April 9, 1957 - February 23, 2022
Mark A. Rurik Mark died of a fatal heart attack on Wednesday morning, February 23rd. He was preceded in death by his father, Arthur Bertyl Johnson, his mother, Arline Helen Johnson, and his sister Susan Kay Johnson. He is survived by his wife, Lissa, his son and daughter in-law, William and Jazmin (Woodbury, MN), and his daughter Lauren and her soon-to be husband Cade Botten (St. Louis Park, MN). Mark was born in Minneapolis in 1957. He spent his early years in a south Minneapolis neighborhood and moved to Mound, MN in 1965. He missed the opportunity to develop a personal relationship with his mother, having lost her to pancreatic cancer at the age of two. His tragedy was amplified by the sudden loss of his father to a heart attack when he was seven. Mark and his sister Susan were raised by Arline's eldest sister Miriam. Shaped by the loss of his parents, Mark developed resilience at an early age. He spent his teenage years working as a busboy and a dishwasher at the Lafayette club in Minnetonka. While it was hard work, he had many fond memories at his job. He enjoyed hearing stories from the members who would stay until the early morning hours, sharing drinks and smoking cigars. It gave him an appreciation for this line of work and shaped his work ethic in his later years. In 1975 Mark began student life at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN where he ran track skillfully enough to be offered an athletic scholarship to Syracuse University in NY when his track coach left Mac and took a position there. Deciding to remain at Macalester, Mark graduated magna cum laude in 1979 with a BA in English and Political Science. Knowing that he wanted to follow in his father's footsteps as a lawyer, Mark began work as a paralegal at the Twin Cities law firm of Larkin, Hoffman, Daly & Lindgren LLC. He applied to law school but deferred one year to write a novel. When he did not find a willing publisher, Mark matriculated at the University of MN School of Law. He graduated in 1986 magna cum laude, Order of the Coif and member of the Law Review. During that period, Mark clerked for the New York firm of Freid, Frank, Harris and was one of two interns out of the group of thirty-five to be offered a full-time position. After seriously considering the idea of working for a major Wall Street firm in the M&A-oriented 1980's, Mark declined the offer; he had seen too many divorced and childless attorneys around him. He also wished to be closer to his aunt Miriam to take care of her in later years. After graduation Mark returned to Minneapolis to practice with the firm of Mackell, Crounse & Moore. He soon re-joined Larkin, Hoffman to practice with Bob Hoffman in the fields of corporate and real estate law. Mark was instrumental in closing the firm's largest then-ever transaction (and the second largest in the state of MN at the time) which was the takeout equity financing of the Mall of America. In late 1988, Mark began dating Lissa Martz who was a college friend and acquaintance. They were married in 1989. At the top of his early and distinguished career, Mark retired from law when his and Lissa's son William was born, choosing to devote his considerable energies on life as a husband, father, and conscientious nephew. He also planned to write. While at home and with his daughter Lauren now in the family, Mark collaborated with a friend and former law school classmate to develop the ideas and concepts of Behavioral Healthcare Providers (BHP). BHP was a behavioral management company developed as a partnership between a group of community psychiatrists and the Fairview Health System to work with insurance companies, HMO's, PPO's and other health care systems to improve the quality of care and reduce the cost burden to those seeking mental health services. Mark had a strongly held commitment to the needs of this population and he generously volunteered a significant amount of his time, expertise and energies to BHP, from its inception and for nearly a decade up to the time Fairview became its sole owner. In 2004 while at his cabin on Whitefish Lake in North Central MN, Mark contracted Lyme Disease. With relatively little information known about treatment for the bacterial infection at the time, like many others Mark was insufficiently treated. Following a brief respite of months in 2011, his symptoms reappeared and for the next several years Lyme Disease continued to take a gradually more severe toll on his health. By 2017, Mark was in such physical and mental travail that he found himself unable to eat and lost more than 20% of his body weight. Through this crisis and by that time immersion into the medical system, he came out on the other side realizing that most of his symptoms were gone. Wondering how and why that could be, he started researching what had transpired and concluded that he had finally starved the bacteria out of his body (when happening on articles about how herds of animals in Africa starve down to eradicate disease and then rise back up to health and to re-populate). Eventually, he almost fully recovered his health and went on to share his experience with one or two other chronic Lyme sufferers. (One such young woman later shared with him that after they spoke, she finally succeeded in recovering her own health by undertaking a long-term fast to eradicate the tick-borne bacteria.) In the years since, Mark has enjoyed first and foremost his family and marriage; his decades-long tradition of annual or semi-annual poker games; riding his Lance Cabo 200 scooter about town and driving around in his Miata roadster with Lissa or friends up in the Brainard, MN area; cabin excursions with his college buddies; watching football and making multiple odds' bets with his friends, and developing ideas for future possible screen plays. Before recovering his health but spurred on by the death of an extremely dear friend, he finally finished his novel written decades before. He self-published the book, entitled "On the edge of Ninevah," in 2019. Mark also wrote more than a few great poems throughout his life. He immensely enjoyed all the dogs in his life- childhood dog Molly, family member Samson, and his children's pets of today. He will be in our thoughts and hearts for his wit- and a sense of humor that was both charming and striking, his killer instinct at Christmastime Trivial Pursuit, and his life-long close and varied friendships. He will be deeply missed and fondly remembered by all who loved him. A memorial for Mark will be held at the Washburn-McReavy, 50th & HWY 100, Edina, MN on Monday morning, March 7th at 11 am with a visitation hour starting at 10am and a reception to follow. For those unable to attend in person, there will be a live stream of the service. All further details can be found on the Washburn-McReavy website. The family prefers memorials to be sent to the Lyme Foundation (Tolland, CT), the American Heart Association, the U of MN Law School, or the charity of one's choice. www.Washburn-McReavy.com Edina Chapel 952-920-3996
Mark A. Rurik Mark died of a fatal heart attack on Wednesday morning, February 23rd. He was preceded in death by his father, Arthur Bertyl Johnson, his mother, Arline Helen Johnson, and his sister Susan Kay Johnson. He is survived by his wife,... View Obituary & Service Information
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Mark A. Rurik
Mark died of a fatal heart attack on Wednesday...
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