In Loving Memory of Mark Alan Rickels.
Mark Alan Rickels was born on May 25, 1957, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He was a devoted son, brother, husband, father, grandfather (Pops), and friend. He grew up on a dairy farm near Martelle, Iowa, the eldest child of Rex and Phyllis Rickels, instilled with the value of hard work that helped shape his life.
During his time in the U.S. Army from 1975-1977, Mark served his country with honor, working on Huey, Chinook, and Cobra helicopters while stationed at Camp Humphrey, South Korea. His dedication continued as he pursued education, earning a bachelor's degree in Agricultural Education from Iowa State University in 1981. Mark was not only a scholar but a leader, serving as the president of the Theta Xi fraternity, where he forged lifelong friendships.
Mark's professional journey was marked by excellence and integrity. He shared his knowledge and passion as an Agricultural Education teacher at Colo high School in Colo, Iowa, and later contributed significantly to the agricultural sector as a farm loan manager and underwriter, most recently as a Business Development Relationship Manager with Farmer Mac. Mark's work took him to various places, and he met countless individuals whom he cherished as close friends.
His faith in God was the cornerstone of his life. Mark was an active member of United Methodist Church (Princeton, Illinois), Community Bible Church (mt. Vernon, Iowa), Harvest E-Free Church (Story City, Iowa) where he served as deacon, and most recently Mountain Top Church (Vestavia Hills, Alabama). His faith guided him in his rioles withing the Jaycees, Lioins CLub, and Rotary, where he found joy in helping others.
Mark was a family man, deeply devoted to his wife Donna and their blended family. He was a loving father to his children, Evan, Thomas, and Mallory, and embraced Donna's children, Ann-Marie (Scott), Noel (Ashley), Jacob, and Abby (Brad), as his own. His heart overflowed with love for his six grandchildren (Lauren, Cahaba, June, Eli, Noela Joy, Henri), who brought him immense joy and fulfillment.
Mark's life was a testament to his faith as a devoted follower of Jesus. He leaves behind a legacy of compassion, generosity, and unwavering faith. In our hearts, he will forever remain a beacon of light, guiding us with his wisdom and love.
A service was held to celebrate Mark's life on Sunday, October 29, at Mountaintop Church.