Mark A. Allen, 49 of La Crosse lost a courageous battle with cancer on Saturday, June 5, 2021 at Mayo Clinic Health System. He was born in La Crosse on October 2, 1971 to Albert and Elaine (Capaul) Allen.
Mark graduated from La Crosse Central High School in 1990. While at Central, he excelled at academics as well as football and was an all-conference offensive and defensive lineman and was named to the all-district team his senior year. This led to his recruitment to attend and play football at St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN. While he played minimally, Mark obtained a BA in chemistry in 1994. He then completed his doctorate at the University of Minnesota Pharmacy School in 1998.
After graduating, Mark held jobs in retail pharmacy before deciding to proudly serve his country as a captain in the United States Air Force. He was stationed at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma from 1999 to 2002. Following his honorable discharge, Mark returned to La Crosse and on September 17, 2005 he married Amanda E. Genz at Mary Mother of the Church. From 2002 to 2021, in search of his ideal work environment, Mark worked as a staff pharmacist at Mayo Clinic – St. Francis, Winona Health and finally at Allergychoices in Onalaska. He made great friends at all three spots.
Mark was most proud of his family and loved playing with and watching his three kids excel, whether it was at academics, sports, the military or even video and arcade games. He was happiest when everyone was together which they were able to be right up until the end.
Mark loved sports, especially football and golf. While he enjoyed playing football, he found his real love was in coaching and he did so at his high school alma mater from 2009-2019, serving as their offensive line coach. He loved working with younger players (even though most had no idea how good he was “back in the day”). He always enjoyed when a former player would approach him years later just to say hello. Mark was a Minnesota Gophers and Vikings fan, and loved watching college football, in general, especially if he won a few dollars on the games. Despite being an average golfer, he enjoyed getting out with his friends and was always satisfied if he “just hit some good drives” and was able to visit “the 19th hole.”
Mark also enjoyed traveling. He attended several college football games in person, including games at Florida, Alabama, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota. While each of these trips made lasting memories, one of his favorite places was Las Vegas where he never failed to track down the rare five dollar minimum blackjack tables. He also loved going to concerts and attended many. He would see anyone from Kid Rock to Guns n’ Roses to Taylor Swift which he took his daughter to twice…and actually enjoyed it.
While Mark was taken way too soon, he left a substantial impression on anyone who met him. Hug your family and friends as you never know when they will be gone. Mark’s family wishes to thank the incredible staff at the Mayo Clinic Health System Cancer Center as well as the multitude of nurses and doctors who treated him over the last 19 months.
In addition to his wife Amanda, he is survived by his daughter Emily, two sons Will and Austin, his father A. Thomas Allen of Des Moines, IA, one sister Katie (John) Martin, of Des Moines, one brother Michael Allen of Burnsville, MN. and nieces and nephews.
Mark was preceded in death by both sets of grandparents as well as his mother.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 am on Monday, June 14, at Mary Mother of the Church Parish Hall. Rev. Brian D. Konopa will officiate. Committal services will take place on June 16 in the Historic Mausoleum at Oak Grove Cemetery in La Crosse. Friends may call on the family Sunday evening from 3 until 7pm at the Schumacher-Kish Funeral and Cremation Services La Crosse chapel, 200 West Ave. South. Visitation will also take place at the church on Monday morning from 9:00 until the eulogies at 10:00. Mass will begin at 10:30.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Mayo Clinic Health System Cancer Center in La Crosse, Mary Mother of the Church Parish or the La Crosse Central High School Athletic Department. Mark’s funeral will be livestreamed on the Facebook link found at www.schumacher-kish.com.
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