Mark Anthony Bates, age 54, of Hudson, Wisconsin, died surrounded by love after a courageous battle with cancer on February 14, 2023 at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, MN. Mark was born on January 26, 1969 in Durand, Wisconsin to Arthur and Lila (Hofacker) Bates. He was raised on the family farm and attended Elmwood High School and graduated in 1987. It was there he met the love of his life, Jennifer. He went on to study Soil Science and Agronomy at UW-River Falls and graduated in 1991. He immediately went to work for Land O’ Lakes as an agronomist helping farmers with their seed, chemical and fertilizer selections. He was based out of several locations throughout the years, including a Co-Op in Abbotsford, Wisconsin, Farmers Union Co-Op in Menomonie, Wisconsin, Precision Ag Co-Op in Ellsworth, Wisconsin and Countryside Co-Op in Ellsworth, Wisconsin. He was very successful in this position and often won rewards and recognition for being one of the top salesman. Many of his clients also became his life long friends. Also during this time, he purchased his own first farm immediately after college near Eau Galle, Wisconsin and began his true passion of farming outside of his agronomy career. He continued to grow his farming operation as he continued to work. He worked closely with his beloved mom who also maintained a farming operation, and the two of them became business partners in later years. Mark and Jennifer Reckin were united in marriage on February 22, 1997. They were blessed with two children, Madison and Mason during their 25 years of marriage. As high school sweethearts who grew up together, they nearly spent their entire lives intertwined with each other. He loved his children deeply. In the last two years, he was able to dedicate his time solely to his passion of farming, which brought him great joy and hope of future expansion.
If one word summoned up Mark, it would be laughter. He had an incredible, contagious laugh and positive attitude. He did everything he did in life to the fullest, made things happen, and believed with all his heart that he could beat this diagnosis until the end. He was always surrounded by friends and knew people everywhere he went. In his limited spare time, he enjoyed cheeseburgers on the deck with his family, traveling with family and friends, weekends away with friends, deer hunting, bowling, golfing, croquet, ‘80s Rock, and just plain talking with others. While he was running late his entire life, once he was there with you, he gave you his full attention and was always one of the last ones to leave any gathering. It was like he was always trying to squeeze every minute out of life.
Mark will never leave the hearts of his wife Jennifer, daughter Madison, and son Mason, plus countless friends that he also considered like family. Mark is reunited in heaven with many loved ones including his mother, Lila.
Visitation will be held from 4-7pm on Monday, February 20, 2023 at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home, 520 South Eleventh Street, Hudson. Memorial Service will be held at 11am, Tuesday February 21, at Bethel Lutheran Church-Highlands Campus, 504 Frontage Rd, Hudson
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