Mark Allen Balstad, 69, passed away Monday, Dec, 13, 2021, in Tucson AZ, after a short but fierce battle with a very aggressive cancer. Loving and much-beloved husband, father, grandpa, brother, cousin, and friend, Mark will be deeply missed. Mark was born in Crookston, Mn, to Ingvald “Bing” and Ardelle Balstad on May 19, 1952, and raised on a farm in rural Fertile, Mn. His interests in the sciences led him to teach high school science for one year and then pursue a degree in Computer Science from Northern Arizona University. He took a job with IBM and worked in Boulder and Tucson on many interesting projects and new technologies, earning respect and recognition, until his retirement in 2009. His life was very full between work and family, with daughters’ school activities and softball being large parts. His drive to continually learn new things, particularly technology-related, his interest and acceptance of other people for who they were, the twinkle in his eye and his sense of humor, and a deep love enriched all who knew him. Since retirement he has enjoyed spending time with family, especially his adored granddaughters, and on his hobbies of astronomy, computer gaming, and VR. He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Laura, two daughters, Jennifer Hammond of Portland, OR, and Allison Smith of Tucson and their husbands, granddaughters Autumn and Olivia, brother Craig Balstad of Rochester, MN, cousin Colleen Tupper of Fargo, ND, and many extended family members in Minnesota and North Dakota. He is preceded in death by his parents.
A Tucson Celebration of his Life will be held at Lord of Grace Lutheran Church on December 18, 2021 at 11:00 AM. A second memorial service will be held this spring in Fertile, MN, at the Varnes Lutheran Church prior to inurnment in the Varnes Cemetery.