Mark Willson

Mark Willson

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Mark Franklin Willson, age 67, passed away peacefully from complications from Covid-19 on December 11, 2020, surrounded by his wife and children in Sheridan, WY.He was born in Melrose Park, IL on January 26, 1953 to Thomas and Evelyn Willson. He was the third of five children.His uncle founded a seminary in Brazil in 1946 and his parents moved back to Brazil in 1953 when he was six months old to work at the Baptist seminary ofthe Cariri. He grew up in Brazil, until the Willson family moved back to the States in 1964 when he was 11. He completed high school in the States, andwent to college at Grand Rapids Baptist Bible College (now known as Cornerstone University), the University of Illinois, and Wheaton College. His parents moved back to Brazil while he was in college, but Mark stayed in Chicago.He met Linda Sieger in 1972 and married her in 1977. They had three of their four children while living in Chicago. In 1986, on September 6, Mark and Linda moved to Brazil with their three children, Jonathan, Joy, and Elizabeth. Jeremiah was born in Brazil two years later. Mark taught many classes at the seminary during his thirty-three years in Brazil. He was primarily an Old Testament scholar and enjoyed sharing his knowledge of the subject. He also taught Hebrew classes. He preached in various churches around Brazil and the States.It was a joke among his family that he would never be able to retire, and that proved to be true. When Mark and Linda moved from Brazil to Sheridan, WY in 2019 to “retire”, Mark became involved with PEP, the Pastoral Enrichment Program, a division of Baptist Mid-Missions. Through this program, Mark went all over the world to give short training seminars to church leaders and pastors. He went to Chad, Africa for his first trip, to Nepal and India for his next trip, and then in February of 2020 he went to Brazil for his final trip. Due to Covid, he did not get to go on his future planned trips to Brazil, Chad, Peru,Nepal, and India. Along with PEP, he ministered in Sheridan to his family and to Cornerstone church.Mark loved the Lord more than anything else. Even to the end, he was strong in his faith in Christ. He had an amazing certainty of heaven that never wavered.His second love was his family. An extremely wise man, Mark was someone his family looked up to for advice. His interests included reading and studying the Bible, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and the Princess Bride movie.Teaching was his passion, something he was able to carry on for his entire life (...something he couldn’t stop his entire life...). His love of music was passed on to all of his children and grandchildren. Later in life, he began to enjoy photography, specifically in nature. He created an Instagram account to post his pictures, and even has more followers than his teenage granddaughter! Even in his last days in the hospital, Mark was a light to all those around him. His life was a testimony of his passionate love of Christ and family.He is preceded in death by his parents, Thomas and Evelyn Willson. Mark is survived by his wife, Linda Willson; his children Jonathan Willson (April), Joy Prince (Rick), Elizabeth Willson, and Jeremiah Willson (Amber); his grandchildren Eliza, Lorena, Lydia, Elsie, Noah, and Lilly; his siblings Debi, Nathan (Sandy), Philip (Dodie), and Martha; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.A memorial service will be held at Cornerstone church on Saturday, December 19, 2020 at 1:00.In lieu of flowers, any memorial contributions can be made to “The BMM Foundation in Memory of Mark Willson.” This will support the PEP (Pastoral Enrichment Program) ministry of Baptist Mid-Missions. ( Funeral Home has been entrusted with local arrangements.

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