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Thursday, Apr. 17, 2014

Mark J. Meis, longtime Le Mars business, dies at 83

Friday, April 27, 2007

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Mark J. Meis, 83, of Phoenix, Ariz., and Okoboji, formerly of Le Mars, died Monday, April 23, 2007, at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Phoenix, Ariz., as a result of complications from a recent vascular surgery.

Mark was born in Le Mars, on May 10, 1923, the son of Alphons F. and Marcelinda (Alesch) Meis. He was the couple's first child and was also the first child born at the then new, Sacred Heart Hospital in Le Mars. He graduated from Le Mars High School in 1941. Following high school, Mark attended Iowa State University in Ames where he was a member of both the football and basketball teams.

In 1943 he enlisted in the United States Navy and attended Midshipman's School at Columbia University in New York, and Mine Warfare School at Purdue University. During World War II, he served as a Lieutenant JG aboard a minesweeper in the South Pacific Theatre. At the conclusion of the war he returned to Iowa State University where he completed his bachelor of science degree in agricultural studies.

Mark began working early in his life at the family grocery store in downtown Le Mars. In 1946, he joined his father's business at Meis Seed and Feed. Shortly after joining the firm, Mark acquired the Plymouth Cereal Mill in Le Mars which marked the company's entry into livestock feed production and grain storage and trading. Following his father's death in 1963, Mark was named President of the company and he and his brothers successfully expanded and managed the business until its sale to Le Mars Agri-Center, Inc. in 1998.

Agriculture was his vocation and passion, and Mark spoke often and appreciatively of the many personal and business relationships that he was privileged to have made during his years at Good Morning Mills.

In addition to his work at the mill, Mark served on the board of directors of First National Bank and Le Mars Mutual Insurance Company, both of Le Mars.

In the 1970s he served as the honorary chairman of the fund drive for the new Floyd Valley Hospital in Le Mars.

He was a member of the Wasmer American Legion Post #241 and the Knights of Columbus. During his years in Le Mars he was a lifetime member of St. James Catholic Church.

While successful in business, Mark reserved his greatest work for his role as husband and father, and his is survived by the love of his life, wife Phyllis (Borm) of Remsen. The couple was united in marriage on June 4, 1949, at St. James Catholic Church in Le Mars, and together shared 58 wonderful years. As a father, he will also be lovingly remembered by his five children; Ned Meis of Dallas, Texas, Nan Foss of Minneapolis, Minn., Fran Meis of Okoboji, Marsha Dickman of Le Mars, and Melissa Meis-Haugen of Edina, Minn.; as well as sons-in-law, Stan Dickman and Greg Meis-Haugen. His 11 grandchildren include: Marc Meis and his wife Rachel of Golden, Colo., Mollie Richter of Phoenix, Ariz., Matt Foss of Fort Collins, Colo., Nick Foss of Minneapolis, Minn., Geoff Brodie and Andy Brodie both of Chicago, Ill., Alex Dickman of Spearfish, S.D., Joe Dickman of Pinedale, Wyo., Anne Dickman of Spearfish, S.D., Nils Meis-Haugen and Baret Meis-Haugen both of Edina, Minn. He also has four great-grandchildren: Cecelia and Estelle Richter of Phoenix, Ariz., and Madeline and Adeleide Meis of Golden, Colo.

Mark is also survived by two sisters, Alene (Meis) Scallon and her husband Nick of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., and Mary Ann (Meis) Rawley and husband Jim of Greenwood Village, Colo.; a brother, David and his wife Mary of Le Mars, as well as a sister-in-law, Delores (Borm) Klohs of Penn Valley, Calif., and 29 nieces and nephews.

Mark was preceded in death by his father, mother, and two brothers, Larry and Richard Meis.

Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m. Monday, April 30, at St. James Catholic Church in Le Mars with the Rev. James Tigges officiating. Mark will be laid to rest in Calvary Cemetery. Visitation will be after 1 p.m. Sunday at the Carlsen Funeral Home in Le Mars with the family present after 4 p.m. and a 5 p.m. Scriptural wake service. Visitations will continue Monday morning at the church from 9:30 a.m. until service time.

Expressions of sympathy can be extended to the family through www.carlsenfuneralhome.com.