Mark J. Blair. 57

Surrounded by family, Mark J. Blair of Lowry, MN went home to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Tuesday September 11, 2012 after a two year battle with cancer, having lived to the age of 57 years.  Funeral services will be held at 4 P.M. on Saturday, September 15th, at Alexandria Covenant Church in Alexandria, MN.  Visitation will be Friday from 5 - 7:30 P.M. at the funeral home in Glenwood and will continue at the church on Saturday, beginning at 3 P.M. and running until the time of service.  Interment will be in Lake Ann Cemetery.  Arrangements are with Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home of Glenwood.

Mark John Blair was born June 23, 1955 to George and Luverne (Everson) Blair of Glenwood, MN.  He graduated from Glenwood High School in 1973, and then attended the Carpentry program at Alexandria Technical College for two years, graduating in 1975 with High Honors.

On June 12, 1976, Mark was united in marriage to Joyce H. Hoppe of Elbow Lake, MN.  They were united together by God at the First Baptist Church in Alexandria, MN.  Their first home was in Lowry.  Together they built new homes in Lowry, hoping to trade them for farm land.  Mark farmed with his Dad on the home place until he was able to buy land of his own.  When he purchased the land from his parents he was the 4th generation to own and operate the farm which later became a Century Farm!  Mark and Joyce raised four children as they served the Lord at Ben Wade Covenant Church.  Mark enjoyed his roles of Chairman, Deacon, Sunday School teacher, and many other positions.  He wanted to serve God and set a good example for his family and friends.

Mark enjoyed many things through the years, including getting his pilot's license, riding horse with the Waska Saddle Club, hunting and fishing.  He enjoyed carpentry, but always had a passion for farming.  Mark raised Holstein steers and grew corn, beans, and wheat on the farm.  He also did some trucking.  His joy was to have his family around him in work and play.  Mark made many wonderful memories together with his family taking trips across the country, and even to Belize.  In 2005, Mark started Red Horizon Equipment.  Two years later, in 2007, he started Red Horizon Truck, and finally Red Horizon Xpress in 2012, all located in Glenwood.  Mark was always thinking of the next Business adventure.

Mark thanked the Lord daily for all the blessings he was able to have and share.  His wish was always to be a good example to those he came in contact with.  Anyone who knew Mark knew his humorous side and quick wit!  Always ready for a good debate or challenge.

Mark is survived by his wife of 36 years, Joyce; 3 children and 7 grandchildren:  Curt and wife, Angela, and their children, Clay, Brady, Kennedy, and William Blair of Glenwood, MN; Renae and her husband, Tyrone Browley II, and their son, Titus of Brooklyn Park, MN; Katie and her husband, Kyle Nichtern, and their sons, James and Marshall Nichtern of Lowry, MN.  His mother, Luverne Blair of Lowry, MN; 3 sisters, Rita (Jeff) Larson of Edina, MN, Laurie (Doug) Musselman of Lowry, MN, and Teri Blair of Minneapolis, MN; mother-in-law, Florence Hoppe of Alexandria, MN, as well as six brothers-in-law, four sisters-in-law, and eleven nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his son, Ryan, in 2004; father, George Blair in 2010; and father-in-law, Edwin Hoppe in 2000.