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Mark Armstrong

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Mark Armstrong, 67, of Bismarck, passed away May 11, 2024 at Sanford Health, Bismarck.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 AM on Saturday, May 18, 2024, at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, Bismarck, ND.  To view the livestream, click on the following link, https://www.cathedralparish.com/mass-livestream

Visitation will be held Friday, May 17, from 5:30 to 7:00 PM at Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, with a Rosary and Vigil Service at 7:00 PM.  Visitation will continue at the church one hour prior to the service on Saturday.

In lieu of flowers, please make memorials in memory of Mark to Integral Heart Foundation, https://www.integralheartfoundation.org/ways.of.giving.htm

“Another day on the way to Paradise,” was Mark Armstrong’s typical response whenever anyone asked, “How’s it going?” His day to enter Paradise—eternity—came just before midnight on Saturday, May 11 due to a tear in his aorta. He just missed his 68th birthday on May 13- a special day he joyfully shared for 34 years with his birthday buddy son, Jacob.

Mark was born to Patricia and Richard Armstrong in Berkley, California, the oldest of three sons.  Scott (deceased) and Todd completed the Armstrong family, and together they traveled and lived across the globe, including moves to Vermont in 1963, California in 1965, Oregon in 1967, Guam in 1969, back to Vermont in 1972, where he graduated high school from Bellow Free Academy in 1974. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Political Science after also spending time as a student in California and Vermont.

Mark worked in radio in high school and college and for a short time, opened up as a comedian for big-named acts in Los Angeles. It was a job title he returned to after his retirement—Mark Armstrong: comedian.

Mark’s greatest life adventure of faith and family began in the Peace Corps as an agriculture volunteer in the Marshall Islands, Micronesia where he met his beloved bride, Patti. They married in 1981, lived in Portland, Oregon where he was a radio news reporter at KYXI, and in 1983 had the first of their ten children.

With oldest son Aaron in tow, he and Patti became Jesuit Volunteers on the Flathead Indian Reservation in Ronan, Montana, working at a sheltered workshop for the handicapped.  They began running a group home for delinquent boys in Kalispell, Montana, during which second oldest Luke was born. Mark went back to working as a radio news reporter before their third son Tyler was born. He was named the Associated Press Montana’s Broadcaster of the Year in 1989. In 1990, Mark was accepted a job at KFYR radio in Bismarck, ND. At KFYR, PMS in the Morning, became a huge success, with help of co-host, Phil Parker. It was some of the work Mark was most proud of.

Between reporting the news and comedy bits, with KFYR Mark had the opportunity to broadcast live from an F16 Fighter jet reaching speeds up to 5G, a bungee jump, a ride in a hot air balloon, parachuting with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, and many interviews with celebrities.

Mark and Phil had just recently revived their show with podcast, “PMS on Demand.”

Bismarck, ND was home for the rest of his earthly life. It was where they had the rest of their children, and where Mark served as County Commissioner from 2006 to 2014, and again from 2018 to 2022. He retired last year after 20 years with North Dakota Workforce Safety and Insurance. To celebrate, he experienced his dream of being in Fatima, Portugal on the Feast of Fatima, his birthday. He was there with Patti and 3 of their children.

This past year, Mark enjoyed retirement by planning a large trip across the country to visit family and friends, not realizing that it was to be his Farewell Tour.” Travel to see loved ones that was at the heart of who he was—a man who deeply treasured the relationships in his life.

Nothing in Mark’s life compared to the love he had for Patti, and his children and grandchildren. Amid the blessing of being an amazing husband, father, and a spectacular grandfather, now comes the deep pain of loss for someone who can never be replaced. His exuberance for life and love for his family was unconditional.

The tremendous outpouring of support from the community has been overwhelming and certainly would have even surprised Mark. Neighbors and even regular passerby’s have expressed they will miss Mark’s singing while tending to one of the best gardens in town and his enthusiastic greetings to so many headed to the Tom O’Leary walking path. He is also remembered by many for his early morning roller skiing or cross-country skiing usually accompanied by singing. Mark’s kayaking on the Missouri River was another of his passions that filled him with joy.

