankinson.  His family was the center of his life; his career in education helped to mold his children.

Marcus was a world-class educator, friend, mentor, father figure and visionary. 

He is survived by his wife of 28 years, Wendy, Hankinson ND; daughter, Dr. Magan (R.J.) Lewis, Frontier ND; son, Ph.D. Candidate Andrew Friskop, Fargo ND; granddaughter, Madyson Lewis; mother, Dorothy Friskop, Fargo ND; siblings, Kenneth Friskop, Fargo ND, Constance (Milton) Johnson, Livonia MI, and James Friskop, Fargo ND; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his father.

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  1. Many thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. Please find comfort in God’s promises to soon wipe away all causes for pain and sorrow. (Isaiah 25:8, Revelation 21:3,4)

  2. Wendy and family,

    This is unbelievably painful for you all. Mark was always a good man who wanted to lead students to reach higher. We all have lost someone who was a terrific role model, leader and friend.

    May God bring you peace to look forward to the day of the Resurrection.

  3. Elko NVWhat a wonderful man. I always enjoyed the opportunity to visit with Marcus at ISEF and Stockholm junior water prize about being fellow North Dakota
    ns. I was always amazed at his ability to produce top notch students from little ol’ Hankinson…and how humble he was about it. He will be GREATLY missed.

  4. Maddock ND
    My sympathies to the Friskop family. Mr. Friskop was a wonderful teacher, and inspired so many students to go into science related fields. We have so many memories of him – from learning genus species names of plants/animals, (and still remembering a few)! To leaf projects, anatomy-physiology classes and dissecting various creatures! He had a great sense of humor and always cared about his students. Long live the memory of Mr. Friskop…

    Maddock HS class of ’86

  5. Maddock ND
    Many thoughts & prayers go out to Wendy,Megan & Andrew for the sudden loss of your husband/dad/our friend Mr.Friskop. He was our teacher/coach in Madock. I had had the privilege of attending 1 ISEF and 6 state science fairs with Mr. Friskop and will never forget him sneaking me into the school as a 7th grader during Christmas vacation when I had the chickenpox to work on my science project. Mark had Mr. Friskop as football coach and remembers it wasn’t real hard to get him talking about football during science class. He had a way of bringing out the best in his students and was an unforgettable mentor leaving lifetime impressions. Mr. Friskop will be greatly missed and never forgotten. Sincerely, Mark (MHS 1987) and Tracy (MHS 1988)

  6. Fargo ND
    So sad to hear of Marcus’ passing. He gave so much to his community and to the state. He will greatly missed at the science fair events.

  7. Hankinson ND

    Here is a teacher poem that I read,
    it reminded me of the very sincere and proud way that Mr. Friskop’s students spoke and felt about their beloved “Mr.”

    © Dee Mcdonald
    The Clarity you gave to me,
    It shone like Angel rays,
    Like water rushed on golden sands,
    And crashed along the bays.

    The questions deep within my heart,
    Confused my humble mind,
    Yet when you spoke your words aloud
    It seemed, no longer I was blind.

    The answers all came flooding in,
    They touched my inner soul,
    The knowledge that you gave to me
    Within my heart I hold.

    I understood that the events
    That troubled me somehow,
    Was nothing to be frightened of,
    Instead I should be Proud.

    I Thank You Sir most graciously,
    These words I say aloud,
    For the Clarity you’ve given me,
    Has made me feel quite proud.

    With heartfelt condolences,
    Mike & Christy Montonye

  8. Argusville ND
    Wendy anf family,

    My deepest condolences to you and your family. Marcus was not only a wonderful teacher but a great man who clearly adored his family and job. He was respected by all who had the pleaure of knowing him. I’ll always remember how patient he was and how he instilled a desire to learn. He will be dearly missed.

  9. West Fargo Wendy and family, I am so sorry for your loss. Mr. Friskop was a wonderful teacher and had the ability to bring out the best in his students. I had the opportunity to attend 3 ISEF with him and will never forget the fun times spent in the science lab room. He was a great mentor and helped inspire many students with his enthusiasm. He made learning challenging and fun. He will be missed.

  10. I was a student of Marcus in Maddock, and was sorry to hear about his passing. I enjoyed having him as a teacher and for science club. Blessings to his family, he will certainly be missed.

  11. Eureka South DakotaWendy and family,

    John and I were so sorry to about your husband. Sending thoughts and prayers to you for comfort in the days ahead!!!

  12. Llidgerwood ND
    He will be greatly missed. I will especially miss talking about plants and what kinds of animals I saw come into the yard. Just the other day I saw a very large bird, as big as an eagle but it did not have a white head. He would have told me what it was, even though the picture I took was grainy.

  13. Hawley MN
    Marcus was a respected educator, leader, and my friend.

    With integrity, he mentored students through hands on learning experiences.
    I truly value our association in the science fair programs.

    He will be missed.


  14. Fordville ND
    Wendy and Family,
    I am sorry to hear of the loss of your husband/father. He will be missed by lots of people around Maddock. He had a really big impact on his students. I was a piano student of Wendys. May God Bless you and your family.

  15. Fargo ND
    Wendy and Family,

    I was deeply saddened by hearing of the loss of a truly great man and teacher. He opened so many doors for students when he came to Hankinson. He gave a lot of us the same passion for science and the unknown that had never been tapped before. It is definatly hard to find teachers with the same passion and love for education as he had. I smile and think back to the great days at Hankinson High and he will always be a part of those memories. It is hard to forget a great teacher and one that helped mold and shape you as a person. I thank him for introducing me to Science Fair and the love of solving mysteries. To this day, I still know the names of birds by the sounds they make and have taught this to my children when out hiking, Thanks Mr. Friskop! My families thoughts and prays are with you all.

    Gwen (Braun) Winjum
    HHS, Class of ’93

  16. Kearney NEI am so blessed to have had Marcus Friskop as my teacher. He always encouraged me to be my best….I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to thank him years later for being such a positive influence on my life….My God bless his entire family…..

  17. Minnewaukan ND
    Wendy I am sorry for your and your childrens loss. I hope and pray that he is enjoying Heaven’s wonderfullness. He was not to me as a teacher what you were. I loved having you as my music teacher. All the mistreatment he did to me was forgiven long ago. I know he was a great teacher for many just not for me. May God Bless and Keep you Mr. Friskop.

  18. Minot ND
    My sympathy to all of you at this very sad time. I have many fond memories of Mr Friskop while he taught in Maddock. He was a funny guy and loved what he did. Wishing all of you much peace and comfort at this very difficult time. Fondly, Rachel Rutten (MHS class of 1987)

  19. Valley City ND
    Dear Wendy and Family,
    We are so sad to read of Marcus passing. What a wonderful husband, father, teacher and human being he was. He touched so many peoples lives! He coached our oldest son in ND
    Shrine Football and umpired our youngest while he was pitching State Babe Ruth….but my favorite memory was him taking the New Music Clinic with you at JW Pepper in Fargo this last August….telling you what not to buy!
    May God be with all of you. Our utmost sympathy.
    Sheila and Davy Zinke family

  20. Williston ND
    We have been blessed to know Marcus through our state participation in Science Fair. What an unselfish man! And what a teacher to all of us! Truly, he has left a legacy that many will sing the praises of for years to come.

  21. Pickerington OhioI am very sad to hear that mentor, teacher, and Coach Friskop passed away this past week. He was a tremendous science teacher that brought out the very best in his students time and time again. He also brought out the very best in young men on the court and field of play and his practices were legendary. I can still see us running wind sprints like it was yesterday free throw line and back, half court and back, opposite free throw line and back, opposite court and back. He must have been a graduate of the Herb Brooks School of Coaching. He was a teacher and coach centered on discipline, knowledge, and understanding and most of all, a coach in life. I can say that he had the greatest impact on me during my formative years at Maddock Public School…one word…Coach.

  22. Devils Lake ND
    Wendy and family,
    I don’t know if you remember me, I went to Maddock High School and Graduated in 1988. I went to a couple of the National Science fairs with Marcus. He was a great teacher! He will be greatly missed. I bet he is so proud of his children…doctorates! Marcus made learning interesting and fun.

    My prayers are with you all.

  23. Cedar Falls IAGreat Teacher, Excellant Coach @ even a Better Person. Glad I’ve got to be part of his life and that he was part of mine. I’m a better person because of that.

  24. Los Altos CALIFORNIAWe can hardly believe that we will not be seeing Marcus’s great smile at Intel ISEF this year. He was a supremely talented man and had a way with the finalists in the competition. Marcus, you will certainly be missed!

    Pam and Rob-Bob Ceglinski

  25. Richville MN
    We convey to you Wendy and family our words of grief and condolences. Our children were priviliged to sit under his leadership as a science teacher, coach and friend. As a member of the school board, I considered Marcus a person of impeccable integrity that inspired his strudents to reach beyond their comfort zone in academics, sports and life. God’s speed to your entire family during this trying time. We have many enjoyable memories from your tenure in Maddock.

  26. Mandan ND
    I honestly never new Mr. Friskop, but from what my parents say he was cherished and will be missed by many. My parents, Vern and Loretta, are sure to be there for you Wendy. Our blessings are with your family!

  27. Aurora COMarcus was a leader and visionary that brought a level of education to Hankinson that no one could have ever imagined. His passion shaped so many to follow in his footsteps. He was a great friend to me and my family and will be someone who can truly never be replaced.

  28. Round Hill VirginiaWendy, Magan and Andrew,
    We are all saddened to lose a beloved member of our ISEF SRC family. We celebrate with you the life and wonderful gifts that Marcus shared with all of us. I will always remember Marcus as a gentle, caring man devoted to his family, students and science fairs. We will miss him tremendously.