Mark Loyal Sigfrids, a dedicated father, grandpa, educator and passionate runner, passed away on November 4th, 2023. He was of Kalamazoo, formerly Stonington. He was 70 years old.
Mark grew up in Stonington, Michigan and graduated from Rapid River High School in 1971. He went on to pursue his love for mathematics at Bay de Noc Community College and Northern Michigan University, where he excelled academically. Upon graduation, Mark’s desire to make a difference led him to join the Peace Corps as a Math Instructor at Masiphula Secondary School in Swaziland, where he taught from 1975 to 1978.
Mark’s commitment to education took him to MbaneCentral High School in Swaziland, where he served as a teacher from 1979 to 1986 under the Swaziland Government. His dedication to his students and his passion for mathematics left a lasting impact on the community.
In 1986, Mark returned to the United States and completed his Masters degree at Western Michigan University in 1988. He then embarked on a fulfilling career as a Mathematics professor at Kalamazoo Valley Community College, where he taught for an impressive 35 years, until his retirement in 2023. Mark’s enthusiasm for teaching and his ability to connect with his students made him a beloved figure in the classroom.
Outside of his professional life, Mark was an avid runner and a proud member of the Kalamazoo Area Runners, through which he formed lasting friendships and touched the lives of countless individuals. Mark’s dedication to running was exemplified by his completion of 58 Full Marathons, including an impressive six Boston Marathons, with a personal best time of 3 hours and 26 minutes.
Mark’s love for Africa never waned; in 2014, he began returning each summer to eKuthuleni Primary School where he volunteered his time and served as a teacher and pastor. His selflessness and compassion were evident in his commitment to helping others.
Mark is survived by; his brothers and sisters Barb, Jim, Esther, Michael, and Mary. The mother of his children Alice, his children Ruth, and Andrew; his sponsored children Phindile Maltinch, and SamMthembu, as well as his cherished grandchildren Linde, Nonto, Titi, Sindie, Ncamiso, Sivuyile, Nosipo, Skye, Maliyah, and Moon.
He was preceded in death by his parents Loyal and Helen Sigfrids and sponsored child Beauty Mnisi.
Mark Sigfrids will be remembered for his unwavering dedication to education, his love for running, and his kind and compassionate nature. His legacy will continue to inspire those whose lives he touched.
As he joins his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, may he find eternal peace.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made in honor of Mark to the Scholarship Fund at eKuthuleni Primary School which will be used to pay for tuition and school expenses. For additional information to coordinate a donation please reach out to Marks son Andrew Sigfrids via email as email@example.com or phone 703-201-2361.
Family will receive friends on Sunday November 12th, 2023 from 1:00PM until 3:00PM at Skradski Funeral Home in Gladstone. Funeral services honoring Mark will begin at 3 PM with Pastor John Reuge officiating. A luncheon will follow in the St. Martin Lutheran Church hall. Mark will be laid to rest in the Rapid River Cemetery.