His greatest passion, however, was for God and family. Mark attended Mass daily even when he traveled. He loved 6:45 weekday Mass at Cathedral where he made many treasured friendships. Whichever Mass he attended, Mark always came early to pray ahead of time, and on Sundays to save seats for other family members near the front by the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a life-sized image he had donated to the church after it had hung in his home for many years. He often stopped by Cathedral of the Holy Spirit at 3 pm to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. A line from the opening prayer became his theme in life whenever anyone brought up something negative, “…do not despair nor become despondent.”

Mark traveled through ND and several other states giving presentations on Our Lady of Guadalupe. He believed God was calling him to share His blessed mother with the world.

He never accepted payment for his presentations.

There are no words to describe the depth of loss being felt by his family, but his legacy of love continues to bring comfort through the grief.   Mark raised an army who will live on in his memory.

Mark is survived by his wife of 43 years, Patti, and his 10 children and 20 grandchildren: Aaron, Luke, Tyler (Samantha),Calvin (Kaley), Joash, Jacob (Becca), Mary, Teresa (Cole), John, and Isaac; Grandchildren Mya, Elliot, Theodore, Deegan, Brody, Vincent, Stella, Benjamin, Louis, Simeon, Yovencia, Amina, Cayden, Ellie, Everett, Xavier, Titus, Sienna, Lucy, Noah, and one more on the way; his brother Tod/Nikki, sister-in-law Joanne (Scott) and their children, his nieces and nephews Joey, Katie, Caleb, Carter, Maddy and Everett. Also considered family are Dennis and Rachel Gichana and their children Jerrel/Jay, Aiden, and Rayna.

 

 

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Patti and Family,
I am saddened to hear of Mark’s passing. He was a good man. My prayers for all of you.

So sorry for your loss, Eternal Rest Grant unto him O Lord!

Dearest Armstrong family, so many prayers and thoughts of your wonderful dad and grandpa. i am very sorry for your loss. Heave is much more beautiful now.

Patty and family – we are so sorry for your loss of Mark – he wore many hats during his short time on Earth and made an impact. Thank you to Mark’s family for “sharing him” will our community…… Every time I drive by the “Beacon” I will smile and think of him and Phil “saving” it for all to enjoy -Hugs to all, you’ve got a feisty Angel watching over you!!!!

To Mark’s family: please accept my heartfelt condolences. I was honored to get to know Mark in recent years, after first having heard him on KFYR radio in my youth. He was a great example of Christian charity. May his soul, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

Patti, you and your entire family are in our prayers.

My heart hurts for your entire family.. please know I will continue to keep you in my thoughts and prayers

Patti and family
I surround you with love and prayers Mark left a legacy of love for life and love of family that will continue, May the memories of laughter and adventure remain in your heats . Bless you all..
Love and Light, Peggy Spencer

Last edited 2 months ago by PeggySpencer

Patti and family – there are not many people in life in which you can recall almost every memory with them was in a religious setting. That was my relationship with Mark. So many fond memories of church at the nursing home, praying the rosary together or simply seeing him at Cathedral. I was honored to know him and am deeply saddened and sorry for your unexpected loss. I hope you know tho he was a faithful man who taught us all to strive to be right with Jesus. God comfort you with grace and mercy. Thank you for sharing Mark with all of us!! May he forever rest in peace.

Patti and family. I am at a loss to say anything meaningful at this time. It is a shock to me. I had just looked at and commented to my husband on his photos of the northern lights, enjoying his enthusiasm for life, which was ever apparent(life and family). I am so sorry. Very very sorry-Bonnie Sommers-Olson

Most merciful God,

whose wisdom is beyond our understanding,

surround the family of Mark with your love,

that they may not be overwhelmed by their loss,

but have confidence in your love,

and strength to meet the days to come.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

God of compassion,

in your tender love for us,

comfort and strengthen those who mourn today.

