Mark Stephen Gerstein

August 20, 1961February 27, 2021
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Mark Stephen Gerstein, 59, passed away of natural causes and gained his angel wings February 27, 2021 at his home. A memorial service and celebration of his life will be held Saturday, July 24, 2021 with music, family, friends, fellowship, and sharing at Farmer's Daughter Catering & Events at 2361 220th St. Ames, IA.

Mark was born August 20, 1961 in Boone, IA to Bernard and Clarice Gerstein. He graduated from Ames High in the class of 1980. Mark was a lover of music and the environment. Anyone who knew him knew he was passionate about reading and he was likely to share his favorite books with them. He prided himself on connecting people. Mark was a great outdoorsman and hunter. In all his life, he never met a stranger, every person he met was a friend in the making. In the last few years, Mark was extremely passionate about and was actively engaged in Marianne Williamson's 2020 presidential campaign. Mark is survived by his three girls who were his whole world, Kylie (Miguel Piña), Alivia (Justin Boot) and Natalie Gerstein and their mother Michelle Hill (Brian Hill); father, Bernard; brother, William (Rhoda); sister, Beth (Greg) Timm; brother, Garth (Angela); sister-in-law, Barb Anderson; nieces and nephews, Aliza and Neil Gerstein, Alex (Nicole Zelickson) and Sedona Timm. He was preceded in death by his mother, Clarice, and his brother, Greg. Memorial contributions may be directed to Food at First in Ames. Mark volunteered there and would have loved knowing that he continued to give even after he passed.


  • Food at First in Ames


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Mark Stephen Gerstein

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Ed Hendrickson Jr.

April 9, 2021


Your light burned so so bright. I've known you 4 decades but the last 4 years were so precious when you came bursting into my life in such a big way. I resisted you busting in, then realized Mark Gerstein does not give up on anyone, ever! What a godsend you and your persistence were. We became such good friends. People (your good buddies), God, Jesus, Angels and of course Music were your passions, which you talked constantly about with so many amazing stories. So many laughs, a few tears and always always fun fun and more fun times.

Mark, I didn't know how precious those times were until now that you are gone. I thought you would be around forever. Keep thinking you're going to call, I want to hear your voice one more time, see that big smile of joy, go to your home and you tell me excitedly about this amazing show we have to watch probably on VHS, split 1 beer with deep conversations, have you give me one more spiritual thing I have to read and then give back so you can share with others, have you pick me up for coffee in your old convertible with the top down and Bernie in the back, road trips to Okoboji which you loved so very much, or you introduce and connect me to a seemingly endless stream of your buddies, many times total strangers to you only minutes ago, and now best friends a minute later. Talking me into taking a side trip to "The Grotto" one more time. The glorious days and days we spent exploring new cities, people, food and whatever on RAGBRAI together are now such precious memories, and we never argued, not once in 4 years, at least not out loud. It was never ever boring with Mark.

You connected at such a deep level to anyone and everyone, and it was genuine and genuinely from YOUR HEART.

I miss you so much, you left a hole in my heart, my friend, that is not healing very fast. I feel your presence, knowing you want mine and everyone's life to be joyful, you are not giving up on anyone. Until we meet again. Ed

Emanuel Ruedenberg

March 24, 2021

So saddened to hear about Mark. Wanted to share my deepest sympathies and heart felt condolences to the Gerstein family. Having grew up with them on Jared circle they were like another family to me. Great memories hanging out with all Greg and Mark especially. Was able to reconnect with Mark last year shortly before Greg's passing and also at Greg's funeral. What a great musician! Really enjoyed talking and getting to know Mark again after so many years. He was such a spiritual warm hearted Soul who definitely lived, loved and laughed. I really enjoyed looking thru all the photos submitted Thankyou for sharing.
May Mark rest in peace.

Joel Franz

March 12, 2021

I'm pleased that we seem to have had a connection in cheese as you and I had worked together at the F and O pizza shop. A few years later enjoyed working with your mother at Cheese and Puppets. Requiescat in pace my friend.

Chris Riis Wilbrecht

March 11, 2021

To all of the Gerstein Family,
Wish there was a way to see you, hug, laugh, cry, share stories over a bonfire. Mark was bigger than life in high school with his energy, charisma, wisdom, care for others, sparkling eyes and smile.
Sending love through this difficult time, Please reach out if you want to talk.

Chris Riis Wilbrecht

Missy Ward

March 10, 2021

I first knew Mark at Welch Junior High and saw him last in 2010 after the 35th Highschool reunion at his house where he was hosting a bash for everyone, playing guitar with Will and Mitch, and making everyone feel valued, comfortable and at peace.

Reading all of the beautiful comments, it is so apparent that Mark truly changed lives. I admire how he befriended everyone, not just as an acquaintance, but how he would go out of his way to build new and nurture old relationships.

He didn't live his life on the fence, looking from the outside in, rather he jumped in with his whole Heart, LOVING deeply and LIVING fully.

Sending my deepest sympathies and prayers to the whole Gerstein Family, Mark's beautiful Daughters, and Mark's dear Friends.

With Love, Missy


March 9, 2021

Mark, if angel wings are measured by kindness, generosity, and empathy, by all accounts you have received one of the most glorious set of wings an angel can receive.

Soar high angel, just don't forget to come visit and guide us in our dreams. Love you and missing you big brother...

joseph hraba

March 7, 2021

I knew Mark for more than a decade. We shared an interest in hunting and that is how we met 15 years ago. Our relationship developed into a friendship, and I will miss Mark for the remainder of my life.

David Hadwiger

March 6, 2021

I want to send my sympathies and best wishes to the Gerstein family from your old neighbors, the Hadwiger family. We have many happy memories of Mark in his earliest years. Much love to you all.

Jack Barringer

March 6, 2021

I have waited for a week to post trying to think of the right thing to say about my friend, my buddy, my fellow seeker of dreams. Mark and I both loved the book THE PROPHET so I thought I might share a passage about death from it.

The Prophet: On Death
by Kahlil Gibran
Then Almitra spoke, saying, We would ask now of Death.

And he said:

You would know the secret of death.
But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?
The owl whose night-bound eyes are blind unto the day cannot unveil the mystery of light.
If you would indeed behold the spirit of death, open your heart wide unto the body of life.
For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.

In the depth of your hopes and desires lies your silent knowledge of the beyond;
And like seeds dreaming beneath the snow your heart dreams of spring.
Trust the dreams, for in them is hidden the gate to eternity.
Your fear of death is but the trembling of the shepherd when he stands before the king whose hand is to be laid upon him in honor.
Is the shepherd not joyful beneath his trembling, that he shall wear the mark of the king?
Yet is he not more mindful of his trembling?

For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and to melt into the sun?
And what is it to cease breathing but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?

Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

God bless you my fellow Hunter, my Buddy, my Friend, when I get to heaven I expect you to take me hunting (for the Saints). Cactus Jack Barringer.

Brian Best

March 5, 2021

Gert,,,, String Cheese, Diggbe, Buzz 2, and other nicknames we had for each other. Love ya Bro, Heavy heart, many special thoughts, never, never forgotten! Just the times you stopped by and said, What Up!!

Guna miss ya Bro

B Best


Miguel, Kylie
Sedona and Alex Green Lake times


Uncle Mark and Alex