Mark William Natzke, 53, passed away unexpectedly and peacefully at his home in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, on August 25, 2021.
He was born in Green Bay on May 23, 1968, to Robert and Marilyn. The last of five children, Mark grew up working alongside his siblings on the family’s dairy farm; he lovingly referred to the thousand acres as his childhood playground. From an early age, the siblings called him Mipps, a name which followed him throughout his life. Mark attended parochial grade school at Zion Lutheran in Wayside and was confirmed in his faith on April 4, 1982.
He attended NEW Lutheran High in Green Bay; as a result of his strong connection to the people there and in appreciation for his education, Mark provides scholarship support for students in need to attend that school. After his high school days, Mark spread his wings and flew to Florida, where after a few more-than-the-average four years of college, he graduated as a die-hard Gator fan. One of his coveted claims to fame was being the voice of the Gator Volleyball team. Mark quickly found his niche in outdoor advertising, working for Orde and Adams before landing at Clear Channel Outdoor 22 years ago. He loved his Clear Channel family dearly, took pride in his craft, and achieved incredible success while making his mark as a leader and a mentor in his field.
There simply aren’t enough words right now (and if you knew Mipps, you know he loved words) to encapsulate his larger-than-life essence, personality and character. Mark thrived on being a connection catalyst; as such, he never met a stranger and everyone in his presence was his favorite in that moment. He loved all people, wholeheartedly and unconditionally, and he had the biggest servant heart in all of Wisconsin and quite possibly the world. He was generous, hilarious, fun-loving, passionate, humble and kind. Oh, and fiercely competitive! He lived life with great purpose and joy, modeling the Christian values and Fruits of the Spirit that he believed in and embraced. Staying active with his church family at Brew City Church was important to Mark; he especially loved hosting their weekly small-group book study. His Jazz In The Park friend group meant the world to him. In his spare time, Mark enjoyed cycling, power walking, playing volleyball, traveling, singing, shopping, and hunting. He especially appreciated using the abundance of backyard squirrels as target practice with his pellet gun.
Giving back was a priority for Mark; people felt his impact through his support and volunteer efforts for many organizations such as Brothers And Sisters In Christ (BASIC), which took him to Nicaragua annually for almost a decade to help build houses and minister to the less fortunate, the Ronald McDonald House, where he currently had a seat on the Board of Directors, and the aforementioned NEW Lutheran High School.
Mark is preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Amos and Loraine Natzke, his maternal grandparents, Maynard and Gladys Larsen and Godfather Wayne Schmidt. He is survived by his parents, Robert and Flo Natzke and Harold and Marilyn Wilsman, siblings Timothy and Barb (Bebow) Natzke of Fond du Lac, John and Barbara (Natzke) Gruener of Friendswood, Texas, Rick and Debra (Natzke) Bergman of Madison, WI, Paul and Nicole (Zastrow) Natzke of Wayside, WI, and nieces and nephews Kristen (Natzke) Olsen, Kyle Natzke, Danielle DeTennis, Gary and Kaitlyn (Gruener) Adams, Jacob and Victoria (Hicks) Gruener, Tanner Natzke, Joshua Gruener, Taylor Natzke, and numerous loving aunts, uncles, cousins, colleagues, clients and friends.
Mark openly and faithfully lived his Confirmation verse, Psalm 37:5: Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him and he shall bring it to pass. We grieve his passing with the hope of God’s promise to one day be reunited with our beloved brother Mark in heaven.
Officiated by Pastors Austin Welter and Kyle Wangelin, Mark’s service will begin with a visitation from 12:00 pm until 4:00 pm at Zion Lutheran Church in Wayside, WI, followed by the funeral beginning at 4, the burial service and a meal.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to one of Mark’s favorite charities: NEW Lutheran High School, Ronald McDonald House or Brothers And Sisters In Christ.
Please visit www.nickelfh.com to leave an online condolence for the Natzke family.