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Mark A. Simonson, 66

Mark Alan Simonson, 66, of Deer Park, WA, a former graduate of Cokato High School, passed away peacefully Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, at his home.

He was born Feb. 14, 1950, in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, son of the late Edwin and Verna (Laakso) Simonson.

Mark attended school in Cokato, graduating from Cokato High School in 1968.

Following high school, he was drafted into the service in 1970.

Mark married Ilona Kilpela Jan. 30, 1971. The couple spent the first six months of marriage stationed in Ansbach, Germany, while Mark finished his tour in the military.

After five years in Minnesota, the birth of four children, and completing a bachelor’s degree in accounting, Mark and his family moved to the Pacific Northwest in spring 1977. In the years following, the family grew by eight children.

In 2006, after Mark’s retirement from GTE/Verizon, the couple, along with their three youngest children, moved to Deer Park, WA.

Mark loved being with his family, and especially enjoyed his grandchildren. He also enjoyed fishing and golfing, visiting with friends, and participating in the activities of his church.

His outgoing, friendly, and welcoming nature were an example to everyone who knew him.

Mark is survived by his wife, Ilona, eight sons, Kirk (Tracie), Adam, Brett (Kolet), Ben, Rahn (Tonia), Lane, Joshua, and Caleb (Nikki); four daughters, Nicole (Phil Ojalehto), Bethany, Tiffany (Luke Jurmu), and Ariana; 25 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

He is further survived by six brothers; four sisters; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Mark was preceded in death by his parents; and brothers, Wade and Kevin.

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