Mark A. Pfeiffer, 65, of Terre Haute, Indiana, died of a catastrophic brain hemorrhage at St. Mary's Hospital in Madison, Wis. on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019.
He was surrounded by family. He was in excellent health one month prior and the underlying cause of the infection that hospitalized him is pending results of an autopsy.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at THE BARN RESTAURANT, 32800 CTY Rd. K, Prairie Du Chien, Wis. from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019.
Mark is survived by his very loving children, a son, Alex Pfeiffer of Madison Wis., two daughters, Melissa Pfeiffer of Verona, Wis., and Vanessa (Don) Dawson of Burlington, NC.; his mother, Marlys Pfeiffer of McGregor, Iowa; three brothers, Rick (Laura) Pfeiffer of Columbia, Mo., Kirk (Barb) Pfeiffer of Sterling, Ill. and Kent (Penny) Pfeiffer of Marquette, Iowa; two sisters, Kymm (Lee) Hinkel of Waukon, Iowa and Kris (Scott) Dickey of Parker, Colo.; and a special friend, Michelle McClaskie of Delray Beach Fla.
Mark was born in Pensacola, Fla. on Dec. 10, 1953 to (U.S. Navy) Dr. Donald and Marlys Pfeiffer. From Pensacola, Mark moved with his family to Midway Island where his father cared for Navy personnel on the island, and in 1955 the family moved to McGregor, Iowa. Mark attended the Mar-Mac Schools, Campion Jesuit High School and Northern Iowa University. In 1975, he was united in marriage with Suzanne McGuire. To this union three children were born. They later divorced.
A lifelong Railroad worker, Mark was especially respected by his fellow track laborers. From 1975 – 2012 he served as a laborer, foreman, and road master for a variety of rail companies stemming from the original Milwaukee Road including the Soo Line, Canadian Pacific Rail, and CSX. He kept his workers safe in one of the most dangerous industries in America, receiving multiple plaques for his superb work ethic and professionalism under the most challenging conditions of fatigue and an adverse environment. In 1992, he was recognized with the Loram Safety Award for his results under such conditions.
Not afraid to get his hands dirty, Mark relished in completing home projects and was giving of his time helping others doing building projects for his children and mother. He was a creative wood worker and spent retirement time implementing blueprints that he designed himself.
He was also a fan of history and science. It would not be uncommon to see him correctly answer 27 of the 30 questions on the board in a round of "Jeopardy". It was in fact, rare to find any game of intelligence that he would not constantly win. Beating him in such a game was a rare treat and relished challenge for loved ones.
A bit of a modern renaissance man, he also loved music and the arts. A holder of season passes in Madison and Indianapolis, he was well versed in classic and new classics in theatre. In his later years, he would often sing along to the Musical "Hamilton" while driving his beat-up pickup truck that had hauled its share of railroad construction tools. He was also a proficient artist himself. He was known to surprise loved ones old and new with his incredible drawings from time to time.
Despite his blue collar life while an admirer of "high culture", Mark also appreciated ranges of music from popular bands of his time such as Jethro Tull, T-Rex, The Kinks, Rolling Stones, and The Beatles to lesser known artists where he went to many concerts of Todd Snider, Delbert McClinton, and Robert Earl Keen.
Mark was an avid golfer and sports fan as well. He loved the PGA, Iowa Hawkeyes, New York Yankees, and Indianapolis Colts. He attended Super Bowl III (of famous Joe Namath's guarantee) in addition to well over half the parks in Major League Baseball. Many summer vacations were taken up with such tours.
If you knew Mark from one area of his life, his range of interests and gifts would be surprising. Fitting, as he was one to thrive on surprises. He was a generous Christmas host and would surprise family members on vacation such as the time he sang and danced "Phantom of the Opera" until family members could guess the show they would be seeing.
Mark will be missed greatly by his family and friends. His children and siblings could always count on him whenever anyone needed anything. He loved spending time with his mother, helping her around the house with gardening and accessibility projects. After retirement, Mark took on a whole new meaning to his life, he truly was the kindest of father, brother, and son.
Food will be served, and memories shared at THE BARN RESTAURANT, 32800 CTY Rd. K, Prairie Du Chien, Wis. from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 27, 2019.
All who knew Mark in any of his varied contexts are welcome to attend. Time will be allotted for all to share stories from his life. Family would particularly love to hear stories from his early life and days on the railroad.
Online condolences may be made to www.gundersonfh.com
Funeral & Cremation Care
5203 Monona Drive