Mark James Fagerness
Age 57, of Roseville, passed away September 17, 2023, surrounded by family, after valiantly battling cancer for three years.
Mark was born March 19, 1966, to Joyce (Redenbaugh) and James Fagerness in Minneapolis, MN. He had an insatiable desire to learn, and loved to share his knowledge with others. Early on, he read every book he could get his hands on and became a walking encyclopedia of knowledge. In elementary and junior high school, he was placed in the gifted and talented programs.
Mark became an entrepreneur at an early age: in elementary school, he sold subscriptions to and delivered newspapers for the Minneapolis Star and the Minneapolis Tribune, earning a trip to Disneyworld and several prizes and awards for his efforts. He also won awards for achievements in Cub Scouts. In junior high, Mark learned how to use a SLR camera and develop film in a darkroom, and enjoyed it so much that he joined the yearbook committee in high school and set up a darkroom
at home. Many of his photographs were featured in the Burnsville Kotka yearbooks.
Mark was also an avid runner and ran cross country and track and field in junior and senior high, and loved waterskiing up at the lake. After graduating from Burnsville Senior High School in 1984, Mark worked at a grocery store, drove a school bus for Bloomington Schools, and spent several summers traveling throughout Europe.
Mark was a pioneer in 80s fashion and sported homemade tie-dyed shirts with Zubaz pants and Flock of Seagulls-esque hairstyles created by his good friend, hair stylist Gregg Bakker, such as the mullet, wolf, and skunk. Mark's tie-dyed shirts were so popular that he started selling them and custom silk screened shirts as a business.
Mark then opened a comic book shop with a partner, studied computer programming, and spent several years working for ASIA Security at concerts and events. One of his favorite memories at ASIA was when he worked at a private event at Paisley Park and almost denied Prince entrance into his own home, because Prince was returning home in a different car than he had left in. Mark absolutely loved working at the Renaissance Festival and reenacting medieval events, and traveled across the country to Renaissance Fairs in his Highlander-like outfit and kilt.
Mark married Karen Lybarger and immediately took on the role of a loving father to Nicholas and Bethany, before being blessed with two amazing children of his own, Trevor and Alexandra. Mark loved nothing more than spending time with his children and participating in activities with them, such as coaching soccer teams, leading a Cub Scout troup, chaperoning several school field trips, and taking numerous trips to the Science Museum, Children's Museum, MOA Aquarium, Afton Alps, and State Parks. He especially enjoyed spending a day at the Renaissance Festival with the whole family in costume.
Mark later earned Associate of Applied Science Degrees in Electrical Technologies, Industrial Mechanical Technologies, and Electrical Mechanical Technician, and a Diploma in Industrial Mechanics, and worked as the Head of Maintenance at a residential rental property in Roseville, not only maintaining the property, but completely renovating the townhomes. Mark enjoyed teaching all of his children and their friends construction skills, and was looking forward to venturing out and investing in rental properties with the family when a cancer diagnosis stole that dream. Mark had a keen sense of humor and wit, which he maintained to the very end.
Mark is survived by his devoted wife Karen; children Trevor, Alexandra, Nicholas, and Bethany; granddaughter Isabella; parents Joyce and James; loving sister Lynn; Aunts Phyllis, Virginia, Ellen, and Melva; Uncle, Vern; numerous cousins; and countless friends and loved ones.
Mark was preceded in death by grandparents Vearn (Emily) Redenbaugh, and Melvin (Ruby, Elsie, Luverne) Fagerness.
A Celebration of Life for Mark will be held from 1- 3 PM, on Saturday, October 7, at Bradshaw Funeral Home, 1078 Rice St., St. Paul.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Mark's family to help them during this time.
Friends have set up a GoFundMe page for the family here: