Mark Steven Rongstad
October 2, 1959 – March 4, 2021
On Thursday, March 4, 2021, Mark Rongstad passed away at the age of 61.
Mark was born on October 2, 1959 at Luther Hospital in Eau Claire, WI. He is survived by his wife Deb, his four children Lindsey, Tyler, Brigitta and Marisa, his granddaughter Millie, his mother Mary and her husband Rollie, father Arnie and his wife Jane, as well as siblings Tony, Todd, Polly, Tami and Jay.
Mark was a talented athlete; he played basketball, football and track, and he even won the state championship in the 330 yard low hurdles in 1978. Mark studied at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. After graduating school he worked as an executive in technology sales at IBM (3 times), HP, T-Systems and others. He retired early in 2016 to focus on other hobbies and to spend time with family his wife Deb.
Mark’s passion in life was biking with Deb. He spent hours researching the best routes and riding thousands of miles from Madison, WI to Raleigh, NC. He was a proud Norwegian and led the annual tradition of Lefse making during holidays and spent days building a stock for the year. Mark loved to spend time at his father Arnie’s home sitting on the porch drinking coffee and watching the sunrise. He also enjoyed holidays in Zumbro Falls, eating homemade banana cream pie and winter activities with the extended family. The family will fondly remember summers spent with Mark in the Outer Banks, NC learning to make drippy castles, body surfing and having water balloon fights with the neighbors.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, donations can be made to Shatterproof (https://www.shatterproof.org/) and the American Heart Association (https://www.heart.org/)
A memorial will be arranged in Wisconsin at a later date.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Mark Steven Rongstad
March 12, 2021
Our family moved to Ladysmith about the same time the Rongstad family moved there from Osseo. We were neighbors in the Brooklyn area of town on River Street.
I remember Mark, along with his brothers Todd and Tony, were all amazing athletes. Going to LHS football and basketball games as a freshman, I remember watching Mark play. I also remember that he was a gifted track and field athlete. I addition, in the spring and summer, Mark was often seen playing tennis at the courts in the park or out at the high school.
I also remember Mary Rongstad having a strong relationship with her children, especially when it came to athletics, and she was her children's biggest fan and was always a fixture at their athletic events...it always seemed that she and Mark formed a special bond in that regard.
For the past 18 seasons, I have coached track and field at Cameron High School and have recognized Mark's name on the Wisconsin Girls Track and Field Honor Roll website as he was one of the founders and administrators.
I was always proud of the fact that Mark was from Ladysmith and that he had gone on to recognized so many Wisconsin High School female athletes for their accomplishments over the years.
My wife, family, and I express our deepest condolences to the Rongstad family.
March 10, 2021
My thoughts and prayers are with the Rongstad family. Mark always spoke of his family with much love and affection. He was a special person who touched the lives of many. I will keep you all in my prayers during this difficult time.
March 10, 2021
I remember when the Rongstad boys moved to Ladysmith. Got to know all of them very well and enjoy a number of sports with them with tennis with Todd, hockey with Tony, and track with Mark. Mark and I were roommates freshman year at UW-Eau Claire and he encouraged me to go out for track. He was one of the best athletes I’ve ever been around and could play any sport, but track was his best.. We had a lot of good times growing up that first year and he was always fun to hang with. Very sorry to hear the news of his passing and wish I had stayed in better touch. Thoughts and prayers with his family. He will be missed.
March 10, 2021
I can still see Mark laughing on the beach with the kids or cooking one of his delicious meals in the kitchen or arriving back from a long ride with Deb. His smiles brightened a room. I hope there are endless bike rides for him now. Love you all!
March 7, 2021
I am so sorry to hear about this! Mark was a track star as a youth and more importantly stayed a track fan his whole life. He was someone who just wanted to spread the word how great the sport is. I have been a community sports journalist in suburban Milwaukee for more than 35 years and have scarcely missed a day of the Wisconsin prep state track meet in La Crosse in the last 30 years. Mark and I knew of each other's work and when he started up the track yearbook I submitted times and distances for his meticulously accurate all-time event performance lists. Furthermore, he always indulged me when I offered to write state meet essays for the seven years he published the yearbook, no matter how long my story ran. I'm still immensely grateful to him for trusting me with that responsibility. You have my deepest sympathies and let me say in no uncertain terms, among the gaping holes his loss leaves is the one in the Wisconsin track community which lost a tremendous friend and resource. Peace and best wishes always!
March 6, 2021
My sympathy to your family as you mourn the loss of Mark Rongstad.
I am an Osseo native, knew the many of the Rongstad "clan", including his Grandpa Johnny, Uncles Bob and Chuck, and Father Arnie, who was my Algebra teacher.
Mark was best friends with my younger brother Mark back in the day.
I participated in a bike event in Middleton, WI about 10 years ago. Mark was there, saw my name, and was kind enough to look me up and say hello. I was struck and honored that he would take the time to seek me out just to offer a greeting.
Again, deepest sympathy to the family of Mark Rongstad.
March 6, 2021
We are so sorry for your loss. You’re in our thoughts and prayers. Please reach out if there is anything we can do for you.
Sincerely, Michelle and Tim Boyer