Mark T. Schmidt

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Mark Thomas Schmidt, a gentlemen, a scholar, and for many, a state of mind. He was called onward to the universe on May 18, 2022, where he was last known to be in the mountains and forest that he loved most. Mark showed up fashionably early on May 14, 1989. It was Mother’s Day and was thus declared the greatest Mother’s Day gift to his parents, Mary and Tom Schmidt, until the anesthesia wore off. Much to the chagrin of his two older brothers, who quickly realized none of their gifts could top his entrance into the world. Mark lived his early years in Ashwaubenon, a suburb of Green Bay, Wis., with his older and far wiser brothers, Ben and Matt. He then traversed to New York (accompanied by family of course) when he was 4 years old. After some time making lifelong friends and memories, Mark requested a family transfer back to Wisconsin, this time in the Madison area, to which the rest of the family acquiesced. During his formative years in the Verona area school district, Mark learned the fundamentals of sports and scholastic clubs, and made many lifelong friends, who he treasured dearly. Oddly enough, Mark loved to read but didn't start out fond of school and was known to understand the idea of education, but felt it best he not participate, often getting up from class and deciding he had more important matters to attend to, leaving the premises. Through sheer willpower, his parents monitored and incentivized his studies, so Mark graduated from Verona Area High School in 2007.  


After mulling about, Mark decided that school was in fact for him, where he began a journey first graduating from MATC (now Madison College) and then, once he knew what he wanted in a career, moved to Portland, Ore., to continue his scientific studies at Portland State University and Reed College. Once his studies were formed, Mark turned his attention to traveling, hiking, mountain climbing, marathons, and because that wasn't enough, ultramarathon running. He was a scientist, a tinkerer, a Renaissance humanist, a humorist, a contrarian, a lover of the arts and an appreciator of all things beautiful and incredible. If you ever found yourself discussing an esoteric topic or something he had a keen eye for, you knew Mark would happily argue, debate, badger and downright antagonize anyone who was on the opposing side of his points. Why he didn’t seek a legal career still baffles his entire family to this very day. Mark packed so much into his lifetime—his 33 years on the planet were jam-packed with mystery and wonder. We should all strive to live life to the fullest, always bring a towel and be excellent to one another.   


Mark was able to meet many amazing people in his 33 years on the planet and he experienced many incredible things. Along the way, he acquired a second loving mother, Becky, a loving sister Dayna, a brother-in-law Kyle, an even older brother Tim and sister-in-law AnnMarie, an adorable rat named Ralph, a house-trained iguana named Princess, a best friend named Isaac, a sister Kari, a sister Danielle, a wonderful human Mariah and so many more people who loved and adored him. We can say with full transparency that the cards and letters arriving were overwhelming, which is to say he made such a positive impact on his colleagues at the OHSU Knight Cancer Research Center, the Providence Healthcare Earle A. Chiles Cancer Research Center and from Outside In, where Mark volunteered to help the houseless community, and Minds Matter, where he mentored numerous young students looking to excel in mathematics and science. Mark often went out of his way to help people in any way he could. He was smart, funny, loving and polite. Most of all, Mark was caring. Mark was a special man who made a positive impact on countless lives.   


In conclusion, to paraphrase the great Reginald Arvizu, “We got along like brothers, which is to say we didn’t always get along,” and to add to that, we will miss every argument and spirited conversation. We would gladly lose every single one to have you here with us, you glorious little jerk. May you be well wherever you are in the universe, and the next time any of his friends and loved ones feel like something funny and deliberate happened to them, while in nature, our guess is that it’s Mark, coming by to say “You’re doing said activity well...but you’d be doing it better if you just took this tidbit of unsolicited advice.” Mark was a true individual and, really, when you look at the entirety of what he really have to say out loud, Mark Thomas Schmidt...what a concept.


Mark is survived by his older brothers Matthew (Kari Stevens) Schmidt and Benjamin (Danielle Alexander) Schmidt, all of Portland, Ore.; his stepbrother Tim (AnnMarie) McEnroe and their children Chloe and Ian, of Philipsburg N.J.; his stepsister Dayna (Kyle) McManners, of Verona, Wis.; his mother Mary Schmidt, of Sparta Wis.; and his father John Thomas (Becky) Schmidt, of Verona, Wis.   


Mark was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents Calvin and Bette Morgan and his paternal grandparents Don and Emily Schmidt.   


There will be several regional memorial celebrations of Mark’s life over the next few months. Announcements will be on social media.   


In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the Humane Society, RISE Wisconsin, Outside In (in Portland, Ore.), Minds Matter (in Portland, Ore.), St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital or a nature conservancy program of your choosing. To view and sign this guestbook, please visit:

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