Cover photo for Edwin M. Marks's Obituary
Edwin M. Marks Profile Photo
1953 Edwin 2024

Edwin M. Marks

February 18, 1953 — February 12, 2024

Edwin Matthews Marks was born on February 18th, 1953 in Monroe, Wisconsin to Zelma (Wells) Marks and Julian Marks. He was baptized into the Methodist faith.

Edwin grew up farming in Pecatonica, Illinois. He was close to his uncles who lived nearby and his dear friend Bill Green who he called his cousin. Edwin told his children a story of how he rode a horse roughly 50 miles from Blanchardville to Pecatonica to the Green’s farm.

Edwin graduated from Blanchardville High School in 1971. After high school, he joined the Army as a Military Police officer. He spent the majority of his military career in Korea where he trained drug dogs.

Edwin shared how as a single man, while trucking one late night, he drove through the town of Boscobel. It was then that he had a premonition that he would marry a girl from that town. He would always thank God for his wife Linda, and when his children would thank him for the gift of their Catholic faith, he would point with gratitude to their mother, who introduced him to the Catholic faith. In the summer of 1978, Edwin and Linda met through friends. They were married on April 21st, 1979 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Boscobel.

Even as a teenager, Edwin pursued truth by reading the bible and contemplating God. He was very theological and philosophical and was an avid reader. In 1979, Edwin and Linda worked with Father Robert Buholzer on marriage preparation. Over the years, a father/son relationship grew between the men. Edwin often said that Father Buholzer took the place of his earthly father, who died when he was a teenager.  Father Buholzer was a formative person in Edwin’s life and under his guidance, Edwin eventually read his way into the Catholic faith, joining The Church in 1984. His lifelong pursuit of truth culminated in the finding of the Extraordinary form of the mass.

Edwin always longed to farm and did whatever it took, working from sunup to sundown, and sometimes longer to achieve this goal. He began on his mother’s farm in Blanchardville, and eventually moved his family to Illinois where he was a farm hand for 8 years. In his last role as a farm hand, a portion of his earnings was every 3rd heifer calf born on that farm, which allowed him to build up his own herd. Once he had enough cattle to farm on his own, he moved his family to a rental farm in Crawford County. With his wife and children, he milked and worked the land. The land was rocky with steep hills. The barn was simple with no barn cleaner and no pipeline. He had one, small tractor, a Farmall, that he lovingly referred to as “the M.” Edwin worked tirelessly, never wavering in his pursuit of a family farm. In order to support his family during this time, he even supplemented their income by driving a semi-truck. Through faithful perseverance and great sacrifice, Edwin sold everything he had, cattle and machinery, to buy their family farm outside of Westby, Wisconsin. He would have done nothing else, and would say with gusto “I LOVE the dairy business!”

His children have fond memories of making maple syrup, baling hay, picking rocks, and gardening together. They remember jumping from the haymow into his strong and sure arms and playing catch in the yard. They remember simply folk on long car rides, pointing out cows along the way. They remember Stan Rogers, and how those songs defined so much of their family's journey of love and faith. They remember how, during work, their dad would unexpectedly begin singing hymns.

His grandchildren will remember tractor rides, 4-wheeler rides, collecting walnuts, picking strawberries, and being read to in the comfort of his lap. They will remember daily prayer with their grandpa, specifically the rosary. They will remember how their grandpa would randomly quiz them in math, “what’s 16X16?”. They will remember how their grandpa, never one for small talk, talked to them about deep and meaningful things such as faith, life, and death.

He was survived by his beloved wife of 45 years, Linda; 8 children, Sarah (Nick) Osowski of La Crosse, Julian (Mary) of LaFarge, Jessica (Brendan) Denil of Coon Valley, Megan of Onalaska, Molly (Femi) Iseini of Milwaukee, Katie of Broomfield, CO, Hannah (Tyler) Stolpa of Westby, and Hattie (James) Keller of Cashton and 25 grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his father, Julian, mother, Zelma, brother Robert, daughter, Amelia Theresa, and son John Bartley.

Thoughts on our dad from his kids:

Our dad loved deeply.

He knew the difference between right and wrong. He studied with great curiosity and figured things out with precision. He tried to do his best at everything he did. If he put his mind to it, it was done. At times, we had trouble seeing eye-to-eye with him, as we each had our own mind. Our dad had an uncanny way of saying things that could seem ugly to the listener, things of God that set the stage of controversy in the heart of the listener. Our dad was a friend of humility as it seems to us now looking back. He always fought for a positive attitude even in dark times. Dad carried the sword of truth as he knew it. Considering the past as we look forward, we can see how he was right, and that he loved us enough to argue with us when we were wrong.

Looking back on the last years of his life, we felt a shift. No longer was he coming to us to share his beliefs, we found ourselves drawn to him for what became his quiet wisdom. Our dad had the ability to sift through large amounts of information, getting to the heart of the matter. And the heart of the matter was God’s truth.

“Ask God for all the grace you need to give Glory to Him.” -Edwin Matthews Marks

Faith. Family. Farming. His legacy will continue in his children and grandchildren.

A Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Friday February 16, 2024 at Saint James the Less Catholic Church in La Crosse. Visitation will be Thursday from 5 to7 p.m. at the Seland Funeral Home in Coon Valley. A light meal will follow in the church basement. Christian burial with military honors will follow at Saint Patrick’s Cemetery in Seneca.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Edwin M. Marks, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, February 15, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Seland Funeral Home & Cremation Services

204 Central Avenue, Coon Valley, WI 54623

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Mass of Christian Burial

Friday, February 16, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

St. James the Less Catholic Church

1032 Caledonia Street, La Crosse, WI 54603

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