Mark Armstrong

16 May Mark Armstrong

Posted at 09:20h
in Uncategorized
by staff

Mark Armstrong, 67, of Bismarck, passed away May 11, 2024 at Sanford Health, Bismarck.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 AM on Saturday, May 18, 2024, at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, Bismarck, ND.  To view the livestream, click on the following link, https://www.cathedralparish.com/mass-livestream

Visitation will be held Friday, May 17, from 5:30 to 7:00 PM at Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, with a Rosary and Vigil Service at 7:00 PM.  Visitation will continue at the church one hour prior to the service on Saturday.

In lieu of flowers, please make memorials in memory of Mark to Integral Heart Foundation, https://www.integralheartfoundation.org/ways.of.giving.htm

“Another day on the way to Paradise,” was Mark Armstrong’s typical response whenever anyone asked, “How’s it going?” His day to enter Paradise—eternity—came just before midnight on Saturday, May 11 due to a tear in his aorta. He just missed his 68th birthday on May 13- a special day he joyfully shared for 34 years with his birthday buddy son, Jacob.

Mark was born to Patricia and Richard Armstrong in Berkley, California, the oldest of three sons.  Scott (deceased) and Todd completed the Armstrong family, and together they traveled and lived across the globe, including moves to Vermont in 1963, California in 1965, Oregon in 1967, Guam in 1969, back to Vermont in 1972, where he graduated high school from Bellow Free Academy in 1974. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Political Science after also spending time as a student in California and Vermont.

Mark worked in radio in high school and college and for a short time, opened up as a comedian for big-named acts in Los Angeles. It was a job title he returned to after his retirement—Mark Armstrong: comedian.

Mark’s greatest life adventure of faith and family began in the Peace Corps as an agriculture volunteer in the Marshall Islands, Micronesia where he met his beloved bride, Patti. They married in 1981, lived in Portland, Oregon where he was a radio news reporter at KYXI, and in 1983 had the first of their ten children.

With oldest son Aaron in tow, he and Patti became Jesuit Volunteers on the Flathead Indian Reservation in Ronan, Montana, working at a sheltered workshop for the handicapped.  They began running a group home for delinquent boys in Kalispell, Montana, during which second oldest Luke was born. Mark went back to working as a radio news reporter before their third son Tyler was born. He was named the Associated Press Montana’s Broadcaster of the Year in 1989. In 1990, Mark was accepted a job at KFYR radio in Bismarck, ND. At KFYR, PMS in the Morning, became a huge success, with help of co-host, Phil Parker. It was some of the work Mark was most proud of.

Between reporting the news and comedy bits, with KFYR Mark had the opportunity to broadcast live from an F16 Fighter jet reaching speeds up to 5G, a bungee jump, a ride in a hot air balloon, parachuting with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, and many interviews with celebrities.

Mark and Phil had just recently revived their show with podcast, “PMS on Demand.”

Bismarck, ND was home for the rest of his earthly life. It was where they had the rest of their children, and where Mark served as County Commissioner from 2006 to 2014, and again from 2018 to 2022. He retired last year after 20 years with North Dakota Workforce Safety and Insurance. To celebrate, he experienced his dream of being in Fatima, Portugal on the Feast of Fatima, his birthday. He was there with Patti and 3 of their children.

This past year, Mark enjoyed retirement by planning a large trip across the country to visit family and friends, not realizing that it was to be his Farewell Tour.” Travel to see loved ones that was at the heart of who he was—a man who deeply treasured the relationships in his life.

Nothing in Mark’s life compared to the love he had for Patti, and his children and grandchildren. Amid the blessing of being an amazing husband, father, and a spectacular grandfather, now comes the deep pain of loss for someone who can never be replaced. His exuberance for life and love for his family was unconditional.

The tremendous outpouring of support from the community has been overwhelming and certainly would have even surprised Mark. Neighbors and even regular passerby’s have expressed they will miss Mark’s singing while tending to one of the best gardens in town and his enthusiastic greetings to so many headed to the Tom O’Leary walking path. He is also remembered by many for his early morning roller skiing or cross-country skiing usually accompanied by singing. Mark’s kayaking on the Missouri River was another of his passions that filled him with joy.

His greatest passion, however, was for God and family. Mark attended Mass daily even when he traveled. He loved 6:45 weekday Mass at Cathedral where he made many treasured friendships. Whichever Mass he attended, Mark always came early to pray ahead of time, and on Sundays to save seats for other family members near the front by the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a life-sized image he had donated to the church after it had hung in his home for many years. He often stopped by Cathedral of the Holy Spirit at 3 pm to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. A line from the opening prayer became his theme in life whenever anyone brought up something negative, “…do not despair nor become despondent.”

Mark traveled through ND and several other states giving presentations on Our Lady of Guadalupe. He believed God was calling him to share His blessed mother with the world.

He never accepted payment for his presentations.

There are no words to describe the depth of loss being felt by his family, but his legacy of love continues to bring comfort through the grief.   Mark raised an army who will live on in his memory.

Mark is survived by his wife of 43 years, Patti, and his 10 children and 20 grandchildren: Aaron, Luke, Tyler (Samantha),Calvin (Kaley), Joash, Jacob (Becca), Mary, Teresa (Cole), John, and Isaac; Grandchildren Mya, Elliot, Theodore, Deegan, Brody, Vincent, Stella, Benjamin, Louis, Simeon, Yovencia, Amina, Cayden, Ellie, Everett, Xavier, Titus, Sienna, Lucy, Noah, and one more on the way; his brother Tod/Nikki, sister-in-law Joanne (Scott) and their children, his nieces and nephews Joey, Katie, Caleb, Carter, Maddy and Everett. Also considered family are Dennis and Rachel Gichana and their children Jerrel/Jay, Aiden, and Rayna.



Share a Memory