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Mark Blakeslee 1954 - 2024
Mark Blakeslee

HUTCHINSON — Mark Blakeslee, 69, died in his home on Monday April 1st, 2024 after a valiant fight with cancer. 

Born John Marcus Blakeslee on Sunday June 13th, 1954 in the town of Rawlins Wyo. His childhood was spent playing with his best friend Bruce Hootman. He graduated from Rawlins High School in 1972, forever proud of being an Outlaw. 

He continued his education at Hastings College where played his trumpet purchased by his grandma Esther in the band and travelled the world. After earning his Bachelor’s degree, he continued his education at the University of Nebraska Omaha. 

While living in Omaha he fell in love with Denise Hartline and they married on Feb. 14th, 1979. The marriage was exposed to great obstacles that challenged their constitution and faith. Their 45 years together brought four children, Pete, Corrine, Cassie, and Whitney. 

He was a masterful salesman and shoed the entire town of Dodge City working as the manager of Payless from 1986 to 1994. Mark was able to return to his passion of helping peoples when his friend Mike Hoar hired him at Youthville. He graduated from Friend’s University with his master’s degree and became a Marriage and Family Therapist. He never stopped furthering his education so he could expand his therapeutic repertoire that included hypnosis and addiction counseling. When he moved to Nickerson, he gradually switched from helping youth to counseling adults. 

Mark volunteered his limited spare time to Hasting’s College Band and Kiwanis. What started out with him filling in as Santa turned into one of his favorite hobbies. He loved playing the Ho Ho especially when it included his daughter Whitney being his trusty Elf sidekick. He was everyone’s favorite Mall Santa at Village Square Mall from 1995-2008. Santa then booked the occasional appearances that included the Nickerson Snowflake Festival, United Methodist Church, and Berridge’s IGA. 

As driven as Mark was to help others his pride was his family. He was his family’s rock, best friend, role model, and biggest fan. He loved tapping his foot along to songs in band concerts, playing catch in the field, and cheering them in everything they did. 

He is survived by his wife Denise and his children Pete/Tricia Sioux City, Iowa, Corrine/Ben, Nickerson, Kan., Whitney/Donnie, Inman, Kan.; his mother Marjorie Hutchinson, Kan.; his sister Julia/Steve Gaithersburg, Md.; his 14 grandchildren, Chance Hertel, ShaiLynne, BrookeLynne, and JosiLynne Blakeslee, Everly Krisle, Tanner and Taylor Hall, Alex, Cit, Gabriel, and Norah-Grace Wallace, Annalise Henderson, and Junior Rowley; one great granddaughter Callie Sally Ann Antosh-Hertel. He is proceeded in death by his father A. Don Blakeslee; his daughter Cassie Elizabeth Blakeslee; and grandson Christopher (Sparky) Michael Henderson. 

Celebration of Life will 1 p.m., Thursday, April 4, 2024, at Elliott Mortuary. Memorials are suggested in lieu of flowers to American Cancer Society in the memory of Cassie and Christopher, in care of Elliott Mortuary, 1219 N. Main, Hutchinson, KS 67501.

Funeral arrangements provided by

Elliott Mortuary

1219 N. Main St. 

Hutchinson, KS 67501

Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, April 4, 2024