Take away any feeling of guilt and ease the burden of regret.

Keep them in your care and help them

to renew their lives in a spirit of trust.

We ask this, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Patti, Jake, Joash, Mary, and the rest of the Clan.

Please know of my prayers for all of you and for the soul of your father. As only an outside observer of your Dad’s antics, my memories of him vary between poignant and absurd.

I still think of Mark when I see the Tilma of Guadalupe- per his presentation at SMCHS 2008. In my wife’s vision of Mark, he’s on roller-skis, being a loving menace to those trying to enjoy the outdoors.

You will have a million more memories, poignant and absurd, to carry you through this time. But remember that his greatest legacy is within each of you- that the unique gift of himself he gave each of you personally has in some way shaped who you are today (for better or worse) and that it can never be undone or repaid.

Our Father in Heaven will bless you in this time when you have lost yours on earth.

I so enjoyed him on radio with Phil. When I lived in Bismarck.
Hugs and prayers to all of you.

HELLO TO THE MARK ARMSTRONG FAMILY I’M REALLY TRULY SORRY TO HEAR ABOUT MARK PASSING HE WAS A VERY GOOD GUY I REALLY DID ENJOY LISTENING TO HIM IN THE MORNINGS ON KFYR RADIO AND HE WAS A VERY GOOD DJ I LIKE HIS JOKES SORRY TO HEAR THAT HE PASSED NOW HE IS IN HEAVEN AND NOT SUFFERING ANYMORE MY CONDOLENCES GO OUT TO THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF MARK ARMSTRONG REST IN PEACE MY FRIEND.

Dear family of the wonderful Mark Armstrong, you are in my prayers as you go forward after this great loss. I have lots of good memories about talking with Mark, being on his program, and of course listening to PMSin the morning. May the Lord you and keep you. And give you peace! What a man!

I am very sorry to see the Passing of Mark. He was always very nice and took the time to visit with me every time we ran into each other at work. I remember having great conversations with Mark about our traveling experiences , he will be missed.

Dear Patti and Family,
So sorry to hear about the passing of Mark. Mark was an incredible person. A great person to just be around. I am thankful for the time my family and I got to stay with the Armstrong family on our way back from Montana. You were all so very welcoming. May the grace of God comfort you all during this time of sorrow.

Deepest sympathy Patti and family. We were passing acquaintances at Cathedral 30+ years ago. Enjoyed greeting you at Mass, seeing you on donut Sunday and other church events. Mark was larger than life and knew everybody. I enjoyed his show PMS in the morning. He and Phil were day brighteners. He left the world a better place than he found it. He has left a huge void in our community. Wishing you peace and comfort in the days ahead. May your memories of Mark buoy your spirits.

Dearest Patti and Family:
What a beautiful and gifted man Mark will always be remembered as. I never was able to meet him personally, however, the early morning Masses at The Cathedral shared with him I will always cherish. I would be a few pews behind him. Forever, etched in my memory and heart was his benevolent gaze towards The statue of Mary during The Angelus Prayer that ushered in The Holy Mass. Our prayers and thoughts are with you all. And his Legacy of Faith, Hope and Love will continue in all who celebrate his Life.

I’m very sorry to hear of Mark’s sudden passing – it’s always so hard to let go in those times. I pray our faith is an anchor of hope for you all now.

Patti and Family,
I’m so sorry Patti and family in the loss of your wonderful husband and dad Mark.
My memory of Mark will always be when he came to Underwood the first Friday in May for our annual KFYR Pancake breakfast. He was such a happy, friendly, social, fantastic, and lovable guy. I know in my heart that my sister Phyllis Torske will be greeting him in heaven. He will be a wonderful Angel watching over all of your family.

Dear Patti and family,
So sorry to learn about your loss.
May God give you all peace and comfort. May he rest in peace.
With love and prayers

All in our prayers–as I read this, I see what an example Mark set for all of us to contemplate and imitate.

May his memory be eternal!